Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Gray, Jr. Delivers Martin Luther King, Jr. Keynote

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SEWARD, NEB. (01/26/2018) Concordia University, Nebraska welcomed alumnus Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Gray, Jr. to speak as part of an annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy.

Gray currently serves as director of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) Black Ministry, reaching out to black communities, ministering to African immigrants, and providing guidance to congregations on ministering to minority groups. He also will serve as a liaison to the church-wide Black Clergy Caucus and oversee the development of resources for Black Ministry throughout the Synod. On Tuesday, Jan. 23, he spoke in several classes and held a presentation that evening.

The transformation of the segregated south and Dr. King's speech were the main focuses of Dr. Gray's message, and he urged the students of Concordia to show the love that brought about the Civil Rights Movement.

"What I've tried to do in my own life is allow faith to shape my perspective," Dr. Gray said. "I think the greatest response of the Christian is love."

Dr. Gray briefly mentioned his mission work in Ferguson, Missouri, after the shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year old unarmed black man saying, "They got a picture of us praying with a young man with a shirt on that said 'stop killing us.' People got angry about that picture. But we were too busy praying and loving to look at what they were wearing. [When we minister] we have to come to them as they are."

In his closing statement, he said that it all starts here. His final challenge to the audience was to be mindful God's calling to them, "If you can't be a Dr. King, be a professor or pastor or president. But always be what God has called you to be: a child of God."

Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Nebraska, that currently serves more than 2,700 students. Concordia more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world. For more information, visit