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What is the future of African American churches? Authors Ralph Watkins and Justin West don't claim to have a crystal ball. They don't come with a corrective prescription for what the African American church should be. Instead, they come to the conversation as Christian leaders who love the black church as family -- and who want to talk about what the church can be.
The Future of the African American Church invites elders and young leaders alike to the table to discuss, "How does the church serve the present age?" How can "prophetic" churches and "praise" churches come together to reimagine ministry? What can each tradition learn from the other -- and what gifts do we together have to offer the people of God in the world?
Featuring a discussion on the highly debated question "Is the black church dead or alive?" this book offers a new, thought-provoking perspective for reflection and action.
• Contains two distinctive voices offering readers different perspectives and experiences • Responds to recent critiques of the black church by scholars and pastor-authors, Edwin Glaude, Anthony Pinn, and Marvin A. McMickle• Invites reconciliation and respect between the "praise and worship" and "prophetic justice" traditions in the African American Church• Includes discussion questions for small-group dialogue
Rev. Dr. Ralph Watkins, PhD, DMin, MA, is the Pastor of Wheat Street Baptist Church and the Associate Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. He was the assistant dean of the African American Church Studies Program and associate professor of society, religion, and Africana studies in the School of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.
With over 20 years of pastoral, teaching, and administrative experience, Dr. Ralph Watkins is an active teaching scholar with over 250 publications and conference presentations to his credit, including five books.
In recent years, Watkins has received a Governor's Teaching Fellowship, Lilly Teaching Fellowship, Fulbright Hayes Fellowship for a study in Ghana, a Wabash Teaching Fellowship, and various awards and study grants to study in Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Mexico, and Ethiopia. He is ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) denomination and served as the executive pastor of First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles under Rev. Dr. John J. Hunter. Prior to FAME he served as Director of Ecclesia / Executive Pastor at The City of Refuge under Bishop Noel Jones in Gardena California.
Justin G. West is executive director of the non-profit organization Agape Connection, Inc. He is an ordained minister in the AME Church and serves as youth minister of St. John AME Church in Aurora, IL.
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