Cullman FBC’s Tom Richter, Chuck Johnston visit Judson College to kick off Christian Emphasis Week


Cullman FBC Pastor Tom Richter speaks to Judson College students at Judson's Christian Emphasis Week. / Photo by Mary Amelia Taylor

MARION – Judson College inaugurated its annual Christian Emphasis Week Tuesday with a Chapel service focused on trusting God. Cullman’s Tom Richter, the week’s featured speaker, stressed the importance of starting the three-day “week” by “brushing off our ‘doctrine of God’” and beginning with a right understanding of the nature of God. Repeating 1 John 1:5, Richter said that understanding God’s nature of goodness and purity “means you can trust Him one hundred percent.” “If we understood God for who He truly is–that God is Light–we would know His commands are His blessings, and His blessings are his commands,” Richter said. “God’s not giving you some command to lay a heavy burden on you. To walk in obedience is to walk in His blessing. Because God is Light, He’s not out to trick you. He’s not out to harm you or play some game with your life. You can trust Him because He is Light, and in Him is no darkness.”

Richter currently serves as the pastor of Cullman First Baptist Church.  Before moving to Alabama, he served as pastor of New Hope Christian Church in Jamaica, Queens, New York for fourteen years.  Richter was a featured speaker at this year’s Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions State Evangelism Conference. Judson also welcomed members of the Board of Governors to campus Tuesday for the board’s spring meeting, as well as Alabama Baptist pastors from across the state for a Pastors’ Conference led by Richter in the afternoon.  Chuck Johnston, worship pastor at Cullman First Baptist, led students in worship during the Chapel service.

Judson’s annual event known as Christian Emphasis Week began at the request of a Judson student. During the 1943-1944 academic year, junior Mary Essie Stephens asked Judson President Dr. John Riddle if it might be possible to bring special guests to campus to encourage the college community in their spiritual growth.  Riddle agreed.  With the support of Judson’s faculty and staff, Stephens planned Judson’s first Religious Emphasis Week. Stephens graduated from Judson in 1945 and in 1954 entered what would become a 30-year career as executive director of Alabama Woman's Missionary Union (WMU).

For more information about this year’s Christian Emphasis Week, contact Cynthia White at or 334-683-5249.