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The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright to give Keynote Address at 2013 Black Church Studies Consultation

Jul 15, 2013

Meeting to renew and cultivate Seminary partnerships with leading African-American churches and institutions across the region

The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright will deliver the keynote address and will participate in a panel discussion at this year’s Black Church Studies Consultation, which will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, September 3 and 4. Five Seminary workshops and two community meals are also part of the program.  Dozens of academic and clergy leaders from the region are expected to attend. The conference will be funded by a generous grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to support Louisville Seminary’s Black Church Studies Program.

What distinguishes this year’s consultation from other conferences is the focus on creating change in local communities through the organization of development programs and ministries. Attendees will learn how to change the culture of their congregations and will answer the questions: “Why is theology still important in the Black Church?” And, “What role does preaching have in addressing social issues?”

For the full schedule, and to register, click here.

“We are excited to have the Rev. Dr. Wright as a guest of the Black Church Studies Consultation at Louisville Seminary. Who can better help pastors, ministers and church and community leaders think about ministry and marginalized communities than Dr. Wright?” said Dr. Lewis Brogdon, director of the Black Church Studies Program and assistant professor of New Testament and Black Church Studies. “He is not only the cutting-edge former pastor of a major Chicago church, he is a prophetic, critical and imaginative thinker who is going to instruct, challenge and inspire conference participants. I look forward to conversing with him, along with Drs. Estrelda Alexander and Angela Cowser. The dialogue is going to be rich.”

Louisville Seminary Dean Susan R. Garrett commented, “The Rev. Wright calls not just the black church but all Christians to find ways to do justice, love mercy and walk with God in these extremely challenging times. Wright has been treated as a controversial figure by the media, yet he has never ceased to be a very influential voice in the African-American community. Our role as a theological school is to make sure that our church constituencies have the opportunity to learn from and debate important issues, perspectives and questions. We anticipate that Wright’s leadership in the pulpit and the classroom will enrich our own students and the wider Louisville community as they contemplate how the church can most effectively respond to the many needs that press upon it.”

This is the second time Wright has visited Louisville Seminary’s campus; he preached at two worship services during the 2003 Festival of Theology. 

Wright is Pastor Emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), in Chicago.  In early 2008, he retired after 36 years as the senior pastor and now spends his time preaching, teaching and leading study tours to Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean. Following retirement, Wright's beliefs and preaching were scrutinized when segments of his sermons were publicized in connection with the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. Click here for a related blog post written by Wright.  

The consultation will kick off with opening worship on Tuesday evening, September 3, at Bates Memorial Baptist Church in Louisville. Worship will be followed by a reception and a book signing in celebration of the Rev. Dr. Estrelda Alexander and her book, Black Fire: One Hundred Years of African American Pentecostalism

On Wednesday, September 4, a panel discussion entitled “Ministry Beyond the Four Walls of the Church” will be held at 10 a.m., following a community breakfast. Panelists include Wright, Alexander and Cowser. That afternoon, five Seminary workshops will be held.

Registration is required for all events scheduled on Wednesday, September 4. For the full schedule, and to register, click here. Registration deadline is Monday, August 26.

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