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Dr. Lewis V. Baldwin is currently a Professor of Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University. He was a student at Colgate-Rochester/ Bexley Hall/ Crozer Theological Seminaries from 1971 to 1975, receiving the Master of Arts Degree in Black Church Studies in 1973 and the Master of Divinity Degree in Theology in 1975. He entered the Ph.D. Degree Program in American Christianity at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in the fall of 1975, completing the requirements for the degree in 1980. While pursuing the Ph.D., Dr. Baldwin was ordained into the Ministry at Pine Level No. 2 Baptist Church in Greenville, Alabama on December 31, 1978 by his father, Pastor L. V. Baldwin, Sr. He was also ordained a Deacon in the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church on June 16, 1987. He has preached throughout the country, has spoken at numerous colleges, universities, divinity schools, and seminaries, and has appeared on radio and television programs across the nation.
Dr. Baldwin is the author of numerous articles, book reviews, and book chapters, and of several monographs and books. Among his books and monographs are “Invisible” Strands in African Methodism: A History of the African Union Methodist Protestant and Union American Methodist Episcopal Churches, 1805-1980 (1983); The Mark of a Man: Peter Spencer and the African Union Methodist Tradition (1987); There is a Balm in Gilead: The Cultural Roots of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1991); To Make the Wounded Whole: The Cultural Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1992); Freedom is Never Free: A Biographical Portrait of Edgar Daniel Nixon, Sr. (1992), with Aprille V. Woodson; Toward the Beloved Community: Martin Luther King, Jr. and South Africa (1995); The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Boundaries of Law, Politics, and Religion (2002), with Rufus Burrow, Jr., Barbara A. Holmes, the Honorable Susan Holmes Winfield, and Roger D. Hatch; Between Cross and Crescent: Christian and Muslim Perspectives on Malcolm and Martin (2002), with Amiri YaSin Al-Hadid; Plenty Good Room: A Bible Study Based on African American Spirituals (2002); Never to Leave Us Alone: The Prayer Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. (2010); and The Voice of Conscience: The Church in the Mind of Martin Luther King, Jr. (2010). Dr. Baldwin’s “Invisible” Strands in African Methodism won The American Theological Library Association Award, and his There is a Balm in Gilead was declared “Best All-Around Book” and the winner of the 1992 Midwest Book Achievement Award by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association.
Dr. Baldwin has received numerous other awards from academic institutions, churches, community and cultural centers, and local, regional, and national politicians for his preaching, teaching, and scholarship. He is featured in They Too Call Alabama Home: African American Profiles, 1800-1999 (1999), by Richard Bailey. He was inducted into The Martin Luther King, Jr. International Collegium of Scholars in a special ceremony at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia on April 1, 2004, and was also the recipient, on April 2, 2004, of an award from The World Peace Academy of The International Association of Educators for World Peace (IAEWP), an organization meeting at Morehouse, and in which he held a membership. In June, 2007, the story of Baldwin’s life during the civil rights movement and as a King scholar was told in an issue of The Vanderbilt Magazine by Frye Gaillard, an Alabama writer. On October 31- November, 2007, Baldwin served as a special lecturer and panelist at the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Conference in Rome, Italy, an event co-sponsored by the Unione Christiana Evangelica Battista d’Italia and the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention in Washington, D.C. He was honored as the Paul S. Stauffer Lecturer at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky in April, 2009, during which he focused on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ecclesial vision and its meaningfulness for the church today.
He is currently working on several additional titles on the life and thought of King, three of which will result from collaborative efforts. They include A Drum Major for Justice: Essays in Memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.; In a Single Garment of Destiny: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Globalization of an Ethical Ideal; The Word Made Flesh: The Bible as a Source for Martin Luther King, Jr.; The Domestication of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Clarence B. Jones, Right Wing Conservatism, and the Manipulation of the King Legacy; "O Thou, Dear God": Prayers that Open Hearts and Spirits --- the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; The Global Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Documentary Witness; and Dreamer: A Cultural Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Other works currently in progress are The Harmonies of Liberty: Malcolm X and the Black Nationalist Tradition; Slave Thought: The Contours of a Folk Theology; God of Our Silent Tears: Sermons from the Depths of the Human Spirit; Standing in the Shoes of John: Images of the Black Preacher in History; In the Backwaters of African Methodism: Small Black Methodist Denomination, 1805-2005; and The World as Parish: John Wesley and Human Rights.