CEDARVILLE, Ohio—Students and faculty of Cedarville University were honored to hear Dr. John McNeal speak during chapel Monday, Jan. 16, a day marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. McNeal is pastor of Atlanta Bible Baptist Church, Decatur, Georgia, which he founded in 1964.

The chapel began with his daughter Kezia Curry, a Cedarville alumna, singing two freedom songs, including “We Shall Overcome” sung a capella. She encouraged everyone to listen for the dual hope of freedom on this earth and freedom from sin for all eternity. 

Dr. McNeal continued the theme “We Shall Overcome” in his message. “Weaving lessons of African-American history with his personal story, Dr. McNeal shared hope for racial reconciliation that is found only in Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life,” says Janice Supplee, vice president for marketing and communications at the university. “Dr. McNeal spoke as a senior statesman—a man who has endured discrimination, models forgiveness, and points all of us to Scripture for ultimate answers.”

Atlanta Bible Baptist Church is affiliated with both the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches and the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship Association. For the last two years, McNeal has instructed students taking part in Cedarville’s Civil Rights Bus Tour. The tour, which visits historical sites from the Civil Rights movement in Alabama and Tennessee, has been held every year since 2012 in order to embrace racial reconciliation.

  • Listen to or watch Dr. John McNeal’s message, “We Shall Overcome: The 8 Dispensations of African Americans” at Cedarville.edu.