Wells explores the meaning of biblical locusts

Buies Creek, N.C.–Locust plagues were sometimes used biblically as agents of God’s wrath against those who opposed Him. In a lecture delivered at Campbell University’s Butler Chapel on Tuesday, March 22, Dr. Samuel Wells, Dean of Duke University Chapel, ascribed another meaning to biblical “locusts.” Wells, who was the Campbell Divinity School’s Cammack Institute of Preaching lecturer, used locusts as a metaphor for the plagues on people’s lives caused by bewilderment and despair.

He told the stories of two men, one whose brother was in prison facing year after year of uncertainty and another who grew up with a dangerous father, making his home a place of fear.

 “Those years of fear and anxiety colored all of their relationships in later life,” Wells added. “But God promises to restore the years the ‘locusts’ have destroyed. Given time, understanding and discernment, bad experiences can be distilled into wisdom and compassion. The word is ‘resurrection,’ and resurrection gives us back our past as a gift that heals our wretched histories.”

The Dean of Duke University Chapel since 2005, Wells’ holds a master’s degree in modern history from Merton College, Oxford, a B.D. in Systematic Theology from Edinburgh University and a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics from Durham University. In addition to his role at Duke Chapel, Wells is Research Professor of Christian Ethics at Duke Divinity School and has published seven academic titles. Since 2004, he has been an honorary canon theologian in the Diocese of Chichester, UK, a role that involves occasional lectures and lay and clergy training and formation.

The Campbell Divinity School Cammack Institute of Preaching Lecture series is named in honor of Dr. James C. Cammack, pastor of Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in Fayetteville for 30 years. Cammack is a graduate of Baylor University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. During his tenure at Snyder Memorial, over 5,000 people became members of the church. Cammack’s son Chris established the James C. Cammack Institute of Preaching Lectures at Campbell in 2011 to honor is father’s love and legacy of preaching.


Photo Copy: Dr. Samuel Wells, Dean of Duke University Chapel, addresses the congregation at Campbell University’s Butler Chapel.