The Rev. Dr. Kevin R. Murriel, senior pastor of Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta, will be the keynote speaker for the 2017 Fall Commencement, which will be a combined ceremony for undergraduates and graduates.
The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 8, in the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center. Due to expected full capacity, overflow will be in the Rose E. McCoy Auditorium.
Murriel is a biblical scholar and arguably one of the greatest visionaries and orators of this generation. He is a native Mississippian and a 2008 graduate of Jackson State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration. Also, he was named the 2008 “Student of the Year” for the College of Business.
Murriel received his Master of Divinity degree from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Duke University – also being named by the dean and doctoral committee as the Degree Marshal of the 2014 doctoral cohort. He was the youngest person and first African-American in the program’s history to receive such a designation. An elder in full connection in the North Georgia Conference, Murriel leads more than 5,000 members at Cascade.
A dynamic preacher, avid reader and social activist, Murriel’s research focuses on translating the methods of the Civil Rights Movement into a modern day strategy for social justice and racial reconciliation. His doctoral dissertation, “Unveiling Racism: Racial Reconciliation and a Heterogeneous Model for American Christian Life,” takes strategies deployed during the Mississippi Church Visit Campaign of 1964 to desegregate white churches and offers the Church a universal formula for racial reconciliation, hope and progress.
Murriel is author of two books and is founder and owner of Redd House Publishers, LLC, a publishing company committed to producing and distributing Christian books that make a difference in academic, social and ecclesial arenas. His newest book, “Breaking the Color Barrier: A Vision for Church Growth through Racial Reconciliation,” was named to the 2015 Hot New Releases List on Amazon. The book addresses the growing need for churches to model reconciliation in a racially divided society.
Since accepting his call to ministry at age 18, Murriel has shown a significant record of helping people live with confidence by encouraging them to develop and maintain a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. He is a community leader and faithfully serves on several boards that include the Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA, the Georgia Higher Education Commission, the Atlanta College Park District Committee on Ministry, the North Georgia Board of Congregational Development, and The Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute.
For leading the church with the highest percentage growth from 2015-2016, Murriel received the 2016 Denman Award for Evangelism in the Atlanta College Park District. Gammon Theological Seminary also named him the 2016 Emerging Prophetic Leader. Additionally, he has served as chaplain for the day at the Georgia State Senate and is a featured speaker at churches and events throughout the country.
Murriel is an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and believes that one should work hard to achieve in every field of human endeavor.
Murriel is married to Dr. Ashleigh Murriel, a native of Atlanta, and they are the proud parents of a daughter, Scarlett Grace. They serve as executives of The Murriel Foundation, Inc., a 501c(3) nonprofit organization committed to developing young leaders from minority populations.
His motto in life is “Live God, Love God, Follow God; and in all things, stay the course!”