From to left to right: Chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy Dr. Daniel Hembree, Rev. Larry D. McCutcheon, ’72, Rev. Dr. Granville Hicks, ’57, Assistant Vice President of Communications and Marketing Sonja Bennett and Vice President for Institutional Advancement Rev. Whittaker V. Middleton at the 2012 Granville Hicks Leadership Academy.
After 20 years of enhancing leadership abilities in ministry, the Granville Hicks Leadership Academy for Laity and Clergy brought back to campus the man who started it all – the Rev.
Dr. Granville Hicks, '57, himself.
Hicks addressed the audience during the Academy's Feb. 24 luncheon. He imparted various points of wisdom about ministry.
“God reconciled us through Jesus Christ,” he said. “This is our calling - to be agents of reconciliation.”
Hicks noted reconciling differences is key in combatting the prevailing problems of our times such as substance abuse, violence and divorce. Also, the seasoned pastor said the support of others is essential in conveying the message of the Lord.
“Until the people appoint you as the pastor, you are not the pastor,” he said. Going further, Hicks said when obstacles appear on the horizon, it is vital to call upon that support.
“You always need a calming voice in the storm,” said Hicks.
During the two-day series of workshops and lectures, Dr. Walter E. Fluker, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Ethical Leadership at Boston University School of Theology, was the Academy's keynote speaker. The theme for this year's Academy was “The Church as a Model for Ethical Leadership for Our Nation.”
Chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy Dr. Daniel Hembree called Hicks “a gift to church” and an “honored theologian” during his introduction at the luncheon. He was presented with a plaque commemorating the Academy's 20 year anniversary. Rev. Larry D. McCutcheon, '72, also presented Hicks with some gifts on the behalf of the Omicron Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma, Inc.
Hicks has received an honorary doctorate from Claflin as well as Wofford College. He is a trustee emeritus at the University. In 1992, Claflin established the Granville Hicks Lecture Series for ministers and students preparing for ministry. He is a past recipient of the Bythewood Award at the University, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the institution and the community.
An ordained United Methodist minister since 1960, Hicks has served churches across the South Carolina Conference. He is formerly a superintendent of the Orangeburg and Anderson Districts of the S.C. Conference. He has been appointed several times as a delegate to the Southern Jurisdiction and General Conferences and received multiple appointments to prominent positions within the United Methodist Church.
He is an active member of the NAACP and the Children's Trust.