Library to receive Harrell collection
University Libraries will celebrate the opening of The Flynn T. Harrell Collection on the Separation of Church and State at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 10 in the Hollings Library.
The event will feature a talk by J. Brent Walker, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee (BJC) for religious liberty and noted expert on church-state issues, who will speak about the separation of church and state and the importance of the Harrell collection.
Housed in University Libraries’ South Carolina Political Collections, The Harrell collection contains books, journals, an extensive clipping collection and 45 years of correspondence documenting the history and debate over this key principle defining America’s government.
A strong advocate for the separation of church and state, Harrell has maintained that Americans must remain free to worship or not to worship according to the dictates of their individual consciences. “State-coerced religion would result in an America that few of us would recognize or desire. True and vibrant religious faith must remain voluntary,” Harrell has said.
Harrell served for 21 years as the first business/financial officer of the South Carolina Baptist Convention and was elected president of the convention in 1987. He also was an executive assistant to Attorney General Travis Medlock for 11 years. Harrell is a former member of the Board of Visitors of the Wake Forest University Divinity School and the advisory council of the Center on Religion in the South at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. He has authored several church/state articles and delivered speeches on the subject on more than 100 occasions to churches, schools, civic clubs and other groups. He has served as treasurer of the Board of Trustees of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
The event is open to students, faculty and staff and other invited guests. It will be held in the program room of the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library (enter through Thomas Cooper Library). Call 803-576-6016 to reserve a seat.