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The Office of Black Church Studies was established as an initiative of the Duke Divinity School in the early 1970s. The office was created to support African American students and faculty in the Divinity School and sustain a specific curriculum on black preaching and the black experience with Christianity. There are materials related to African American churches, civil rights, and the status of African American students and faculty in universities across the country. Materials related to Martin Luther King, Jr.; Benjamin Chavis; Gardner C. Taylor; and Prathia Hall Wynn are included. Some items relate to black church studies at other academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and churches. The collection includes manuscripts, black-and-white and color photographs, digital images, and electronic records contained on compact discs. There are publications that predate the creation of the office.

The Office of Black Church Studies was established as an initiative of the Duke Divinity School in the early 1970s. The office was created to support African American students and faculty in the Divinity School and sustain a specific curriculum on black preaching and the black experience with Christianity.There are materials related to African American churches, civil rights, and the status of African American students and faculty in universities across the country. Materials related to Martin Luther King, Jr.; Benjamin Chavis; Gardner C. Taylor; and Prathia Hall Wynn are included.Some items relate to black church studies at other academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and churches. The collection includes manuscripts, black-and-white and color photographs, digital images, and electronic records contained on compact discs. There are publications that predate the creation of the office.

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William Clair Turner, Jr. earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Duke University in 1971, his M.Div. from Duke Divinity School in 1974, and his Ph.D. in religion in 1984. He has held several administrative positions at Duke, including Assistant Provost and Dean of Black Affairs and Acting Director of the Afro-American Studies program. In 1982 he became a full-time faculty member in the Divinity School, directing the Office of Black Church Affairs before being appointed Professor of the Practice of Homiletics. He has pastored several churches, including his current position at Mt. Level Baptist Church and was previously ordained in the United Holy Church of America, Inc. denomination. The collection documents Turner’s academic and personal activities. Materials include personal and administrative correspondence regarding Turner’s roles as pastor and administrator, manuscripts of lectures and sermons, syllabi and notes for courses taught, notes from classes taken while a student, subject files, and records of the United Holy Church of America. The collection also includes VHS, CD, and DVD recordings of some of his sermons.

The collection documents the academic and personal activities of William C. Turner, Jr., Duke alumni and faculty member at Duke Divinity School. Materials include personal and administrative correspondence regarding Turner’s roles as pastor and administrator, manuscripts of lectures and sermons, syllabi and notes for courses taught, notes from classes taken while a student, subject files, and records of the United Holy Church of America, Inc. denomination in which Turner was deeply involved and on which he wrote his Ph.D. dissertation. The collection also includes VHS, CD, and DVD recordings of some of his sermons. Major topics covered include black student life at Duke; Turner’s involvement in the Department of Afro-American Studies, Office of Black Affairs, and Office of Black Church Studies; Turner’s academic work on the Holy Spirit and black spirituality; pastoral work in African American churches in Durham; and the history of the United Holy Church of America, Inc.