In Final Sermon, Wells Remembers God, Duke and 'The Notebook'

Wells leaving Duke Chapel for prestigious London post

In his final sermon as dean of Duke Chapel, Samuel Wells drew on themes of memory, loss and love from the 2004 film "The Notebook."

"I'm a preacher," Wells said May 6 to a congregation that mostly filled the pews. "A preacher learns the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you forget how it goes.

"A preacher learns the song in God's heart and sings it to you in rhythm, in classical, in blues, in soul, in rock and sometimes even in 'roll.'"

Wells, who has served as the dean of Duke Chapel since 2005, is leaving Duke to become the vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London. In closing, he said, "I came here to be your preacher and you have made me a disciple.

"Thank you."

A rain Sunday stopped just in time for a picnic outside the chapel immediately following the worship service.  A farewell program following the meal included a comedy sketch, as well as remarks by President Richard H. Brodhead, Divinity School Dean Richard Hays, Professor Stanley Hauerwas and others.