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Rev. Paul Abernathy to speak at virtual MLK Day convocation

The event will be held Tuesday, Jan. 19

Matthew Stultz Jan 14, 2021

Waynesburg University will host its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 11 a.m. in a virtual format. The convocation will be live streamed on the University’s website at

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Rev. Paul Abernathy, an Orthodox Christian priest, currently serving the community of St. Moses the Black Orthodox Church (Pittsburgh), and CEO of the Neighborhood Resilience Project, will serve as the guest speaker.

As a former Non-Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army, he is a combat veteran of the Iraq War. From his military experience, Rev. Abernathy has become a leading voice in the greater Pittsburgh region for a three-pillar healing strategy called Trauma Informed Community Development (TICD).

According to the Neighborhood Resilience Project’s website, TICD is a framework that establishes and promotes healthy resilience communities so that people can be healthy enough to sustain opportunities and realize their potential.

Rev. Abernathy has been a member of various community organization boards and committees throughout the Pittsburgh region, including the Pennsylvania State Parole Citizens Advisory Committee, Neighborhood Allies Grassroots Grant Making Committee, Allegheny County Health Department’s Violence Prevention Community Advisory Board and the Foundation of HOPE’s board of directors.

Additionally, he serves as adjunct faculty at Duquesne University, instructing courses for the Center for Catholic Faith and Culture’s graduate program.

He has been awarded the New Pittsburgh Courier’s Fab 40 Award, Larry Richert’s Hometown Hero Award and Wheeling University’s Fr. Pedro Arrupe Distinguished Alumni Award. Rev. Abernathy has also been named to Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list.

He holds a bachelor of arts degree in international studies from Wheeling University, a master of arts degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a master of divinity degree from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.

The virtual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation will also feature performances by members of the Waynesburg University Chapel Worship Team, including Alison Cammisa, Andrew Gordon and Qwinlyn Kelley.

The students will perform “Promises” by Maverick City Music together while Kelley will perform “We Shall Overcome” by James Cleveland as a solo.

Rev. Abernathy will be introduced by Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee.

For more information, contact Joshua Sumpter, University chaplain, at or 724-852-7717.