An Open Letter from President Pistole

Dear Campus Community,

We are in a time of significant trauma in this country. One of the questions I have been wrestling with is: How do I, as a Christ-follower, and a member of our AU Community, deal with the trauma of systemic racism and racial tension, coupled with the ongoing pandemic? A portion of my response is found in our university’s five core values, all based on the teachings of Christ: generosity, responsibility, servant Leadership, integrity, and excellence. As I seek to apply these values to the current situation, I strive to offer salt and light to a hurting world. If you haven’t read the messages from Church of God General Director, Jim Lyon, and the leadership of the General Assembly, Rev. Tim Clarke, Rev. Eric Livingston and Rev. Vincent Miller, I encourage you to do so for additional Biblical context and perspectives.

To my African American/Black sisters and brothers, my heart aches for the family of George Floyd, and for others whose lives were taken in this manner. I don’t pretend to understand the racism you have been experiencing for a lifetime. What I do know is that I’m called, with God’s leading, to help bring peace and Biblical reconciliation to every situation I encounter. Where there’s injustice, to work for accountability and change that helps bring about justice.  Where there is strife, to pray and work for peace. 

I am proud to be a part of a campus community that has a 100+ year history of being peacemakers. Years ago, my father, Rev. Dr. Hollis Pistole, was president of the Peace Fellowship here on campus. The current moment provides us with the opportunity to respond, peacefully yet powerfully, in a way that is Christ-honoring.  We are called to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8). How is God calling you?

Peace,
John Pistole

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.

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