EMU will commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a chapel service and several other special events, all open to the public. Photo by Dick DeMarsico, New York World-Telegram and the Sun. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Former Air Force Officer to Remember King

A former officer in the U.S. Air Force, Glen Guyton, will anchor Eastern Mennonite University’s commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

At a Jan. 12, 8:30 p.m., Common Grounds Coffeehouse, Guyton’s topic will be “Contentiously Mennonite: My Journeys in Anabaptism.” At a university chapel on Jan. 16, at 10 a.m., Guyton will speak on attaining dreams by squarely facing old fears and putting hope in Christ, even when it seems risky, as King did.

Glen Guyton will anchor EMU's commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday celebration during university chapel on Monday, Jan. 16, at 10 a.m. Guyton will also speak on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 8:30 p.m., in Common Grounds coffee house.

Guyton also knows about taking risks. He started his adult life on a proven path to success by first earning his bachelor’s degree at the prestigious United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and then serving as a U.S. Air Force officer stationed in Norfolk, Va.

Somewhere in his journey, however, he began to feel that Jesus was calling him to be “subversive and radical” in his witnessing of the Gospel and to question America’s glorification of power, wealth and violence.

Influenced by his future wife Cyndi, Guyton became deeply involved in a Mennonite church in Hampton, Va., Calvary Community Church. He became a conscientious objector and withdrew from the military in 1998. For 17 years Guyton held various ministry roles in Calvary, including youth pastor. By 2006, Calvary had the largest membership of any Mennonite church in the United States. Calvary is led and largely populated by African Americans.

In 2009, Guyton joined the staff of Mennonite Church USA. He now works from San Antonio, Texas, as the church’s national director of constituent resources.

Part of Guyton’s responsibilities is giving leadership to anti-racism work within the Mennonite Church. “As our church seeks to become anti-racist, the dominant group must have accountability to the racial/ethnic constituency in the decision making process,” says Guyton.

A dynamic personality, Guyton has spoken to thousands of youth and adults in the United States, Jamaica, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Ghana. He holds a master’s degree in education from Regent University. The Guytons are the parents of a 14-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son.

Tribute Weekend

In addition to Guyton, EMU will hold an ongoing multimedia presentation from Friday, Jan. 13 – Monday, Jan. 16., in front of the student life suite on the second floor of University Commons.

All events are open to the public.