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Author to Recount his Life-Changing Summer

12/21/2007 - 10:26 AM PST

Catholic PRWire

Marking 40th anniversary year of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Maryknoll Speakers Series presents author of No Turning Back: My Summer with Daddy King

MARYKNOLL, NY (DECEMBER 21, 2007) -- At the height of the civil rights movement in 1961, Gurdon Brewster, a young white seminary student from the North, spent a life-changing summer in Atlanta living and working alongside Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., popularly known as "Daddy" King. He will tell of his experiences at the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Center in Ossining on Jan. 16, 2008.

Brewster, now an Episcopal priest and retired chaplain at Cornell University, will speak of the transformative faith of the King family, how it changed his understanding of the Gospel, and why it is necessary today to remember the spirit and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 40 years after his death.

"I saw the world with new eyes," he writes. Those were the eyes of the King family and "the countless others who cried out for freedom now...whose transcendent vision of hope drove them forward."

Brewster was already committed to civil rights and racial reconciliation, but naïve about the tensions in the South. This was his first encounter with the cruelty of segregation and racism. He calls his first weeks a "baptism by fire" that included a frightening encounter with KKK members and working with black youth who could not join him at a soda fountain or swim in the whites-only pool.

Brewster also will speak about the vibrant worship of the people at Ebenezer Baptist Church, and how the contrast between that and his Episcopalian upbringing turned him into an Episcopal priest "with Baptist flair."

All are welcome. Admission is free.

What: Gurdon Brewster--Maryknoll Speakers Series
When: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008 at 7:00 P.M.
Where: Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Center
55 Ryder Rd.
Ossining, N.Y.
Directions: 914-941-7636 ext. 2294

Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, the U.S.-based Catholic foreign mission society, has been representing U.S. Catholics in overseas mission since 1911. They currently serve in 29 countries worldwide, promoting human rights and social justice for those in need. For more information consult the World Wide Web at


Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers  NY,  US
Betsey Guest - Community Outreach, 914 941-76362219




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