The busy summer season is upon Montreat as thousands of young people come for the summer youth conferences, while cottager owners, retreaters, and vacationers settle into the valley for renewal, recreation, and rest.
Sunday, July 2, Montreat Conference Center’s summer worship series continues with the Rev. Dr. Ted Wardlaw, president of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, at 10:30 am in Anderson Auditorium. Dr. Wardlaw is no stranger to Montreat’s creeks, barn dances, and paddle boats – or its pulpit: “My life in Montreat began when I was three years old and my parents purchased our cottage on Virginia Road. Almost every year thereafter, we would be there for a great deal of the summer.”
Reminiscing about those growing-up summers comes easy for him: “My brother, who is nine years older than me, worked for years with the summer conference staff – some years working the gate, other years working with the Clubs program, and in his college years running the sound board at Anderson Auditorium. I was almost always involved as a participant in the Clubs program. When I was twelve, my parents took me to hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as he addressed a capacity crowd in Anderson Auditorium. Since my brother was running the sound board that night, my whole family was there for that occasion which had a huge impact on me.”
Dr. Wardlaw graduated from Presbyterian College, in Clinton, SC, and Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA, and from there, earned a graduate degree in American history at Yale University Divinity School. He is married to Dr. Kay Bryant, a practicing psychologist. They have two adult daughters who live in Brooklyn, NY.
“My call to the ministry was subtle, not dramatic,” says Dr. Wardlaw. “I heard God’s voice through the ministry and witness of my parents, and through the encouragement of countless others who added their own accents and inflections to that calling voice of God.”
His pastorates have included Germantown Presbyterian Church in suburban Memphis, TN; Grand Avenue Presbyterian Church in Sherman, TX; Setauket Presbyterian Church in Setauket, Long Island, NY; and for twelve years, Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA. In 2002, he accepted the call to become the president of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, TX, where he is now in his fifteenth year:
“The most challenging piece of that work is navigating the seminary through the choppy waters of our national and global culture in these days; and the most rewarding piece of that work is sending our graduates out into that culture – its churches, graduate schools, chaplaincies, and various non-profit institutions to touch the future as a telling presence of God’s ongoing involvement in our lives and in our world.”
All of the summer Sunday services in the series are at 10:30 am in Anderson Auditorium, just off Assembly Drive in Montreat. Child care is available for children six months through kindergarten at the Updike Child Care Center on Texas Road.
As is the summer tradition, the community is invited to the lunch buffet at 11:45 am in the Assembly Inn’s Galax Dining Room following worship. Lunch tickets can be purchased at the Assembly Inn front desk.
For further information or to learn about other worship, educational, and recreational opportunities at Montreat, visit www.montreat.org, or call 828.669.2911.