The Rev. Dr. Nilous Avery to speak at Livingstone’s Founder’s Day on Thursday
By Laurie D. Willis
Livingstone College News Service
SALISBURY – The President of the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, Inc., which has more than 600,000 members in more than 1,400 churches and is one of the largest and oldest African-American organizations in the Southeastern United States, will deliver the Founder’s Day address at Livingstone College on Thursday.
The Rev. Dr. Nilous M. Avery, II will speak during the annual event, which honors the legacy of Livingstone College’s founder and first President, Dr. Joseph Charles Price.
The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. inside Varick Auditorium and is open to the public.
A native of Asheville, Avery is the oldest of four children born to the late Reverend Dr. Nilous M. Avery, Sr., and the late Christine Watson Avery. His father served more than 51 years as Pastor of Asheville’s Hill Street Baptist Church, and his mother served more than 40 years as a classroom educator and educational administrator in North Carolina.
Avery has continued his parents’ legacy. He’s been pastor of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Salisbury since 1992, and prior to that he taught in Asheville City Schools. Avery was chosen Asheville’s Teacher of the Year in 1989, and his peers elected him president of the Asheville Unit of the North Carolina Association of Educators. He finished his career in public education by serving as an assistant principal in Asheville City Schools.
Since Avery took over the helm at Mount Zion, the city’s second-oldest African-American Baptist church, the institution has become recognized as a moral force in the Rowan County community.
Avery’s impact on the larger community is evident by the many board appointments he has received. He’s served on the boards of the Salisbury-Rowan Habitat for Humanity, Salisbury-Rowan Communities in Schools, Rowan County Helping Ministries, Rowan County Arts Council and the former Rowan Regional Medical Center, now Novant Health Rowan Medical Center. For eight years, he sat on the board of directors of the Rowan County Department of Social Services and has the distinction of having been both vice chairman and chairman.
Avery is an active pastor/member of Rowan Missionary Baptist Association and has served as chairman of its Ordination Council. At Livingstone College, he serves on the United Negro College Fund Leadership Committee. As the chief Missionary Baptist in North Carolina, he represents the convention as a trustee of Shaw University, on the board of directors of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. and on the executive committee of Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Missions Convention.
Avery, who has one son, Joshua, holds a bachelor of arts degree and a master of divinity degree from Shaw University in Raleigh, the oldest Historically Black College in the south. He earned his doctor of ministry from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury.
“Livingstone College is honored to have Dr. Avery serve as our 2016 Founder’s Day speaker,” said Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. “Dr. Avery is well-respected in Salisbury, throughout North Carolina and beyond. He is a powerful speaker who I am confident will deliver a sage message for not only Livingstone’s students but also our faculty, staff, alumni and others who come out to hear his message. I am very grateful he accepted the call to participate in our Founder’s Day celebration.”
Bishop George E. Battle, Jr., senior bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and chairman of the Livingstone College board of trustees, will bring greetings on Thursday, as will Dr. Wyndham Whynot, president of the Faculty Assembly for 2015-2016, and Student Government Association President Raven Weathers. Music will be provided by The Livingstone College Concert Choir, under the direction of Dr. DaVaughn L. Miller, chairman of the Music & Theater Arts Department.
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