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Alumnus Clergyman Publishes First Book

Barkley-Thompson-at-CCCCONWAY, Ark. (December 4, 2013) – Hendrix alumnus the Very Rev. Barkley Thompson’s first book Elements of Grace will be published this month by Trinity Books.

Thompson, a 1995 Hendrix graduate, is dean of Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal) in Houston, Texas.

Before coming to Christ Church Cathedral in early 2013, Thompson was rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Roanoke, Va., for six years. Before that he served for four years as rector of the Church of the Holy Apostles in Collierville, Tenn. All royalties from the book will be donated to the outreach ministries of Holy Apostles-Collierville, Tenn.; St. John's-Roanoke, Va.; and Christ Church Cathedral.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion from Hendrix, Thompson earned a master of arts degree in religious studies from the University of Chicago, and the M.Div. from the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas.  

Thompson will be the featured speaker Jan. 5 and 12 on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, the nationally syndicated ecumenical radio program also accessible online at In 2014 “Day 1” begins its 69th year of weekly broadcasts. 

His sermon for Jan. 5, Epiphany Sunday, drawing from Matthew 2:1-12, is entitled “Whose Side Are We On?” “I suggest to you on this Sunday that is the Eve of the Epiphany that we look with fresh eyes at the story of the Magi. Forget for a few moments the wonderful Wise Men costumes that children wore in last month’s Christmas pageant. Set aside even the words of ‘We Three Kings’ that hone our minds to this story in this season. Let’s look at this account as Holy Scripture gives it to us. When we see it this way, one conclusion is inescapable: The Magi were spies.”

Thompson’s sermon for Jan. 12, based on Matthew 3:13-17, is entitled “Secret Identity.” “On this day of the Baptism of our Lord, we are called to remember into whom we are baptized. At his own baptism God spoke to Jesus, and half a Gospel later God spoke to the disciples, saying, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, in whom I am well pleased.’ That only is truly Jesus. That is his identity. And in baptism, Jesus’ identity becomes our own true selves. We emerge from the water reborn into him.”

Each program includes interviews with Thompson conducted by Wallace, who is executive producer.

“Day 1,” has been broadcast every week for nearly 69 years, formerly as “The Protestant Hour.” Featuring outstanding preachers from the mainline denominations, “Day 1” is currently distributed to more than 200 radio stations across America and overseas. The program is produced by the Alliance for Christian Media, based in Atlanta, Ga.

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Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the sixth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report.  Hendrix is featured in the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, as well as the 2014 Princeton Review’s The Best 378 Colleges, Forbes magazine's list of America's Top Colleges, and the 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit