On Saturday, February 25, 2017, concurrent sermons on the campus of Andrews University addressed the #ItIsTimeAU video that took the campus and beyond by storm in recent days.
Dr. Dwight K. Nelson, lead pastor at Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University, scrapped the sermon he had been writing to address white privilege from the pulpit.
During the February 23, 2017, Thursday morning chapel service at Andrews University, administration and student leaders responded to the #ItIsTimeAU video that went viral on Saturday, February 18, 2017, with a video of their own, entitled, “ItIsTimeAU: Listen. Dialogue. Change.”
As part of its Black History Month celebration, Andrews University invited Jaime Kowlessar, senior pastor at Dallas City Temple Adventist Church, to be guest speaker for Black History Weekend (Feb. 9-11, 2017). Kowlessar’s first sermon was during Andrews’ mandatory Thursday chapel on February 9. Shortly after chapel, complaints began to filter in to administration concerning the topic.
The following message was sent to the Andrews University campus via email and posted to the University’s homepage on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017:
Dear campus community,
You are probably aware of the executive order signed over the weekend by the U.S. President that impacts international travel to the U.S. that will impact international students. As a very diverse campus, our international students add a richness to our campus that we highly value, and we want to reaffirm their importance to all of us in this community.
The inauguration ceremony of Andrea Luxton, sixth president of Andrews University, occurred on Tuesday, October 25, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. Presidents and official delegates from fellow Seventh-day Adventist institutions, as well as neighboring colleges and universities, were in attendance to welcome President Luxton to her new role.
“I think one of the hardest times is when you're just sitting in vespers or church and everything is fine... until the speaker says something negative about homosexuality and how wrong and sinful it is. Suddenly the people around you and the congregation echo their amens and you've never felt so small before. And then in the dorm and on campus people proudly proclaim their homophobic slurs/comments and your friends laugh along. You feel like no matter how good, how friendly, how Christ-like you try to be, no one will like you if they knew the real you.