Spring 2017 Pages 40-41

As president of Oakwood Junior College from 1923 to 1932, Joseph A. Tucker was best known for presenting the best face of Oakwood before the general Adventist constituency through positive public relations. He accomplished this mainly by touring with Oakwood’s singing groups, by publishing The Oakwood Bulletin paper on a monthly basis, and by fostering friendly connections with board and conference leadership on all levels, especially the General Conference level. The student newspaper, then called The ACORN, was also first published during his presidency.
The Grammy, Stellar and Dove Award-nominated trio Virtue consists of sisters Heather Martin, Karima Kibble, and Ebony Holland. With nearly 20 years in the music industry, they are one of the best-selling Gospel female groups of all-time, known for hits such as “Get Ready,” “Put Your War Clothes On,” “Walk It Out,” “You Are,” and more. They released six projects between 1997 and 2006. After a lengthy hiatus, they returned to the industry in 2014.
When Elder Eric Calvin Ward answered the call to pastor the Oakwood College Church, it included the building of Oakwood’s first sanctuary. During his 21 year pastorate, the church membership increased to over 2,000. Pastor Ward also built the Mt. Calvary SDA Church in Huntsville and simultaneously shepherded both congregations. Under his leadership, phase one of the Oakwood Adventist Academy Elementary facility was completed in 1993. Pastor Ward also spread the gospel through radio evangelism and weekly newspaper columns. During his lifetime Pastor Ward baptized more than 5,000 precious souls into the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Mervyn A. Warren, Ph.D., D.Min., holds the distinction of being the individual who has served Oakwood for the longest period of time: 52.8 years before his retirement. His assignments have ranged from the classroom (English, Religion & Theology) to serving in several capacities as an administrator, including dean of the Religion & Theology Department, general vice president, vice president for Academic Affairs, assistant to the president, and provost. During the fall of 2010, Warren served as interim president of Oakwood University.
Mervyn E. Warren is an award-winning record producer, songwriter, arranger, pianist and vocalist. He has written, arranged, or produced songs for Barbara Streisand, Whitney Houston, Quincy Jones, the Richard Smallwood Singers, Sandi Patti, and many others. A major milestone was the Grammy award-winning Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration, much of which Warren produced and arranged. This recording captured the attention of executives at Touchstone Pictures, who invited Warren to Los Angeles in 1993, marking the beginning of career in film.

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