From the Cornerstone University Herald:
CU community prepares for Soulforce
Luke Stier 30.JAN.07
Following the peaceful example set by Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi, Soulforce will visit Cornerstone in late April to spread their message of freedom for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people.
Thirty-four different institutions will be visited this year on Soulforce’s “Equality Ride 2007.” At each stop, the group hopes to get out and interact with students. Last year, the first year of the ride, the group stopped at 19 Christian colleges and universities.
There are two different buses involved in the ride. One bus will visit 17 institutions in the western United States; the other bus will visit 17 institutions in the east. Cornerstone will be a part of the east bus ride. The Equality Riders will begin their tour when they leave Minneapolis, Minn. on March 7.
Jarrett Lucas, co-director of the east bus ride, said, “Our goal is to engage students at all of our stops.” He explained that there will be 26 people from all over the country on the bus that visits Cornerstone University. Included in the number are two Michigan residents.
Two stops will be made in the state of Michigan, one at Cornerstone and the other just down the East Beltline at Calvin College. Lucas explained that all of the stops seem to have some sort of personal value to the group. For instance, there is a straight male Princeton graduate on the ride that comes from a home where both parents went to Calvin. Lucas also said there is a rider who is close friends with a Cornerstone student.
Soulforce first indicated a desire to come to Cornerstone through a letter sent to University President Rex M. Rogers on Oct. 31, 2006. After Rogers deliberated with several members from the Cornerstone community for nearly six weeks, he responded to Soulforce in writing on Dec. 18, 2006, saying that “it was not best that we invite them onto our campus.” Later in December, the University received a phone call from Soulforce stating their intentions to come anyway. On Jan. 12, Rogers received a formal letter that confirmed the group was planning to come to Cornerstone on April 23, 2007.
“We hope that between now and [April 23] that Cornerstone will decide to welcome us. Whether or not we are welcomed though, we’ll still come,” Lucas said. “Last year we visited 19 institutions, 14 of them welcomed us in. The majority welcome us.”