E.C. Morris, long-time pastor of the historic Centennial Baptist Church in Helena, will be the focus of a program presented by the Delta Cultural Center on Thursday, March 9, Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst announced today. Dr. Quinton Dixie, associate professor of history & religious studies at Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne, has done extensive research on Morris and will present a program entitled, “E.C. Morris’ Centennial” at Beth El Heritage Hall from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
E. C. Morris was a very influential African American pastor who served Centennial Baptist Church in Helena from 1887 till his death in 1922. Morris dedicated his life to furthering the religious, political, and societal achievements of African Americans locally and nationally through his work as president and founder of the National Baptist Convention.
Dr. Dixie specializes in American religious history and has written on a wide range of topics—from the African American Civil Rights Movement to the history of black Baptists in the United States. Among his publications is an edited volume, The Courage to Hope, co-edited with Cornel West, as well as a companion to a PBS documentary, This Far by Faith, co-authored with Juan Williams. Currently Dr. Dixie is working on a religious biography of Harlem, exploring the ways urban spaces transform religion and vice versa. In addition, he is completing a collection of African American testimonies from the late 18th century to the present.
Light refreshments will be served following the program. This event is free and open to the public.