Lineup announced for 2015 Preaching with Power events
Six distinguished African American preachers from a rich variety of backgrounds will headline this year’s 33rd anniversary edition of Preaching with Power in Philadelphia congregations the week of March 15, 2015. The program will include an African American Sacred Music concert at The Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia’s (LTSP) Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel at 11:15 am Wednesday March 18.
The lead preacher will be Bishop Richard F. Norris, the 116th consecrated bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He will preach during worship at 6:30 pm Sunday, March 15, at St. Matthew AME Church, 215 North 57th Street. Bishop Norris has pastored throughout the First Episcopal District of the AME Church in Pennsylvania, Bermuda, New Jersey, and New York. His first assignment was to serve the 14th Episcopal District in West Africa, where he rebuilt churches, schools, and universities that had been destroyed during regional unrest. He’s served as pastor of the host church and also of Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia during his career. He received his BA from Rutgers University and DMin degree from the New York Theological Seminary.
Preaching on Monday March 16, at 7:00 pm at Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Germantown will be the Rev. Dr. Leslie D. Callahan. In 2009 Dr. Callahan became the first woman to serve as pastor of Philadelphia’s St. Paul Baptist Church. She is commissioner of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. She earned her BA in Religion from Harvard University/Radcliffe College, her MDiv from Union Theological Seminary, New York City, and her PhD in Religion from Princeton University. Dr. Callahan has served as a professor at both New York Theological Seminary and the University of Pennsylvania. The congregation hosting Dr. Callahan is located at 41 West Rittenhouse Street, Philadelphia.
On Tuesday, March 17 at 11:15 am, the Rev. Dr. Cheryl J. Sanders will offer a lecture in LTSP’s Benbow Hall on the seminary’s campus at 7301 Germantown Ave., in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. Dr. Sanders is Professor of Christian Ethics at Howard University School of Divinity and the Senior Pastor of Third Street Church of God in Washington, D.C. Between 2000 and 2007 Dr. Sanders was contributing guest editor for Leadership, a journal for pastors. She is the author of several books, including Ministry at the Margins: The Prophetic Ministry of Women. Dr. Sanders received her BA in Mathematics from Swarthmore College, and her MDiv and ThD of Applied Theology from Harvard Divinity School. She has been awarded honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Asbury College and Anderson University.
The Rev. Barry C. Black, the 62nd Chaplain of the United States Senate, will preach at 7:00 pm Tuesday, March 17, at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, 25 West Johnson Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144. Appointed chaplain in 2003, Black was the first African American and the first Seventh-day Adventist pastor to hold the Senate post. Prior to his Capitol Hill service, Chaplain Black served in the U.S. Navy for more than 27 years, ending his career as Rear Admiral and Chief of Naval Chaplains. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Black is an alumnus of Oakwood College, Andrews University, North Carolina Central University, Palmer Theological Seminary, Salve Regina University, and Alliant International University. He holds Master of Arts degrees in Divinity, Counseling, and Management. He holds a Doctor of Ministry and a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology. He was chosen from 127 nominees for the 1995 NAACP Renowned Service Award for his contribution to equal opportunity and civil rights.
The Rev. Traci D. Blackmon will preach at 7:00 pm Wednesday, March 18, at the Harold O. Davis Memorial Baptist Church, 4500 North 10th Street, Philadelphia. Initially ordained in the African American Episcopal Church, Pastor Blackmon served in various ministry capacities for nine years prior to becoming the 18th installed, and first woman pastor in the 159-year history of Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant, Missouri. She received a BS in Nursing from Birmingham-Southern College and an MDiv from Eden Theological Seminary. She is a graduate of Leadership St. Louis, and serves as a founding director on the board of Magdalene St. Louis, a transitional housing program for women who have been victimized by prostitution and sex trafficking. She was recently sworn in as a member of the Ferguson Commission, which originated from justice concerns raised in the aftermath of the killing of Michael Brown, Jr. in Ferguson, Missouri.
Scheduled to preach at 7:00 pm Thursday, March 19, at Reformation Lutheran Church, 1215 East Vernon Road, Philadelphia, is the Rev. Olujimi (Olu) Brown. The spouse of Farrah D. Brown and a native of Lufkin, Texas, Pastor Brown graduated in 1999 from Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas, with a degree in Elementary Education. In 2002 he earned his MDiv from Gammon Theological Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. He serves as the lead pastor of Impact Church, a new church in the East Point community of Metropolitan Atlanta. Impact has grown from a core team of 25 people to more than 1,800 attendees each Sunday, making it the fastest growing United Methodist congregation in the U.S. His books include Zero to 80: Innovative Ideas for Planting and Accelerating Church Growth (2009).
Pre-Preaching with Power worship services will be hosted Sunday March 15 at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, 6401 Ogontz Avenue, Philadelphia. Dr. Quintin L. Robertson, director of LTSP’s Urban Theological Institute, Preaching with Power’s co-sponsor along with community congregations, will preach at 7:30 am. Dr. J. Louis Felton of the host congregation, will preach at 10:45 am.
All are invited to Preaching with Power events, with proceeds benefiting the J. Q. Jackson Scholarship Fund for UTI students.
If you are unable to attend the special events, donations to the J.Q. Jackson Scholarship Fund can be made at any time in support of Urban Theological Institute students. Make checks payable to LTSP – The Joseph Q. Jackson Endowed Scholarship Fund and send to: The LTSP Foundation, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119.