Renaissance Worship Service
November 11, 2012
Greetings Morehouse Family,
On behalf of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees, I greet each of you and thank you for
joining us as we salute Dr. Robert Michael Franklin ’75, the tenth president of the College, on
the occasion of his farewell sermon.
It is with gratitude that I take this opportunity to thank President Franklin for his dedicated
service and commitment to Morehouse. And even more important, I applaud the work he has
done to move Morehouse toward the realization of its institutional mission. His Five Wells
concept crystallized the expectations we have for Morehouse Men, and his broad vision for the
internationalization of the College—through curricula and opportunities for students and faculty
to engage in didactic worldwide travel—has helped position Morehouse as a global leader in
When President Franklin came to Morehouse as president in 2007, I was already an active
member of the Board of Trustees. Since then, I have been privileged to become chairman of the
body and to work even more closely with President Franklin. He has proven himself an inspiring
leader and fully capable of galvanizing the support of a cross-section of constituents. From
increasing support from alumni, faculty and staff, students, parents, and the College’s strategic
partners—such as The Renaissance Commission—he has helped Morehouse cultivate new
friends and generate much-appreciated resources. It is his accessible approach to relationship
building, I believe, that is also largely responsible for the upward trend in alumni engagement in
the life of the College, as well as increased alumni support.
Out of a mutual love for our alma mater and a healthy respect for each other has come an
outstanding working relationship between President Franklin and me. I wish him and his wife,
Dr. Cheryl Franklin, well as they embark on the next chapter of their life journey together.
Robert C. Davidson Jr. ’67
Robert M. Franklin ’75
r. Robert M. Franklin ’75 is the tenth president of Morehouse College
in Atlanta, GA. Previously, he served as the Presidential Distinguished
Professor of Social Ethics at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, and president of the Interdenominational Theological Center, both in Atlanta. He also served as a program officer in the Human Rights and Social Justice
Program at the Ford Foundation (NY).
In 2005, Dr. Franklin served as Theologian in Residence for The Chautauqua Institution (NY). He serves on numerous boards, including the Character
Education Partnership (Washington, D.C.) and Public Broadcasting of Atlanta
(WABE). He has provided commentaries for National Public Radio’s “All Things
Considered” and televised commentary for Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting.
Currently, Dr. Franklin is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; the
Executive Committee of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce; the Atlanta
Symphony Orchestra (Executive Committee); the HBCU Capital Financing Advisory Board; and the Naval War
College Board of Advisors.
Since Dr. Franklin became president in 2007, Morehouse College has been recognized for being a premier
institution for educating African American men. Under Dr. Franklin’s administration, the Howard Thurman Educational Trust Committee was convened to preserve, expand, and deepen the impact of Dr. Howard Thurman ’23,
a noted alumnus who helped to transform modern American history. The College also has been the recipient of
a number of major gifts, including $1.75 million from The Coca-Cola Company, $1 million from Delta Air Lines
for the Joseph E. Lowery Endowed Scholarship Fund, and a $2-million, three-year planning grant from the Lilly
Endowment for the WorldHouse Initiative Realized Program.
A core component of the College’s strategic plan is the internationalization of the campus, with a special emphasis on curriculum and travel abroad experiences. During the last four years, nearly 640 students have traveled
to international destinations to study, conduct research, or render service. Additionally, an increasing number of
faculty members are engaged in teaching and other programming at international institutions of higher learning.
In 2010, The Ray Charles Performing Arts Center was dedicated. The $20-million, 76,000-square-foot facility
is the primary practice and performance space for the world-renowned Morehouse College Glee Club; Morehouse
Jazz Band; Morehouse College Jazz Ensemble; and the Morehouse College “House of Funk” Marching Band. Additionally, significant updates have been made to Graves Hall—the oldest building on campus—as well as Brazeal
Hall; Graves Hall; the Moss Suites; and Perdue Hall.
Dr. Franklin’s vision for Morehouse is that the institution will produce Renaissance Men—academically prepared, ethical leaders with a social conscience. In furtherance of that vision, the College’s Renaissance Commission was formed in 2010. This legion of academicians, corporate executives, medical and legal professionals, and
philanthropists is working to expand opportunities for the institution and its students and to position for a fiscally
and programmatically healthy future.
Dr. Franklin is the author of three books: Crisis in the Village: Restoring Hope in African American
Communities (2007), Another Day’s Journey: Black Churches Confronting the American Crisis (1997), and
Liberating Visions: Human Fulfillment and Social Justice in African American Thought (1989).
A native of Chicago, Dr. Franklin was educated at Morgan Park High School, Morehouse College (BA, 1975),
Harvard Divinity School (M.Div. 1978) and the University of Chicago Divinity School (Ph.D., 1985). In 1973, he
received an English Speaking Union scholarship to attend the University of Durham in England. He is also the
recipient of honorary degrees from Bethune Cookman University, Bates College, and Swarthmore College.
Dr. Franklin is married to Dr. Cheryl G. Franklin, a gynecologist, and is the proud father of three children.
Renaissance Worship Service
Sunday, November 11, 2012
The Reverend Dr. Lawrence Edward Carter Sr.
Dean, Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel
“Fantasie in G major, BWV 572”
Johann Sebastian Bach
“NKRABEA” Umuzi Ikahya Community Dance Company
(spiriitual purpose for being) Choreographer: The Reverend Donna Thomas Walker
The Reverend Dr. Raphael G. Warnock ’91
Pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia
Old Testament Scripture
Ecclesiastes 3:1-10 (NRSV)
The Reverend Dr. Lisa D. Rhodes
Dean, Sisters Chapel
Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia
New Testament Scripture
Philippians 3:12-14 (NRSV)
The Reverend Dr. Valerie G. Everett
Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia
Negro National Anthem
“Lift Every Voice and Sing”
Text by James Weldon Johnson
Music by J. Rosamond Johnson
Mr. Robert C. Davidson ’67
Chairman, Morehouse College Board of Trustees
The Reverend Dean Carter
Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel Assistants
Student Government Association
Christopher A. McCroy ’16, Freshman Class Representative; Chavis T. Jones ’13, Senior Class Representative;
Devon Jerome Crawford ’15, Sophomore Class Representative; Anré Washington ’13, SGA President;
Winford Kennadean Rice Jr. ’14, Junior Class Representative; Reginald Sharpe ’13,
Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel Assistants President
Litany written by Dr. Anne Wimbush Watts
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Morehouse College
THE ORIGINS OF THE RENAISSANCE
“Would You Be Ready?”
Morehouse College Glee Club
arr. Uzee Brown Jr. ’72
Vision of the Elders
Ambassador Andrew J. Young
Member, Morehouse College Board of Trustees
Prayer of Shalom
Ms. Judy Marx
Community Relations Consultant
Georgia Community Support & Solutions
EXEMPLARS OF THE RENAISSANCE
Mr. Canton Jones ’00
Founder, Producer and Gospel Artist
CAJO International, Fayetteville, Georgia
Courage of the Elders
The Reverend Dr. Otis Moss Jr. ’56
Pastor Emeritus, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church
Member and Past Chairman
Morehouse College Board of Trustees
Prayer for the Pilgrimage
Imam Plemon T. El-Amin
Imam Emeritus, Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam
The Reverend Dean Carter
Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel Assistants
“Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow”
Text by Ken Thomas
Music by Louis Bourgeois
CELEBRATION OF THE RENAISSANCE
Vessels of Praise Dance Ministry
By Israel Houghton
Antioch Baptist Church North, Atlanta, Georgia
Choreographer: Ms. Yvonne Phillips
Sacred Dance and Praise
Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel Choir
Wisdom of the Elders
The Reverend Dr. Teresa Fry Brown
Director, Black Church Studies Program
Candler School of Theology
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
Prayer of Consecration
The Reverend Dr. George B. Wirth
Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta
Hymn of Preparation
Medley: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”
Text by Thomas O. Chisholm
Music by William M. Runyan
“Time and Purpose”
Mr. Zebulon Ellis ’07
Gospel Recording Artist
The Reverend Dr. Robert M. Franklin ’75
President, Morehouse College
Congregational Hymn “O God Our Help in Ages Past”
Text by Isaac Watts
Music by ST. ANNE (Croft)
The Reverend Dean Carter
The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
Pastor Emeritus, Cascade United Methodist Church
The Reverend Dr. William V. Guy ’57
Pastor Emeritus, Friendship Baptist Church
Closing Song of Praise
Vessels of Praise Dance Ministry
Choreographer: Ms. Khadijah Abe
“Toccata in F major”
Dr. David Edward Morrow ’80
Associate Professor and Director of the Morehouse College Glee Club
Dr. David Francis Oliver
Director of Music Ministries and College Organist
Ms. Brianna Sullivan
Director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel Choir
Mr. Edward Menifee ’97
Pianist & Instrumental Coordinator, Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel Choir
Lift Every Voice and Sing
Lift every voice and sing, till earth and Heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun, Let us march on
till victory is won.
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
Thou Who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou Who hast by Thy might, led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee.
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land.
O God, Our Help in Ages Past
By Isaac Watts
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home.
Under the shadow of Thy throne,
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come;
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.
A LITANY OF THANKS AND FAREWELL
Dr. Robert Michael Franklin ’75
10th President of Morehouse College
The best of shepherds must sometimes leave his flock. The greatest of leaders must sometimes
respond to other callings and explore other pathways for creative action. Such is true today, as
another great leader begins his leave-taking. And so, we have come to express our gratitude
for his immaculate example of leadership and for his indomitable influence that catalyzed new
visions and new constructs for a sustainable culture of excellence. In his pilgrimage to engage
in creative action, he is to us that basaltic rock of courage and perseverance, and he is the arbiter of many lights among us and around us and within us, teaching us our calling to be a light
by which others might be able to see.
Let us now “gather round” to recount and to honor servant hood at its best.
Let Morehouse Renaissance Men “gather round” as living representations of what
commendable discipleship can foster.
Let us “gather round” to tell the story of a man called Robert Michael Franklin.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the
precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down
on the edge of Hermon.”
SPEAKER # 1:
We have come to celebrate one who understood the vicissitudes of youth, the work needed for
us to grow tall like a tree. And like a great sculptor, he saw the shape and form that we could
be, despite the roughhewn presentations we often displayed. We have come to celebrate one
who has prayed with us and for us, because he understood our excesses and was not afraid to
speak for right and to demand the best we had in us.
His mandates were clear:
“Young men! We will not tolerate pants
hanging low on the hips with underwear showing.
We will not tolerate any display of attire
that is not in keeping with the standards of
decency and appropriateness!”
And we embraced the dictates of personal betterment as we pulled up our pants, tucked in
our shirts, groomed our hair, ironed our shirts, shined our shoes, brushed our jackets, and demanded from the world that extra measure of respect as we dressed well and dressed fittingly
for every occasion.
CONGREGATION: “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be
SPEAKER # 2:
We have come to celebrate one who pulled back the veil of fear and doubt by encouraging us
to examine and engage others by the powerful art of effective discourse.
“Learn to speak well, my son!” he said. “For your words well spoken
will define your excellence. Learn to speak well, my son,
for your words well spoken will peel off labels of stereotypes
and defy misconceptions that have limited so many before you!”
We countered by studying the art of rhetoric and the art of persuasion, and by reflecting
on the range of our knowledge and literacy, we learned how to speak when, when to speak
what, and what to speak where. Polished and proud, we learned how to speak to anybody
anywhere---with speech free of pomposity and pedantry---but with the rhythms and cadences
appropriate for any audience and any occasion.
CONGREGATION: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman
That needeth not to be ashamed, rightly the word of truth.”
SPEAKER # 3:
“There is no frigate like a book,
To take us lands away,”
said Emily Dickinson, and we heeded her immortal words. We dusted off the classics,
googled book reviews to identify and purchase the most current and notable works, and we
engaged in dialogue with professionals in a variety of fields of study for broad and diverse
When we became discouraged by economic exigencies, and were challenged to
actualize the principles of hope, resilience, and perseverance that we read about,
he was an echo of Edgar A. Guest’s motivational testimonials:
You can do as much as you think you can,
But you’ll never accomplish more;
If you’re afraid of yourself, young Man,
There’s little for you in store.
For failure comes from the inside first,
It’s there, if we only knew it,
And you can win, though you face the worst,
If you feel that you’re going to do it.
CONGREGATION: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
SPEAKER # 4:
We have come to celebrate one who urged us to seek other climes and to navigate other
waters beyond the comfort of our own gateways. Through the years, hundreds of us, including faculty and staff, traveled to distant shores to broaden our world view and to enhance our
ability to interact with people from cultures different from our own, and thereby to increase
our knowledge of our own selves. And, by so doing, we are becoming the next generation of
global political leaders, scientists, business analysts, preachers, educators, and mentors and
role models for young people everywhere. Thus, we have become less hearth-bound and more
like Tennyson’s Ulysses, who could “not rest from travel’’:
One equal-temper of heroic hearts,
made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find,
And not to yield.
CONGREGATION: “He has shown you, O man, what is good;
For what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love
Mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
SPEAKER # 5:
We have come to celebrate one who charged us to remain focused on the greatest good as
we employ principles of moderation to recognize our own finiteness and our own need for a
power greater than ourselves. We sought the “road less travelled” as we catalogued priorities
and set boundaries, and we became better planners in managing the known and in making
better responses to the unknown.
Above all, we became well balanced as we learned how to sift through the quintessentials of
life’s irrefutable testimonies that compelled us to champion causes for equality, justice, and
peace across the globe.
And so we have come today to celebrate one who was a pioneer unafraid of the challenge of
change. In the great traditions of heroes past, he left legacies in his giant footprints with a
double indemnity clause, legacies that beckon us still to erect temples for truth and justice, to
build cathedrals for freedom as a moral responsibility, and to fashion sanctuaries where choirs
render dirges to indolence and sing hymns to brotherly and sisterly love, even as Christ loved us.
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime
And in passing leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
Let us then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
CONGREGATION: “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your
good works and glorify your God which is in heaven.”
Written by Anne Wimbush Watts, Ph.D.
The Great WorldHouse
Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel
THE REVEREND WILLIAM JEFFERSON WHITE ’11, D.D. (HON.)
Founder of Morehouse College
ROBERT C. DAVIDSON ’67, MBA
Chairman, Board of Trustees
THE REVEREND ROBERT MICHAEL FRANKLIN, ’75, Ph.D., D.D., D.H.L.
The Tenth President of Morehouse College
WALTER EUGENE MASSEY, ’58, PH.D., D.S., D. HUM., ED.D., D.H.C.
HUGH MORRIS GLOSTER, ’31, Ph.D., LL.D., D.H.L., LITT.D., D.H.C.
Founder of The King Chapel
THE REVEREND LAWRENCE EDWARD CARTER SR., PH.D., D.D., D.H., D.R.S. D.H.C.
Dean of the Chapel, Professor of Religion, College Curator
THE REVEREND ERNEST ANDREW BROOKS, III ’05, M.DIV.
Associate Campus Minister
DAVID FRANCIS OLIVER, D.M.A.
College Organist/Director of Music Ministries
ROY CRAFT, MPA
THE REVEREND TERRY FARRELL WALKER, SR. ’89, M.DIV.
Director, Chapel Relations
JOHN CHARLES JORDAN, JR. ’11, BA
MARK ANTHONY BRATHWAITE, MBA
Researcher and Assistant to the College Archivist
JESSICA CRYSTAL JAMES, BBA
Graduate Theological Intern
MARVA GRIFFIN CARTER, Ph.D.
Music Consultant and Pianist
ERROL LORENZO PHILLIPS
Audio Visual Technician
RUTH ROBINSON THORNTON
Chapel Assistants Officers
MR. REGINALD WAYNE SHARPE, JR. ’13
MR. WINFORD KENNEDEAN RICE, JR. ‘14
MR. DEVON JEROME CRAWFORD ’15
MR. GEOFFERY DUDLEY ‘15
MR. KYLE STEVENSON ’15
International Chapel Advisory Committee
Mr. Danny Matthew Bellinger ’93
Dr. Harold Vernelle Bennett
Ms. Fran Phillips-Calhoun
Mr. Alvin Hawkins Darden III ’72
Mr. Henry Melvin Goodgame ’84
Ms. Adrienne Swann Harris
Mrs. Toni O’Neal Mosley
Dr. Aaron Michael Turpeau ’87
Dr. Anne Wimbush Watts
The Rev. Harry Starks Wright ’82
“My vision is that Morehouse College will develop Renaissance men—leaders with
a social conscience—who will champion the causes of equality, justice and peace in
their communities and around the globe.
Morehouse will provide intellectual and moral leadership for a 21st Century global
Renaissance of character, civility and community. Morehouse will fulfill the dream
of its founders as a global resource for ethical and educated leaders. While developing
Morehouse Men, the College will guide and inspire others to serve the common good
in their communities and throughout the globe.
The Morehouse Renaissance will be the rebirth of personal and collective academic
excellence, values and service to others that will reinforce the College’s legacy of producing academically prepared, morally centered leaders who meet the challenges of
their day and make a positive impact on the world.”
Dr. Robert M. Franklin ’75
830 Westview Drive, S. W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30314-3773