In the Phillippe Performing Arts Center at 11 a.m. on April 12, Indiana Wesleyan University will present the story of redemption between the perpetrator and victim of a shooting that occurred 20 years ago. The event is free and open to the public.
Indiana resident Misty Wallace was a high school senior when she was shot in the head by Keith Blackburn, who was 18 at the time.
Blackburn was sentenced to a 21-year detention at the Indiana Department of Corrections, according to the winter 2011 issue of IWU’s Triangle Magazine. Blackburn reportedly found Christ in 1996 through the witness of a fellow offender and was released in 2001.
Having felt led to prison ministry, Blackburn, 36, is now a chaplain for the Indiana Department of Correction at the Indianapolis Re-entry and Education Facility and is a graduate of Wesley Seminary at IWU with a Master of Divinity.
The two reconciled after Wallace found Blackburn through Facebook just last year. Together, they told their story in an IWU criminal justice class and at Miami Correctional Facility in Bunker Hill, Ind.
Jack Brady, assistant professor of criminal justice at IWU, helped organize these events in order to get out Wallace and Blackburn’s story.
The redemption story presentation will be followed at 11:45 a.m. by a cornerstone dedication ceremony for the new Wesley Seminary facility.
Wesley Seminary began in April 2009 when the IWU board of trustees voted to create a new seminary to house the new Master of Divinity degree and existing Master of Arts in Ministry degree, according to the seminary’s website. Classes were offered in August 2009 in the Noggle Christian Ministries building on IWU’s Marion campus.
The new $7 million, 21,000 square-foot facility will be located on Washington Street, just south of IWU’s main campus entrance. It will include classrooms, faculty offices and a multipurpose gathering area, according to an IWU news release.
Approximately 275 students are currently enrolled in the program, and officials plan to open the new building for classes in fall 2013.