HPU To Feature Pastor Of D.C.-Based Metropolitan Baptist Church For Service Honoring King

HIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 8, 2010 ? High Point University will host a service at 11 a.m. on Jan. 18 at Hayworth Chapel to celebrate the life and work of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The service is open to the public.

The annual event will feature special guest speaker the Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks Jr. and music that will honor the late humanitarian. Hicks, a native of Baton Rouge, La., serves as the fifth minister in the 136-year history of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. ? a church that exceeds 6,000 members. He is widely published in religious publications and has authored five books, the two most recent volumes of which are “My Soul’s Been Anchored” and “Preaching through a Storm.” In November 1993, “Ebony Magazine” honored him with the distinction as one of America’s “Fifteen Greatest African-American Preachers.”

Hicks is an honors graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and is a recipient of the Rockefeller Protestant Fellowship. He graduated from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in May 1967. Selected as one of the original Martin Luther King Fellows at the Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1972, Hicks earned his Doctor of Ministry in Theology degree in 1975. In 1994 Hicks received the coveted Merrill Fellowship for post-graduate study at Harvard Divinity School, and in 1999 he received his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from George Washington University. He’s served his current role as pastor of the Metropolitan Baptist Church since 1977.

Dr. Louise Toppin, soprano, and the Genesis Gospel Choir will provide the music for the service. Toppin is an international performer and has received critical acclaim for her operatic, orchestral and oratorio performances in the United States, Czech Republic, Sweden, England and Spain. She has recorded eight compact discs of American Music, and has produced CDs for Koch International and Albany Records. In addition to her performance schedule, Toppin is a professor of voice at East Carolina University and serves as the artistic director and president of the arts organization VIDEMUS.

Kappa Alpha Psi, Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Kappa Alpha and Zeta Phi Beta will serve as worship leaders and ushers.

The service will be streamed live online at www.highpoint.edu/chapel/services.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students from 50 countries and 44 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report No. 5 among comprehensive universities in the South and No. 1 in its category among up-and-coming schools. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 6 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” HPU was included in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Colleges to Work For” 2009 listings. The university offers 68 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and seven graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at www.highpoint.edu or on Twitter at @HighPointU.

Chris DudleyVice President for Administration336-841-4530cdudley@highpoint.edu

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