Published on February 20, 2023 by Diamond Nunnally  
Charlie Dates Headshot
Courtesy: Rev. Charlie E. Dates

Rev. Charlie E. Dates is the senior pastor of Salem Baptist Church and Progressive Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois. On March 27-28, Dates will give a sermon and lecture at Samford University for the Department of Biblical and Religious Studies annual Dotson M. Nelson Lecture. His talks will center around his forthcoming book on Christianity and social justice. 

"We are pleased to have one of the church's leading spokespersons, Rev. Charlie Dates, on campus to interact with our students and faculty," Professor and Preministerial Scholars Director Tyshawn Gardner said. "We are extremely grateful to have him in Birmingham and at Samford University for two days."  

Dates joined Progressive Baptist Church as the youngest senior pastor in the church’s history in 2011, and in January 2023, he became the senior pastor of Salem Baptist Church. He serves as an affiliate professor at Baylor University-George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Wheaton College. He is also a contributing author to Letters to a Birmingham Jail: A Response to the Words and Dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Say It: Celebrating Expository Preaching in the African American Tradition.  

"Rev. Dates offers a clarion voice and powerful model of gospel preaching and ministry and their relevance to social justice at a time when the world and the church need it most," Gardner said.  

"We are honored and privileged to have such an important voice come to speak with us about a Christian understanding and commitment to social justice in light of the challenges of our time," said Biblical and Religious Studies Chair Roy Ciampa.  

The Dotson McGinnis Nelson Junior Lectureship in Religion and Life was established in 1984 by Martha Holley and Howard Lamar Holley to honor Nelson and help Samford students grow in their intellectual and spiritual understanding of Christianity and its application to society. Nelson, a former Samford professor and pastor at Mountain Brook Baptist Church, had a long and significant ministry throughout the Southern Baptist Convention. 

Event details.  

Learn more about the Dotson M. Nelson Lecture.  

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.