About the Speaker
Barbara Brown Taylor is a New York Times best-selling author, teacher, and Episcopal priest. Her first memoir, Leaving Church (2006), won an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association. Her last book, Learning to Walk in the Dark (2014), was featured on the cover of TIME magazine. She has served on the faculties of Piedmont College, Columbia Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology at Emory University, McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, and the Certificate in Theological Studies program at Arrendale State Prison for Women in Alto, Georgia. In 2014 TIME included her on its annual list of Most Influential People; in 2015 she was named Georgia Woman of the Year; in 2016 she received The President’s Medal at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Mercer University and is working on her fourteenth book, Holy Envy, coming from HarperOne in April 2019. Her work has been translated into five languages.
The William L. Self Lectureship at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology was established in order to promote the practice of faithful and effective preaching of the gospel. The lecture series is named in memory of Dr. William L. Self, Pastor Emeritus of Johns Creek Baptist Church, Alpharetta, who was nationally recognized as a gifted preacher, pastor, author, lecturer, motivational speaker, and innovator in church growth. Dr. Self achieved considerable acclaim by leading Wieuca Road Baptist Church, Atlanta, to a place of prominence in Georgia and the nation. As pastor of Johns Creek, his leadership and influence brought the church to the vanguard of fast-growing churches.
The purpose of the lectureship is to enlighten and inspire those whose calling is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. The lectures seek to instill in students and pastors a passion for better preaching by providing worthy models and by offering seasoned instruction and encouragement. Each year the lecture series features a nationally recognized preacher.