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Black Church Studies Consultation to Address Civil Rights Issues

by Chris Wooton | Aug 04, 2014
Rev. Dr. Freddie HaynesHow do civil rights issues affect African American communities today, and how should African American churches appropriately and effectively respond? The Black Church and the Continuing Fight for Civil Rights is the focus of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s 2014 Black Church Studies Consultation, which will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, September 2 and 3.

Nationally renowned author, pastor and civil rights advocate Rev. Dr. Freddie Haynes (pictured) will deliver the keynote address at this year’s event. Haynes will preach at the consultation’s opening worship, which will be held Tuesday, September 2, at Bates Memorial Baptist Church (620 East Lampton Street, Louisville, Ky., 40203). The service begins at 7 p.m.

“Rev. Dr. Freddie Haynes is a leading voice in the black church experience,” said Rev. Lisa Williams, interim director of Louisville Seminary’s Black Church Studies Program. “His preaching style is mesmerizing as he interweaves history, theology and contemporary cultural issues into a message that makes the heart soar and the mind expand for those seeking greater impact for the Kingdom of God. He is truly a gift to the body of Christ, and it is an honor to have him as our keynote speaker for the 2014 Consultation.

On Wednesday, September 3, Haynes will be joined by “Black Politics Today” host Kelly Mikel Williams and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary doctoral student and hospital chaplain Rev. Kerri Allen to address the consultation’s focus. Dr. Debra Mumford, Louisville Seminary’s Frank H. Caldwell Associate Professor of Homiletics and associate dean for student academic affairs, will moderate the panel discussion, which begins at 10 a.m. in Schlegel Hall at Louisville Seminary (1044 Alta Vista Road, Louisville, Ky., 40205).

The panelists will cover such issues as:

  • Historical perspectives about the Black Church and Freedom Movements (abolitionism, freedom struggle);
  • Liberating and anti-liberating traditions/practices/leaders;
  • How desegregation in the Post Civil Rights Era affected black-owned businesses and institutions;
  • The decline and loss of Civil Rights gains. Is the dream deferred or denied?
  • The lie of the promised land (Eddie Long’s statement that blacks are in the promised land) and post-racial America and why Black America is in trouble;
  • The right to vote and the criminal justice system as critical issues;
  • The state of the Black Church and its involvement with the political system.

A luncheon will take place at Gardencourt at Louisville Seminary following the panel discussion. The luncheon will include a presentation by renowned biblical author Rev. Dr. Renita Weems.

“Dr. Renita Weems has been a leading figure at the three-way intersection of church, academy and society,” said Louisville Seminary Dean Susan R. Garrett. “Whether the topic is the Bible, spirituality, sexuality, marriage and family, politics, or black experience and identity, Weems is always learned, insightful and unfalteringly honest. We are honored to have her on the Louisville Seminary campus, and we are eager to hear her and learn from her.”

All Black Church Studies Consultation programs are free, but registration is required to attend. The registration deadline is Friday, August 29. For a full schedule and to register, see the Black Church Studies Consultation website or call Dana Cormack at (502) 894-2291.

The event is funded by a generous grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to support Louisville Seminary’s Black Church Studies Program.
About Louisville Seminary’s Black Church Studies Consultation
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s annual Black Church Studies Consultation provides an opportunity for ecclesial leaders in African American churches in this region who are on the cutting edge of ministry to engage in critical theological reflection regarding core beliefs, issues, trends and movements in the Black Church. See www.lpts.edu/academics/degrees-programs/black-church-studies for more information.

About Louisville Seminary
Founded in 1853, Louisville Seminary offers an inclusive and diverse learning community, welcoming students from wide ecumenical backgrounds while maintaining its long, historic commitment to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Louisville Seminary is committed to building bridges across the world's religious, racial and cultural divides. It is distinguished by its nationally-recognized marriage and family therapy and field education programs, the scholarship and church service among its faculty and a commitment to training women and men to participate in the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ. See www.lpts.edu or call (800) 264-1839 for more information.
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