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Event Details

Joe Mack High: The Centurion, A Tale of the Crucifixion

When: 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM on Mar 18, 2019

Where: Tarr Music Center, Thomas Recital Hall




Joe Mack High spent his early years in western North Carolina until his father’s work with the railroad moved his family to East Tennessee. During his senior year of high school, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and on his nineteenth birthday, High enlisted and spent three years with the Fleet Marine Force, making four assault landings as a telephone lineman, laying lines up and down the beaches and into command posts.

Upon his return stateside, High enrolled at Carson-Newman and, much to his surprise, fell in love with the coursework. High describes: “It opened new worlds for me. The teachers who influenced me most were the professor of philosophy and two professors of literature. I enrolled in at least one literature course and one philosophy course each semester until I graduated.” High earned his B.S. in 1949 from Carson-Newman and then his M.S. from University of Tennessee. He became a respected CPA and returned to Carson-Newman where he served as Professor of Business Administration to generations of Carson-Newman students.

After his eyesight began failing, High retired in his late eighties, and with the help of friends and family, he began a new journey—as author and novelist. High’s first novel The Centurion: A Tale of the Crucifixion traces three generations in an adventurous, thought-provoking story as a Roman soldier sets out on a journey of self-discovery. As First Centurion of the Tenth Roman legion, Cornelius befriends the itinerant teacher, Jesus. The intertwining paths of these two men bring them together for a final encounter when Cornelius requests that Pilate put him in command of the crucifixion party.

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