Davis & Elkins College will conclude its spring lecture series, sponsored by the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy, with a presentation on April 7. Charles Watson Jr., director of education at the Baptist Joint Committee (BJC) in Washington, D.C., will deliver the talk for the 7 p.m. event in Myles Center for the Arts.

Titled “Freedom OF or FROM Religion?”, Watson’s lecture will focus on the complexities of religious liberty in a pluralistic democracy.

“Religious freedom in the U.S. rests on the bedrock separation of church and state enshrined in the Constitution,” said Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy Dr. Bryan Wagoner, who also serves as director of the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy. “We can be free to participate in whatever faith tradition – or none – appeals to us only if we are freed from the threat of external imposition of religion. BJC is a great organization defending the religious liberty of all Americans, and Charles is an eloquent defender of religious freedom as a function of democracy.”

As the director of education at BJC, Watson’s work centers on expanding the base of support for religious liberty and engaging the next generation of advocates.

A graduate of The Citadel, Watson earned a Master of Divinity degree at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology. He previously served as the children’s director of Buckhead Baptist Church in Atlanta and as a hospice chaplain resident, endorsed by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Watson also is a veteran of the United States Air Force.

As a seminary-trained religious liberty advocate and educator, Watson routinely speaks across the nation including at Baylor, Bowie State and Hardin-Simmons universities and Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology. Watson has published articles in Ethics Daily, New Baptist Covenant, Report from the Capital and cbfBlog.com.

For additional information on the lecture, email Wagoner at wagonerb@dewv.edu.

Charles Watson Jr.

Charles Watson Jr.