Reformation Sunday marks 500 years since Martin Luther's 95 Theses; local events planned

Published on Friday, 27 October 2017 18:02 - Written by


Reformation Sunday will be celebrated this weekend, as it is every year on the last Sunday in October.

However, this year’s occasion holds a bit more significance in that Oct. 31, 2017, actual Reformation Day, marks the 500th anniversary of the act that launched the Reformation.

On that day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.

His theses criticized the sale of indulgences by church leaders and said “the true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God.”

“Initially protesting the pope’s attempt to sell salvation, Luther’s study of Scripture soon led him to oppose the church of Rome on issues including the primacy of the Bible over church tradition and the means by which we are found righteous in the sight of God,” Robert Rothwell writes.

Luther’s theses were copied and distributed across Europe and became the spark that started the fire of Reformation and led to the founding of the Protestant church.

In celebration of this, East Texas churches and schools will have several events next week, including:


“The Reformation at 500 Years: A Fourth-Annual Symposium in Kilgore” is scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday in the Devall Student Center Ballroom, 1116 Broadway Blvd., at Kilgore College. Everyone is welcome to attend the free event. The Rev. Dr. Jayson S. Galler, of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Kilgore, will give an opening presentation, followed by responses from at least two local pastors, including the Rev. Ben Bagley of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and Dr. Glenn Young of First Baptist Church. Panelists will field questions from the audience. Terry Booker, of Kilgore College, will moderate the event.


The Tyler Civic Chorale with soloists from the University of Texas at Tyler will perform a concert titled “Ein Feste Burg: 500 Years of Reformation” at 4 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church, 230 W. Rusk St., in Tyler. The effects of the Reformation on music were immense and the purpose of the concert is to show that. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased at the door.


LeTourneau University will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation during its “Reformation 500” conference from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at the LETU Belcher Center, 2100 South Mobberly Ave. in Longview. The event is free and open to the public. The conference will include music, poetry, posters and several TED-talk style presentations covering the Reformation’s context, cause, significance and legacy. Visit for more information.


Reformation 500, a six-week event involving religious leaders from various churches, will continue this week with a panel discussion about the Reformation’s ramifications and what this means moving forward in ministry from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Thursday at The Foundry Coffeehouse, 202 S. Broadway Ave., in Tyler.

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