the carl spain center
Experience a renewed “inward orientation.”
Dr. Jerry Andrew Taylor
Founding Director of the Carl Spain Center
Dr. Taylor is the Associate Professor of Bible, Missions and Ministry at Abilene Christian University. In 1984 he received a Bachelor of Arts in Bible from Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, Texas. In 1988 Dr. Taylor received a Master of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and went on to complete his doctorate in ministry at Perkins School of Theology in 1995. Prior to moving to Abilene Dr. Taylor and his family served in the Bankhead area of the inner city of Atlanta, Georgia. On top of serving as the Director of the Carl Spain Center, Dr. Taylor travels extensively speaking on college campuses, conferences, and retreats. He is the author of “Courageous Compassion. He has began many initiatives such as the New Wineskins Retreat, the National Freedom in Christ Conference, the Young Scholars Retreat, and most recently the Racial Unity Leadership Summit (RULS) and RULS Spiritual Retreat. He is married to Patricia (Bowden) Taylor formerly of Houston, Texas. They have been married for 26 years and have two children, Alisha (26) and Jeremiah (22). The Taylor family lives in Abilene, Texas.
I am originally from Dallas, TX. I graduated from ACU in May 2021 with a degree in Information Systems. The Carl Spain Center allows me to do what I feel God has called me to do, serve. During my time here I have been able to participate in projects that have educated and bettered not only the community of Abilene but communities around the United States. Doing this type of work brings true joy to my heart.
Having grown up in the Mississippi Delta in the 60’s and 70’s, Dr. King’s declaration of Sunday mornings at 11 o’clock as “the most segregated hour in America” resonates with me. I began my journey toward racial reconciliation among Churches of Christ when I served as the coordinator for the 2011 and 2013 National Freedom in Christ Conferences, both convened by Dr. Jerry Taylor, who subsequently founded the Carl Spain Center on Race Studies and Spiritual Action. I am a front row witness to the value of the Spain Center’s work as I have seen how God uses it to transform lives and create new possibilities for racial unity. It is truly an honor to serve as the Spain Center’s funding consultant and to assist with resourcing the organization’s vision.
Tryce Prince lives in Chicago with his wife Erin and their daughter Nanyori. He is a member of Progressive Baptist Church, a Sociologist-in-training at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He is currently working on a multi-year dissertation project researching the Black experience in predominantly White Christian spaces. In addition to race and religion, his research interests include the sociology of morality and the study of social movements related to White nationalism.
Spain Center Intern and Billy Curl & Bonner Scholarship Recipient
Maxwell Harrison is a Management and Marketing major from San Antonio. To me, work at the Carl Spain is an honor and something to uphold at my time at ACU. I am honored to receive a scholarship in the name of the Larry Bonner and Billy Curl. It shows to me that I am capable of achieving more at a university level academically and spiritually. I want to further my understanding of racial biases and how to navigate through them in my life and how to help others understand each other.
I hope to gain a wealth of understanding, and be made uncomfortable with how much I learn and experience. Growth as a spiritual individual is something I value highly, and I believe the Spain Center can provide experiences that will foster great spiritual growth. I want to gain a network as well, that I use to broaden my horizons as a college student, and gain insight to what the professional world has to offer.
D.J. Hewitt is a criminal justice major with a minor in legal studies and originally from Lubbock, TX. The Spain center dedicates its entire existence to accentuating the stories, perspectives and occurrences that African American men and women have faced and will face. The work of the Spain Center gives a voice where there isn’t any. To me, this means I can be a part of the solution and help other students who don’t look like they understand everything about me more. I think the main thing I want from this internship with the Spain center and its work is the ability to verbalize and gain some of my humanity back. My voice has been bleeding dry for long enough and being in this position that I’m in now, is helping me gain a-lot more than I thought I could ever ask for.
Tia Morris is a Criminal Justice major with a minor in Sociology, from Houston, Texas. The work of the Carl Spain Center sheds light on the lives of African American and what they experience on this campus and around the country. For me, this means that I can be able to help come up with solutions to the problems we experience and bring our people a voice that has been taken away from them. What I hope to learn from this internship is more of the deeper, underlying problems that African Americans face that not everyone looking in from the outside would even be able to see.
Ohyandis Mentroe is a Liberian and an International Scholar majoring in Finance at Abilene Christian University. He is also an intended student of international law and international business law, and by extension, a student of international relations. Ohyandis is a research intern at the Carl Spain Center, and currently working on a presentation on The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 and the connections between Liberia and the African-American community.
I have always been a lover of history and one who believes that human nature cannot be cataloged. I believe that God created all things very wonderfully and all men very equally. I’m thankful beyond measure to have come to know the Carl Spain Center through the mentorship of Dr. Jerry Taylor, and I’m exceedingly glad to be a part of the wonderful work CSC is doing throughout the United States and the world at large.