First Black Baptist Dean of Duke University Chapel, Rev. Luke Powery, Announces Decision to Return to Traditional Version of the Apostles’ Creed

Rev. Luke Powery (Duke Chapel)
Rev. Luke Powery (Duke Chapel)

During last Sunday’s worship service at Duke Chapel, the presiding minister announced the chapel had decided to return to a traditional version of the Apostles’ Creed, which includes the statement Jesus “descended into hell.”

He said the return was motivated out of the theological and pastoral conviction that this line of the creed forcefully reminds the church that Christ’s presence goes with Christians, even to the darkest and most tortured parts of their lives. Even hell is not beyond the bounds of Christ’s presence, graces and redemption.

Literate church folks know there are many seemingly small items like this on which denominations and independent Christian groups have differences.

Another one, for example, comes to mind: In the Lord’s prayer, the Presbyterian Church uses “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” and it seems the rest of Christendom uses, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Changing a worship practice at the chapel does not suggest that other Christian groups or denominations may follow suit; however, a change like this will not go unnoticed, especially since it comes from a place associated with Duke Divinity School where major theological minds and influences converge.

Although Duke Chapel is located at Duke Divinity School, the chapel is a non-denominational place of worship. As such, it provides worship space for 27 different faith groups on the university campus and over the years has had chapel deans from a variety of denominational backgrounds, including Quaker, Presbyterian, United Methodist, Anglican and Baptist.

The present dean, the Rev. Luke Powery, is the first Baptist and the first black dean to serve the chapel congregation.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Chapel Hill News
Flo Johnston

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