Living Your Truth Series

Living Your Truth is a series of conversations with those on the front lines, who bravely and gracefully live the truth of their hearts within their formidable lives. Hosted by the Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative Council, and convened by The Sophia Institute, it is our hope their words inspire and challenge each of us to find our own truths. Listen to them speak personally and passionately about their work for social justice, racial equity, and transformative change.

Speakers: Dr. Rev. Kylon Middleton and Mr. Thomas Tisdale


Dr. Rev. Kylon Middleton                                   Mr. Thomas Tisdale

Kylon Jerome Middleton was born in Charleston, SC and graduated from Burke High School at the age of 15. He attended the College of Charleston and graduated at the age of 18 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communications.

Education has always been a passion for Dr. Middleton and he has received the following graduate degrees: Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern University; Master of School Administration, Educational Specialist, and Doctor of Education degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Master of Theology and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Duke University.

He has taught at the College of Charleston; Burke High School, his alma mater; Allen University; Duke University Divinity School; Durham Public Schools; and Harnett County Schools system in North Carolina; Dr. Middleton retired from the state of North Carolina in 2014.

Dr. Middleton has enjoyed a successful pastoral career and has served several churches in South Carolina. He is currently the proud pastor of Historic Mt. Zion AME Church located in the heart of the campus of his alma mater, the College of Charleston. He is extremely active in the work of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

He is an active leader in the Charleston community and along with Mrs. Jennifer Benjamin Pinckney, the widow of slain Pastor of Mother Emanuel AME Church and State Senator, the Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney, and South Carolina State Senator, Gerald Malloy, Dr. Middleton is Co-Founder of the Foundation that bears Senator Pinckney’s name, which was established to continue the work and promote the cause that the Senator championed during his life.

Dr. Middleton has one son, Kylon Joshua Middleton, a 2018 graduate of East Carolina University with a major in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Forensic Science, and is Dr. Middleton’s pride and joy.

Thomas Tisdale, a native of South Carolina and a long time resident of Charleston, received a BA degree from The University of the South (Sewanee) in 1961, and a JD degree from The University of South Carolina School of Law in 1964. He has practiced law in Charleston his entire career, and is currently a member of the firm of Hellman Yates & Tisdale.

He is a member of Grace Church Cathedral in Charleston. Since 2013, he has served as Chancellor of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, a position he previously held from 1970-85. He has served as a member of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church as a representative of the Fourth Province. He also served as Chair of the Church’s Program Budget and Finance Committee.

Mr. Tisdale has served as Chair of the Board at Porter Gaud School; a member of the Board of Trustees at Voorhees College; and as a member of the Board of Trustees and Board of Regents of The University of the South. He has served as President of the South Carolina Historical Society, as a member of the Board of Spoleto Festival USA, as a founding Board Chair of Turning Leaf, a local anti-recidivism project, and has participated in many other civic endeavors.

He is a member of the South Carolina Bar of which he has served as President. He has served as an Assistant Solicitor for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, and as a Judge of the Municipal Court of the City of Charleston. He is a member of the Bar of the United States District Court for South Carolina, the Bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and is a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Mr. Tisdale is the author of A Lady of the High Hills, Natalie Delage Sumter, a biography (2001); Truth in Cold Blood (2013), a play dramatizing the assassination of Bishop William Alexander Guerry; and Carolina Sunrise (2017), a group of short stories told against the backdrop of immigration to the Carolina Lowcountry (2017).

Moderated by Dr. Paul Roof   

Dr. Roof is a lifelong resident of South Carolina and graduated Irmo High School, received his bachelor’s degree from Presbyterian College, his master’s degree from Appalachian State University and his doctorate from the University of South Carolina. He holds a certificate in demography and geodemography from Charles University in Prague. He has been a sociology professor for 20 years. One of his first assignments was teaching at San Juan College in New Mexico where a large percentage of his students were Native American. He is a past associate professor at Charleston Southern University. Currently he teaches sociology courses at College of Charleston, Virginia College & South Carolina State University.

Dr. Roof’s studies and travels have taken him to Honduras, Cuba, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Iceland, China & Australia. He is a member of the Creative Mornings breakfast lecture series team, a two-time presenter and emcee at Charleston Parliament and Charleston Wine & Food Festival. For the last 9 years he has hosted the Southeastern Beard & Moustache Championships which have raised over $70,000 for local charities including the Center for Women & Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lowcountry. In 2014 Art Magazine readers voted him the Most Eccentric Charlestonian. He holds an annual Green & Local guest lecture series in his popular culture class and in the past, Charleston luminaries such as former Mayor Joe Riley, Charleston City Paper founder, Stefanie Barna, and Johns Island farmer, Thomas Legare, have all presented. He is a member of the vibrant Charleston running community having completed 7 marathons. He has been running in the Cooper River Bridge Run since 1984.

Paul has been married to his wife Karin for 16 years and they have two children Katharine & Matthew. He is an elder and usher at James Island Presbyterian Church.

This is a tuition free event.  Registration is requested for planning purposes.

PARKING:  There are two parking garages near Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church that have hourly rates.  They are located at 69 Wentworth Street and 34 St. Phillip Street.


Hourly Schedule

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Tuesday Night Program


Sep 18 2018


06:00 PM - 08:00 PM


Tuition-free event

Visitor Planning

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Mt. Zion AME Church


Mt. Zion AME Church
5 Glebe Street, Charleston, SC 29401 United States

Presenting Faculty: