A prominent pastor was allegedly disinvited from speaking at Morehouse College’s baccalaureate service this week after he criticized President Barack Obama, who will deliver the school’s commencement address.
The Rev. Kevin Johnson, a Morehouse alumnus and the senior pastor of Bright Hope Baptist Church in North Philadelphia, Pa., wrote an opinion column earlier this month in the Philadelphia Tribune accusing Obama of neglecting the black community in his cabinet picks–they’re overwhelmingly white–and broader political agenda.
The day after the article ran, Johnson said, Morehouse President John Silvanus Wilson, Jr. phoned to express reservations about his “untimely” comments regarding President Obama. Johnson asked administrators to honor their invitation, but learned days later he had been replaced by three alternate speakers.
Now, a group of two dozen pastors who lead churches across the country are demanding Morehouse re-invite Johnson.
“If President Wilson turns his back on one of our most distinguished alums because of an exercise of free speech and political commentary, he will have set Morehouse on a dangerous course and departed from the great tradition bequeathed to us,” Rev. Dr. Amos Brown of the Third Baptist Church in San Francisco, Ca. told East Atlanta Patch, which aggregated the comments of other outraged alums.
UPDATE: In open letter to faculty, students and alumni, Morehouse’s top administrator vigorously denied allegations the school disinvited Johnson because he criticized the president.
- James Richardson