Minister, author and educator Meyers to visit Ozarks Jan. 25-26

Release Date: 12/11/2012

Renowned author, speaker and educator the Rev. Dr. Robin R. Meyers will visit University of the Ozarks on Jan. 25-26 as part of the University's 2012-2013 Walton Arts & Ideas Series.

Meyers, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC) and a tenured professor in the philosophy department at Oklahoma City University, will present a pair of public events during his visit to Ozarks.

At 7:30 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 25, Meyers will give a lecture and book signing for his recent book, The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus. The lecture will be held in Rowntree Recital Hall, in the University's Walton Fine Arts Building. On Saturday, Jan. 26, there will be a showing of the HBO documentary, The Execution of Wanda Jean, at 9:30 a.m. in the Boreham Business Building, followed by a discussion led by Meyers on the issues surrounding the death penalty and the conflicts it presents in regards to the Christian faith. Both of the Saturday events will be held in Baldor Auditorium and are free and open to the public.

The Rev. Dr. Robin R. Meyers.

Renowned author, speaker and educator the Rev. Dr. Robin R. Meyers will be at Ozarks in January to give a lecture and hold a book signing for his book, "The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus."

Meyers is also a syndicated columnist and an award-winning commentator for national Public Radio. He has been senior minister of Mayflower Congregational UCC church of Oklahoma City since 1985.

He is the author of several books, including the 2012-release "The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus," in which Meyers proposes that "the best way to recapture the spirit of the early Christian church is to recognize that Jesus-following was and must be again subversive in the best sense of the word because the gospel taken seriously turns the world upside down."

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said, "Robin Meyers has spoken truth to power, and the church he loves will never be the same."

Meyers is a member of the Jesus Seminar, and a frequent preacher and speaker at church conferences and communication workshops across the country. He was twice a finalist for the pulpit of The Riverside Church, the Earl Preacher at the Earl Lectures in Berkeley in 2000, and winner of the Angie Debo Civil Libertarian of the Year Award from the ACLU. He was featured in the HBO documentary, "The Execution of Wanda Jean," the story of the first woman executed in Oklahoma and of Meyers' efforts to save her life. His Sunday morning sermon broadcast reaches the largest listening audience of any religious broadcast in Oklahoma.

Meyers said his approach to Christianity is "non-literal, non-dogmatic, and profoundly subversive."

"As a pastor I seek to build, not a collection of 'believers,' but a beloved community devoted to emobodying peace and justice," he said. "In the classroom, I teach the ancient canons of rhetoric, urging my students to think critically and fearlessly about what they know and why they think they know it. My method of teaching and preaching is Socratic, grounded in the belief that the truth is accessible but often obscured, and that love is life's highest achievement."

Meyers was born in Oklahoma City, and grew up in Wichita, Kan. After graduating from Wichita State University, he went on to earn a master's of divinity degree from the Graduate Seminary of Phillips University, and a doctor of ministry degree from Drew University in Madison, N.J. In 1991, he was awarded a Ph.D. by the University of Oklahoma's Communication Department, for his work in the area of persuasion and preaching.