Speaker Program

Please join us at the South Ferry Church on South Ferry Road in Narragansett for a series of community speaking programs. Pertinent to state, national and international issues and events, the speaking programs encompass a broad array of topics important in today’s ever changing and challenging world. Programs are held from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. on Mondays in August, and are free and open to the community. 


Corporal Daniel O’Neil

Monday August 1, 2022 - 5:00 pm

Topic: Tails of Adventure with the Rhode Island State Police K-9 Division

K-9 Koda accompanied by Corporal Daniel O’Neil – an 18 year veteran of the Rhode Island State Police. Currently, Corporal O’Neil is the commander of the RISP Canine Unit and oversees 18 K-9 teams. Cpl. O’Neil has been a handler for 11 years and has handled two search and rescue/human remains detection K-9s, Ruby and Koda. A new Netflix movie titled “Rescued by Ruby” is a fitting memorial for Ruby describing her mischievous antics and her heroic work with Cpl. O’Neil.


Scott Wolf

Monday, August 15, 2022 - 5:00 pm

Topic: Smart Growth: A Powerful Strategy for Improving Economic Opportunity and Quality of Life

Scott Wolf - is the Executive Director of Grow Smart Rhode Island. For more than four decades, Scott has transformed opinion and policy research into effective communication and legislative strategies for progressive policy organizations, media outlets, elected officials and political candidates. Scott oversees a broad coalition of community leaders and grass roots activists committed to sustainable and equitable growth based on urban and town center revitalization, a strengthened public transportation system and preservation of Rhode Island's outstanding collection of farms and forestland. In March of 2017 Scott received the Leadership Rhode Island Community Service Award. 


Nikolas K Gvosdev

Monday, August 22, 2022 - 5:00 pm

Topic: After Russia's Invasion of Ukraine: Implications for Global Security

Nikolas K Gvosdev – is a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. He is an expert analyst and a commentator on television and radio including CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, National Public Radio, BBC, and C-SPAN. He holds non-residential fellowships with Foreign Policy Research Institute (editor of “Orbis”) and Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs (co-host of the “Doorstep” podcast). He is a member of Loisach Group, a collaboration between the Munich Security Conference and the Marshall Center to enhance U.S. and Germany’s security partnership. He is a contributing editor for The National Interest. He has taught at Baylor, Georgetown, George Washington, Harvard Extension and Brown universities. From 2016-20, he held the Captain Jerome E. Levy Chair in economic geography and national security. 


Paula Bontempi

Monday, August 29, 2022 - 5:00 pm

Topic:  Climate Change: Action and Optimism

Paula Bontempi – has been Dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island since September 2020. Prior to her arrival at URI, she served as acting deputy director and program manager/physical scientist in the Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.. Her scientific interests include Earth and ocean remote sensing, phytoplankton ecology, marine bio-optics, studying the Earth as a system, the connection of ocean exploration to global economics, and the development of ocean sensors. She has a strong interest in mentorship and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) initiatives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Her talk will showcase the phenomena of climate events, how the Narragansett Bay Campus supports climate change research and adaptation strategies in Rhode Island, and a journey through the frontiers of our home planet. Paula earned her Ph.D. in Oceanography from URI-GSO, and holds a Master of Science Degree from Texas A&M University, and a Bachelor of Science from Boston College


    Today the stewardship of the South Ferry Church has passed to the Friends of the South Ferry Church, a group of concerned citizens. We are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and are dependent on our many donors for the annual costs of maintaining and improving our historic building and grounds.

    Recognizing the building's priceless and irreplaceable part of the architectural historic heritage of Rhode Island, the Friend's mission is to protect the South Ferry Church from alteration or deterioration.