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Kingsport church hosting events to celebrate Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary

Staff Report • Sep 12, 2017 at 7:30 PM

KINGSPORT — Concordia Lutheran Church is sponsoring two lectures and a hymn sing to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

The events are free to the public and will be held at the church, located at 725 Truxton Drive.

The Protestant Reformation began in 1517 when a little-known monk and scholar, Martin Luther, posted a document, called his “95 Theses,” on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany.

The document attacked the Catholic Church’s practice of selling “indulgences” to absolve sin, and it put forward two central beliefs: that the Bible is the central religious authority and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds.

Luther’s writings quickly gained popularity and led to the emergence of Protestantism. Later called the Protestant Reformation, the new thinking changed the course of religious and cultural history in the West.

The first lecture will be Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. and will feature Martin Dotterwich, who has served as a professor at King University for 13 years. Dotterwich currently chairs both the history and political science departments at King, and his publications and research deal with the Reformation in Scotland and the English Bible.

Dotterwich’s lecture will focus on the “heroes” of the Reformation, such as Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli and Thomas Cranmer. He will also examine the importance of martyrs and their stories and “celebrate the heroism of ordinary believers, those who by their daily devotion and fidelity cemented the Reformation in homes and villages.”

Dotterwich’s lecture will be followed by questions from the audience and a reception.

The church will also hold two other anniversary events in October. A lecture by Jake MacAulay, CEO of the Institute on the Constitution, will be held Oct. 5, and a hymn sing will be held Oct. 28.

The hymn sing will be planned and led by David Hendricksen, director of music ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Greeneville.

For more information, contact the Rev. Paul Becker at (423) 247-3582 or bygrace4u@embarqmail.com.

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