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Durfee Lecture Series

Durfee Lecture Series

The Durfee Lecture Series established in memory of Kent A. Durfee

Kent A. Durfee was a native Wichitan who loved his family and lived life to its fullest.  As a lifetime member of First Presbyterian Church, he was grateful for his wonderful friends in faith and cherished each day as a gift from God.  In the summer of 1998, Kent died at the age of 52, leaving a leagacy to First Presbyterian Church to establish a lecture series.  This is truly a gift that will continue to nurture the members of First Presbyterian Church and the Wichita community for years to come. 

The purpose of the Durfee Lecture Series is to identify and provide opportunities for the congregation of First Presbyterian Church and the community, to explore the broad spectrum of religous and culture issues facing contemporary Christians. 


Rev. Dr. Leonard Sweet has been booked to be the 2017 Durfee Lectures Speaker for Saturday, October 14 at First Presbyterian Church (Wichita, Kansas) at 7 pm. His presentation will be, "A Tale of Two Birds: Deep Faith in a Shallow Culture."  And then on Sunday, October 15, Dr. Sweet will preach on “Razing Hell and Raising Roofs,” at the 10:45 a.m. worship service.

Also, Dr. Sweet will have a workshop for Clergy and Lay leaders on “A New Homiletics for the New Re-formation,” from 9 am to 12 noon on Saturday October 14 at the church. 

Register by sending an email to  In the email let me know what event you plan to attend.  There is no charge for the lecture or the seminar. 

​Also a block of rooms has been reserved at the Hyatt Regency at a reduced rate ($109/night for single or double occupancy), in the heart of downtown and by the scenic Arkansas River.  Just mention “Durfee Lecture”.  To book a room(s) call 316.613.6267 or click on this link

Dr. Sweet is a professor, public speaker, preacher, and prolific author.  Dr. Sweet has authored more than two hundred articles, 1300+ Published sermons, and more than sixty books.   Leonard Sweet’s Publications include the best sellers: Soul Tsunami, Aqua Church, Jesus Manifesto (w/Frank Viola), and Jesus: A Theography (w/Frank Viola), as well as many other volumes that are revolutionizing the church’s mission. 

So mark your calendar for October 14 and 15 to hear Dr. Sweet present and preach on the need for “Continued Reformation” in honor of Martin Luther nailing the 95 Thesis to the door of the Wittenberg Church which set the Reformation in motion on October 31, 1517.  


On October 15, at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of the church, Dr. Eller will be presenting on the topic of “Forgiveness, Acceptance, and Expectations: A Theological and Psychological Exploration.”  And then at the 10:45 a.m. service, on October 16, Dr. Eller will preach on “Getting Past the Elections to Forgive and to Reconcile”.

Dr. Eller is a native of North Carolina who moved to Omaha in 2004. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (B.A.), Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Vanderbilt University (M.A. and Ph.D.). His graduate studies focused on Religion and Psychology with a minor in the History of Christianity. Gary’s doctoral dissertation was a psychological study of Jonathan Edwards, the 18th century Congregationalist theologian and leader in the Great Awakening.

Previous Durfee Lectures

2000, Dr. Ronald Cole Turner

Professor of Theology and Ethics, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

2001, Jean Floyd Love

Christian Educator, Professor

2002, Ann Weems

Writer, poet, worship designer

2004, Leonard Pitts

Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated columnist

2011, Parrish Jones, PhD

Minister, Author and Educator