Free lecture explores the problem of slavery through the eyes of Civil War Era Cumberland Presbyterians

MCKENZIE, TN – The public is invited to explore the impact of slavery on long-ago Cumberland Presbyterians during the Dr. James Potts History Symposium beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 21 at the Bethel University campus. The Dr. James Potts History Symposium was named after Dr. James Potts, long-time professor of history at Bethel University.

The speaker will be West Tennessee native Dr. William Black, who graduated from the Honors Program at Bethel University in 2011 with a degree in history.  Black recently received his PhD from Rice University and specializes in 19th Century Religious History and Southern History.  He has been published in the Journal of the Civil War Era, Journal of Popular Culture, The Washington Post, Vox, and The Atlantic.

Now a visiting instructor of history from Western Kentucky University, Dr. Black will present “Border States, Border Church: Cumberland Presbyterians and the Problem of Slavery” in the Ayers Lecture Hall.

Sponsored by the Bethel University Department of History and the Honors Program, the event is free and open to everyone.  For more information, please contact Dr. Sarah Kidd, Professor of History and Chair, Division of Social Sciences at or Dr. Dan Dalrymple, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program Director at