I was reading the Manhattan Declaration all the way through and looking at the list of original signers again and I just noticed this: one of the three members of the drafting committee is Timothy George, Dean and Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School*, Samford University. That’s right here in Birmingham! (I suppose it would actually be in Homewood, which is right outside of but not part of Birmingham properly speaking.) How about that? Made me smile when I saw it. Oh, here’s another local signer: Dr. David Platt, Pastor, Church at Brook Hills. Well, well, whaddaya know? Other names of note (that I noted because I recognize them) are listed below.
- Kay Arthur
CEO and Co-founder, Precept Ministries International (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
- Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput
Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver
- Chuck Colson
Founder, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview (Lansdowne, Va.)
- Marjorie Dannenfelser
President, Susan B. Anthony List (Arlington, Va.)
- Most Rev. Timothy Dolan
Archbishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of New York, N.Y.
- Dr. William Donohue
President, Catholic League (New York)
- Dinesh D’Souza
Writer and Speaker (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.)
- Fr. Joseph D. Fessio
Founder and Editor, Ignatius Press (Ft. Collins, Colo.)
- Dr. Peter Kreeft
Professor of Philosophy, Boston College (Mass.) and at the Kings College (N.Y.)
- Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted
Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix
- Dr. J.I. Packer
Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent College (Canada)
- Tony Perkins
President, Family Research Council (Washington, D.C.)
- His Eminence Justin Cardinal Rigali
Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia
- Fr. Robert Sirico (I love seeing Fr Sirico on EWTN’s The World Over!)
Founder, Acton Institute (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
- Joni Eareckson Tada
Founder and CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center (Agoura Hills, Calif.)
- George Weigel
Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center (Washington, D.C.)
- Most Rev. Donald W. Wuerl
Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
- Ravi Zacharias
Founder and Chairman of the Board, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (Norcross, Ga.)
And that’s to name a few, the ones whose names I thought would be recognizable to a broad range of folks. I’m so glad to see this happening, Christians of various ecclesial groups or communions coming together, finding unity in the stand for life.
*About Beeson Divinity School: Did you know that “Ralph Beeson provided the largest gift from a living individual in Samford history to establish the first divinity school at a Baptist college or university in the nation.” I did not know that! Quoted from Our Founding. And you might find this interesting, too. The chapel at Beeson is very different from every other Baptist chapel I’ve ever been in. Here’s a quote from the Wiki.
The focal point of the divinity school is the Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel, dedicated in 1995 and named in honor of Andrew Gerow Hodges in 2002. Though an original design, it was inspired by a chapel in Venice designed by Andrea Palladio. The interior of the dome contains paintings of prominent figures from Christian history and was inspired by a passage in chapter 12 of Hebrews. It was painted by a modern Romanian fresco master named Petru Botezatu. The chapel also commemorates one 20th century Christian martyr from each of the six inhabited continents, and the sculptures portraying each of them are also the work of Botezatu.
Download or view the chapel guidebook PDF. See page 21 for a big photo of the beautiful dome (most unusual in Baptist architecture!). Or view a whole page of links to images of buildings at Beeson and Samford.