Samford University religion professor James R. Barnette will be the speaker on the nationally syndicated ecumenical radio program, "Day 1," on Sunday, Sept. 15. His sermon topic, based on Jesus' parables of the lost sheep and lost coin in Luke 15:1-10, is entitled "Room at the Table."

 "The good news is that in Christ's ballroom there is space for everyone, even for the clean, healthy, antiseptic, righteous non-lepers of the world," says Barnette.   "There is a place at the table for the dullest of Pharisees and, yes, the dirtiest of sinners.  There is room for the most aimless of sheep and the most hidden of coins.  And always, there is rejoicing."

Barnette says the passage inspired him when Samford preministerial scholar and student government president Cameron Thomas preached on it in his preaching class last spring semester.

"I enjoyed it so much that I invited Cameron to preach it at Brookwood Baptist," said Barnette, who is teaching pastor at the Birmingham church and director of preministerial scholars at Samford.

When Barnette received the Day 1 invitation and saw the passage on the lectionary list, he knew he had his topic.

"Point of view played a significant role in Cameron's sermon as well as mine," said Barnette. "He approached it from the point of view of the lost coin, and I approached it from the point of view of the Pharisees who were listening to Jesus tell the parables."

Barnette, a Samford graduate, holds Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He was recently asked to serve on the Day 1 advisory board, which is comprised of renowned preachers and homileticians.

The program includes opening and closing interviews with Barnette conducted by host and executive producer Peter Wallace. The sermon and interviews were recorded in July. A brief video of Barnette offering a devotional reflection will appear on the Day 1 home page. After the sermon is broadcast, it will be posted as a resource for preachers.

Day 1, formerly known as The Protestant Hour, has been broadcast every week for 68 years. It features outstanding preachers from mainline denominations, and is distributed to more than 200 radio stations across America and overseas. Produced by the Alliance for Christian Media, it airs in rotation with other religious programs on the American Forces Radio Network to bases and ships in 188 countries.

For more information, call toll free 888-411-3291 or check the program's website:


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.