Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Colby’s John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor

Rep. Thomas Longstaff and Rev. Cheryl Townsend Gilkes in the Maine House of Representatives.

Rep. Thomas Longstaff and Rev. Cheryl Townsend Gilkes in the Maine House of Representatives.

of Sociology and African-American Studies and an ordained Baptist minister, gave the opening prayer for the Maine House of Representatives Thursday, June 11, 2015.

Gilkes, who also serves the Union Baptist Church of Cambridge, Mass., as assistant pastor for special projects, was invited to fulfill the role by Rep. Thomas R. W. Longstaff, Colby’s Crawford Professor of Religious Studies, emeritus, and a legislator representing Maine House District 109, which covers part of Waterville.

Longstaff reported that many in the state house had expressed their appreciation for Rev. Gilkes’s opening prayer.