terence lester headshot

Riverside, Calif. (Nov. 8, 2023) – The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences will hold its next event for the Culture and Justice Lecture Series on Nov. 16.

The lecture will feature Dr. Terence Lester, a minister, speaker, author and founder of Love Beyond Walls, a not-for-profit organization focused on poverty awareness and community mobilization. The title of his lecture is “When We Stand Together: Embracing Community and Calling.” We asked him about the topic.

 What will your talk be about?
The last four years specifically have been the toughest years we have seen yet, with racial unrest, COVID-19, inflation, and increased disparities, the rise in new homelessness cases, unaffordability and even war. We've also seen people go into their bubbles and become indifferent, apathetic, and even distant from the sufferings of others. My talk is one that will seek to discuss the power of community and how the way forward is through togetherness, and how seeking justice cannot be singular, but from a communal approach. It is my hope that people who hear my words will be inspired to chase their calling but not without doing so in community.

Why is that topic so important to you?
I would not be engaged in the work that I'm engaged in or have the wisdom that I have and be who I am as a follower of Jesus had it not been for community. Community is not my plan; it is not a pastor’s plan or a politician's plan; it is God's plan. I believe that community, because it's God's plan, is needed for the hard times in which we live. People can have their lives changed in community. People can find empowerment in community, but most importantly, people can find the loving embrace of God in community. This is why I am passionate about community.

What do you hope the audience gets from the message?
The three most important things that I hope the audience walks away with from this message are:
1. To pursue the call of God in our lives, we must be surrounded by a community of people who are supporting us and loving us as we journey toward that call.
2. True impact and lasting impact are cultivated and sustained in community. When we come together, the powerful force of togetherness is able to be leveraged by God to address the problems of our present moment.
3. Our compassion must be a driving force moving us to build longer tables and work to dispel the cold chill of division in our world. Because division doesn’t glorify Jesus. It is when we do this that we understand the importance of community over isolation, and we are able to find our place in the community to do God's work.

Culture and Justice Lecture Series

“When We Stand Together: Embracing Community and Calling”

When: 6 p.m. Nov. 16

Where: Innovators Auditorium, California Baptist University, 8432 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, CA 92504

The series invites professionals in the behavioral science and community development fields to share their experiences with students. Speakers also provide information on current trends, practices and research within their respective professions. Building upon a foundation of over 40 years of behavioral science education in the Inland Empire, CBSS is excited to expand its reach – building bridges among students, community partners and nationally recognized experts.

Contact CBU Marketing and Communication

Vice President for Marketing and Communication:
Angela Meluski
Email: ameluski@calbaptist.edu

8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504