Several years ago there was a movie with Denzel Washington titled, Remember the Titans. It was a great inspirational movie that caught the heart and soul of all who watched it. It was a movie about time and how the men and women involved help shape the years for a better tomorrow.
We have some true Titans within our midst. I think of Hershel Sheets and the work he has done for our United Methodist Church and his humble heart to serve regardless of the cost. I think of Ed Thomlinson and his gift for administration as well as for dreaming. Carolyn Morris and Martha Forest are women who pioneered the way for other women in North Georgia. Walter Kimbrough continues even in retirement to preach with a fire in his belly. What a blessing for all of us to know these Titans and to have walked the field of ministry with them!
Of course, if you know the movie, it is also about a Titan who had given up a great deal for the sake of the team and who was no longer with them. There have been many of those here in North Georgia as well. We who have been privileged to attend Candler School of Theology have been blessed with walking the field with many of these Titans: Bill Mallard, Fred Craddock, and John Hayes, to mention a few. Our ministries are richer and fuller, because of the investment these theologians made in us.
Now we add to that list another great Titan, James Fowler. Dr. Fowler gave many of us our grounding in ethics and ministry. His teaching not only inspired us but gave us a foundation. James W. Fowler was a graduate of Duke University and of Drew Theological Seminary, and he earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University in Religion and Society in 1971, with a focus in ethics and sociology of religion. He pursued post-doctoral studies at the Center for Moral Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (1971-72). He taught at Harvard Divinity School (1969-75) and at Boston College (1975-76). In 1977, he joined the faculty of Emory's Candler School of Theology. Emory named him the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Theology and Human Development in 1987. His pioneering research and the resulting theory of faith development have earned him international recognition. His best-known book, Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Development and the Quest for Meaning, is in its 38th printing and has been translated into German, Korean, and Portuguese editions.
Thank you, Lurline, for sharing him with us. Thank you, Duke, Drew, and Harvard for preparing him well. Thank you, Emory, for giving him a place to minister.
We, clergy and the laity, are a stronger community of faith. because we have been in the midst of these and many other Titans.
Just thinking and giving thanks,