February 12th -15th, 2018
Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel- Memphis, TN
Dr. David D. Daniels
Henry Winters Luce Professor of World Christianity
McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago IL
Chair, Board of Education (Church of God in Christ)
The aggregate expertise, research, teaching, activism, and pastoral experiences of theologians and pastors at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Pastor Conference afford an unprecedented and unique opportunity for seminarians to partake in a specially designed intensive. The 2018 conference theme and scripture are:
Theme: “Staying In The Struggle Until The End”
Scripture: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 (NIV)
Purpose and Goal of the Course:
One of the most significant flashpoints in the U.S. that many are familiar with is of Rev. Dr. Martin L. King’s last sermon. Dr. King’s last sermon, entitled ” I See The Promised Land” was delivered in the historic Mason Temple, Memphis, Tennessee, on the eve of his assassination–April 3, 1968.
Mason Temple (the headquarters of the Church of God in Christ) served as a focal point of civil rights activities in Memphis during the 1940s to the 1960s. Contrary to popular belief, Black Pentecostalism, in general, and the Church of God in Christ, in particular, have a deep legacy of using their moral agency as a voice and institutional instrument for justice and movement building. Within that tradition there is also a valiant story of how women and men in the denomination organized and used their position and power to further the interests of their communities and the race.
This class will pay special attention to the role and intersectionality of Black Pentecostalism, the Black Church, and the quest for justice by people of African descent.
The purpose of this course is to explore the historical roots of resistance and movement building in Black Pentecostalism and the broader Black Church tradition. And it will reflect on the ways in which this history informs, focuses and revises 1) the frameworks, concepts and practices employed to advance the racial struggle; 2) the visions of the beloved community marked by social justice; and 3) the theologies of Holy Spirit understood to be vital to the struggles for social justice.
Today, with the epicenter of Christianity shift globally with Pentecostalism being a significant force for change, locally and throughout the world, this course will explore the historical and and envision a future role of Black Pentecostalism in the struggle for social justice in United States and Great Britain. With the current rising trends in overt racism, criminalization, white supremacy and gender discrimination, course participants might tap into the value of Black Pentecostal and other Black Church traditions that nurtured the civil rights movement and shaped our foremothers’ and forefathers’ understanding of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the transforming lives and societies.
As prophets, therefore, we must engage in the work of structural justice and psychosocial healing as we seek to be with and for vulnerable, marginalized, and excluded people around the world. This intensive is designed for faith leaders to be better equipped to respond to the growing injustices within and beyond our borders.
Course objectives are:
To explore how the insertion of AfroPentecostalism into the narratives of social justice in United States and Great Britain challenge the dominant narrative, expose the limits to dominant categories of the racial struggles, and uncovers understudied dimensions of the struggle for social justice.
To explore how a reinvented AfroPentecostalism could forge a new thrust with the struggle for racial justice; this reinvented AfroPentecostalism ranges from Robert Beckford’s Dread Pentecostalism, Keri Day’s liberationist New Prosperity Gospel, to Bishop Charles Blake’s new urban initiative.
1. Conference registration.
2. Pre-Conference Assignment: A 1000-word (4 pages double space) reflection paper on the readings, ranging from insights, musings, interesting quotes, concerns, to critiques.
3. Attendance and full participation at all the seminary sessions at the Conference from February 12-15, 2018.
4. Completion of one 8-10 page double-spaced reflection paper (in conformity with home institutional requirements) reporting on how this intensive informed and supported an understanding of prophetic social justice ministry.
5. Completion of required readings.
1. Students at the sponsoring seminaries and related institutions should enroll for this course at their home institution as a part of their winter 2018 schedule. The requirements and evaluation for credit is determined by the participating Seminary in which you are enrolled.
2. Other seminarians may select which of the sponsoring seminaries is most appropriate for enrollment and transfer of credit back to their home institution. In all cases, the course registration process and tuition costs are determined by the host seminary.
3. Continuing education units may also be available.
Feb. 12, 2018 Required Seminar 9:00 am
Feb. 12, 2018 Opening Plenary 1:30 pm
Feb. 12, 2018 Evening Seminarian Activities/Debriefing 9:00pm
Feb. 13-15, 2018 Conference Sessions
*schedule subject to minor changes
Robert Beckford, Dread and Pentecostal: A Political Theology for the Black Church in Britain (2000)
New Day Begun: African American Churches and Civic Culture in Post-Civil Rights America, edited by R. Drew Smith (2003)
David D. Daniels, ‘“Doing All the Good We Can”: The Political Witness of African American Holiness and Pentecostal Churches in the Post-Civil Rights Era” in New Day Begun: African American Churches and Civic Culture in Post-Civil Rights America, edited by R. Drew Smith (2003)
ARTICLES & CHAPTERS
David D. Daniels, “The Color of Charismatic Leadership: William J. Seymour and Martin Luther King, Jr. as Champions of Interracialism” in We’ve Come This Far: Reflections on the Pentecostal Tradition and Racial Reconciliation, edited by Byron Klaus (2007)
Anthea Butler, “Civics” in Women in the Church of God in Christ (2007)
David D. Daniels, “Future Issues in Social and Economic Justice: The Social Engagement of Pentecostals and Charismatics” in Spirit-Empowered Christianity in the 21st Century, edited by Vinson Synan (2011)
Rosetta E. Ross, “Giving the Movement Life: Black Women’s Grassroots Activism” in Witnessing and Testifying: Black Women, Religion, and Civil Rights (2003)
Clarence Taylor, “The Pentecostal Preacher as Public Intellectual and Activist: …Bishop Smallwood Williams” in Black Religious Intellectuals (2002)
A. G. Miller, “Herbert Daughtry”,
Bishop Smallwood Williams, “Hitler Still Lives” (1949) in Significant Sermons (1970)
Bishop Arthur M. Brazier, excerpt, Black Self-Determination (1969)
Eugene Rivers, “The Responsibility of Intellectuals in the Age of Crack” (1992)
Keri Day, “A New Kind of Prosperity Gospel?” and “Building. Movement to End Poverty?” in Unfinished Business: Black Women, Black Church, and the Struggle to Thrive in America (2012)
Christena Cleveland, “How to Actually Fight for Racial Reconciliation” (2014)
Bishop Charles E. Blake, “Slightly Healed” (Message to the Congressional Black Caucus, 2017)
The mission of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference (SDPC) is to nurture, sustain, and mobilize the African American faith community in collaboration with civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders to address critical needs of human and social justice within local, national and global communities.