Forum presentation

Anabaptist, slave ‘common threads’ explored

Two Hesston (Kan.) College faculty members will address “Common Threads: Anabaptist and African-American Songs and Stories of Suffering and Hope” in a Bluffton University forum to be presented both Monday evening, Jan. 13, and Tuesday morning, Jan. 14, in Yoder Recital Hall.

Speaking, and singing, at 7 p.m. Monday and 11 a.m. Tuesday are Tony Brown, a faculty member in sociology and history as well as artist in residence at Hesston, and John Sharp, who teaches history and Bible and ministry at the college.

In their presentation, which is free and open to the public both days, Brown and Sharp give voice to Anabaptist martyrs and enslaved Africans through story and song. They explore the common themes of Anabaptist religious persecution of the 16th century and slaves’ racial suffering in the United States through the end of the Civil War. “Both groups suffered at the hands of legitimate authorities,” the Hesston faculty note, “and both found strength and hope in a redeeming and liberating God.”