A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Owens speaks of ‘road to reconciliation’ at Campbellsville’s Black History Month service

Dr. Joseph L. Owens, the pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church of Lexington and a Campbellsville University trustee and graduate, recently spoke at the Black History Month chapel service on campus.

“The road to reconciliation is a way to release resentment,” Owens said at the service recognizing and celebrating Black History Month.

“Black history continues to be a part of what happens,” Owens said while telling of the importance of recognizing the past and learning from it. He said, “There is hope, and there is help if you want to do great things in this world.”

Dr. Joseph L. Owens spoke at Campbellsville’s chapel service recognizing and celebrating Black History Month. (CU photo)

Owens outlined the guidelines of the path that leads to the road of reconciliation. “If you are going to move forward, you have to find a way to release resentment,” he said while reading about Joseph in Genesis 45:4-5.

“Joseph helps us to understand that the forward movement is not to ignore history, but to find a way to release the resentment,” he said.

Owens spoke about his life growing up during the civil rights movement and the transition he had to make as schools became integrated. “I grew up with some degree of resentment and bitterness,” he said.

On the journey of releasing bitterness, Owens said, “You have to learn to recognize when God is at work.” He spoke about how coming to college at Campbellsville University in 1972 changed his life when he unexpectedly found his faith. “I couldn’t continue to be bitter,” he said.

Owens spoke about working in the cafeteria while he was a student and one of his co-workers sharing the Lord with him.

“I didn’t know that God was going to use a little white lady to witness to me and share Jesus with me,” he said. Owens spoke of his love and appreciation for his alma mater as it “historically” shaped him into who he is.

“If you think that you came here by accident or by coincidence, I’m here to tell you that when God has you on a road to reconciliation where he’s trying to fix what was broken, pay attention,” he said.

“Recognize when God is moving and working even in the midst of the pain,” Owens said.

He said restoring relationships after releasing resentment is one of the things that Black History Month helps to do. Referencing Joseph, Owens said the past cannot be ignored and it must be talked about in order to move forward.

“African American history points to the facts that God is waiting to fix the brokenness in our lives but you’re going to have to release the bitterness, recognize when God is working and get the relationships restored,” Owens said about why he has to continue to share his story and celebrate his history.

“God can use you to make a difference,” he said.

From Campbellsville University

Related Posts

Leave a Comment