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Rev. Michael F. Thurman, an experienced clergyman in several arenas, joined Tuskegee University’s Chapel this summer as assistant chaplain. In this role, Thurman will provide leadership to the university’s ecumenical worship services, relevant preaching and liturgical programs, and pastoral-focused ministering to the campus community.
“We welcome Rev. Michael F. Thurman to the Tuskegee University Chapel staff as we continue to explore the challenges and opportunities of university chaplaincy in the 21st century,” said Dr. Gregory S. Gray Sr., dean of the Chapel and a university professor of religion and society. “A Chapel colleague of Rev. Thurman’s experience and aptitude represents a promising resource for our students and the wider community in our efforts to provide excellence in campus ministry.”
In addition to his other chaplain responsibilities, Thurman will collaborate with the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life’s partners, which include the Wellness Center, campus life and campus religious organization leaders, and the Macon County Minister’s Conference.
Thurman brings extensive experience as both a church leader and a teacher in higher education. He has nearly 30 years of experience working with congregations, church leaders and students in a variety of settings, including through local churches, national denominational agencies, nonprofit agencies and college teaching. During his career, Thurman has taught as an adjunct instructor at Trenholm State Community College, Troy University and Alabama State University.
Thurman holds the honor of having the single longest pastoral tenure at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama — where he served for 15 years. Under his leadership, it established the Vernon Place, which housed a thrift store and later served as a tutoring center and provided office space for a licensed clinical psychologist. In addition, the Dexter Parsonage Museum opened for tourism and eventually included a 1,000-square-foot Interpretative Center to serve as an educational center and gift shop for the parsonage.
He has served on the North American Mission Board for the Southern Baptist Convention, and founded and led several churches. He is the editor of Voice from the Dexter Pulpit, and founding editor of The Black Southern Baptist Herald, a quarterly publication targeting African-American church leaders within the Southern Baptist Convention.
Thurman earned a master of divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College. He has received a certification of completion in apparel design and numerous awards, and was inducted into Morehouse College of Preachers.
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