Two Samford University graduates who serve together at the First
Baptist Church of Knoxville, Tenn., are the guest worship leaders for the
annual homecoming worship Nov. 8.
The service is at 10 a.m. in Samford’s Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel.
William D. (Bill) Shiell, class of 1994, will preach. Worship leader is Kely G. Hatley, class
of 1992. Shiell is senior pastor
and Hatley is minister of music at the Knoxville church.
This year’s service is the 15th homecoming
worship service. The first service
was Oct. 25, 1995, in what was then the new divinity chapel. The original service was an opportunity
to showcase the new chapel for alumni returning for homecoming, according to
J.M. (Monty) Hogewood, who was director of alumni relations at the time. Hogewood is now a senior advancement
officer for Samford.
The first service featured popular religion faculty member
Sigurd Bryan preaching and attracted an overflow crowd, Hogewood said. The service has been so popular that it
continues as a part of the homecoming weekend celebration. In recent years, the tradition has been
to use Samford graduates as the worship leaders, and the guest speaker usually
is from one of the reunion classes.
For several years, the Samford Ministries Choir has sung for the
From the first year, the service also has always included a
brief time of remembrance for alumni who died during the previous year,
Hogewood said. Another tradition
is concluding the service with the singing of the Samford Alma Mater, arranged
by alumnus Timothy P. Banks, class of 1974.
Other alumni and students who will participate in worship
leadership include Ben Telfair, current student president of university
ministries; retired faculty member Harold Hunt, class of 1954; retired
administrator Jean Bridges Thomason, class of 1964; MaryAnn Buffington Moon,
class of 1976, a Huntsville, Ala., teacher; and Taylor Clement, class of 2007,
a teacher and administrator from Nashville. Joshua Bullock, a junior music major from Anniston, Ala.,
will be organist.
University Minister Matt Kerlin will preside at this year’s