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Mike hopes to see the world turned upside down through local communities banding together for social change, especially churches which have recognized the radical calling to be good news to the poor, to set free the prisoners and oppressed, and to become the social embodiment of the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven. He lives with the blessed memory of his wife, in Durham, NC, and has three adult children living in three different states. He also shares his life with the Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, the faculty and students of Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC, and the faithful fans of Duke and Baylor Basketball in his neighborhood.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lott Carey Youth

This calm and clear morning on campus I found young people and their leaders gathering in small groups, walking from one location to another. The 55th Annual Lott Carey Youth Seminar is in mid-stride. The theme is "Empowering Youth to Impact the World." Along with mission opportunities, good preaching, recreation and fun, and devotionals, the seminar this year has allied with the ONE Campaign, the Genocide Intervention Network, and the NAACP to help young people understand the relationship between their following Jesus and their care for the people of the world.

Although the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention is one of the smaller Baptist conventions, it's link to Shaw and our common history is very important. Named for Lott Carey, the first African American missionary to Africa, specifically to Liberia, this convention works to engage its member churches in a global vision of the gospel. Lott Carey was a former slave from theWilliamsburg area in Virginia.

Under the leadership of Rev. Dr. David Emmanuel Goatley, this convention has expanded its work and enlarged the opportunities for ministers and laypeople to engage in mission work. Moreover, this highly intelligent and devoted leader has played an important role among Baptists of all regions and ethnicity as the President of the North American Baptist Fellowship.

As I looked at the young people and their leaders on campus today, I was encouraged to hold fast to what I have never stopped believing: there is yet much work for Shaw University to do, and there are many partners and allies who are committed to making that happen. I know that is true of the faculty with whom I have conversations. Along with the Lott Carey and leaders and youth, we can see a better future for the poor in our neighborhoods, for African peoples, for war-torn lands in need of peace, for U. S. communities in need of reconciliation, for people everywhere who have not had access to education, and for Shaw University as a part of pursuing those tasks.

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