Charles Haynes, the founding director of the Religious Freedom Center, delivered the 2018 Walter B. and Kay W. Shurden Lectures on Religious Liberty and Separation of Church and State at Mercer University on March 20-21. His three lectures addressed “Liberty of conscience and the future of American democracy,” “Standing up for justice and freedom in an age of conflict and division,” and “From background to common ground: A First Amendment vision for religious liberty in public life.”
Haynes is a nationally-recognized expert on the intersection of the First Amendment and public schools. He has drafted consensus guidelines on religion and values in public schools, and co-authored Finding Common Ground: A First Amendment Guide to Religion and Public Schools.
The Baptist Joint Committee has presented the Shurden Lectures annually since 2004 to address issues of religious liberty and separation of church and state.