Celebrating the Chaplain

Ohio Wesleyan’s Jon R. Powers to Be Inducted into MLK Board of Preachers

By Cole Hatcher

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University Chaplain Jon R. Powers has been selected for induction April 5 into the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where David A. Thomas, Ph.D., is president.

According to the college – the Rev. Dr. King’s alma mater – the Board of Preachers “is comprised of ordained clergy from the Christian tradition as well as faith leaders (Rabbis, Imams, Priests, Ministers) from a wide array of global spiritual and ethical traditions.”

“These diverse individuals have exhibited a commitment and promise,” the college states, “for using their religious positions of leadership to promote peace, tolerance, interfaith understanding, healing, reconciliation, nonviolence, moral cosmopolitan social progress, agapic justice, and care for the ecosystem.”

Powers, who joined the Ohio Wesleyan community in 1988, was selected for induction by the Rev. Dr. Lawrence Edward Carter Sr., dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel, director of the Martin Luther King Jr. College of Pastoral Leadership, and chair of the Howard Thurman Educational Trust.

The induction ceremony will be held one day after the 50th anniversary of King’s April 4, 1968, assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. King was 39.

Powers, who has long listed King among his heroes, said being part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers is a tremendous honor.

“I am blessed to work at a university and be in a church community that holds these principles as core values,” Powers said, “but if we rest on our laurels, we are wearing them on the wrong end. Core principles are hollow unless we are acting on them responsibly and passionately. That is my life goal.”

Ohio Wesleyan President Rock Jones, Ph.D., said the campus community is buzzing with news of Powers’ recognition.

“Jon is deeply committed to the tenets of civil rights for which the Rev. Dr. King ultimately gave his life,” Jones said. “We are pleased that Jon is being recognized for his lifetime of service with this important honor.”

Powers earned his Bachelor of Arts in public policy and ethnology from James Madison College at Michigan State University and his Master of Theology in Hebraic studies from the Boston University School of Theology. He completed postgraduate work in higher education administration at the School of Education, University of Michigan; Doctor of Ministry studies in campus ministry at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.; and Christian-Muslim studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Learn more about Powers and Ohio Wesleyan’s Office of the University Chaplain, including support for students of all faith traditions, at www.owu.edu/chaplain.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.