African American churches

The Impact of Preaching on Church Growth: Black Churches in The North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church

Author
Yvette Denise Massey D.Min.
Abstract
This project addresses the question of whether good preaching can cause congregational growth. The location of the work was two Black churches in the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church and included preaching a variety of sermons, followed by congregational research on the influence of the sermons on church growth. Through this project, the thesis on which this work was based, that church growth was a direct result of good preaching, changed to recognize that while preaching alone does not cause church growth, it is one of many significant factors in the decision to join a church. The project reveals that a comprehensive church system that includes elements such as preaching, outreach, nurture, Christian education, evangelism, and worship, is necessary to impact congregational growth.

The Legacy of Hope - Moving Beyond Boundaries

Author
Temaki Carr D.Min.
Abstract
The Legacy of Hope stares into the future, a future that seems riddled with change and transition, and ponders how best to serve a transforming community. Mt. Hope Baptist Church is a historically African American church nestled in a moderately rural Virginia community, which is in the midst of an enormous population, socioeconomic, and demographic transition. How will this community transition impact Mt. Hope? The purpose of the research was to determine what effect, if any, a relational meeting campaign and two multicultural, multiracial Christian education classes would have on incorporating multicultural, nonblack attendees into the life of Mt. Hope Baptist Church. The research determined that the threshold to incorporate multicultural, nonblack attendees into the life of Mt. Hope Baptist church has been traversed. The formal and informal relational meeting campaign with key leaders and nonblack worship attendees as well as two Christian education classes influenced the five measurement protocols towards a propensity of acceptance to multicultural ministry.

Incarcerated lives matter : equipping the Black Church to respond to the mass incarceration of African American males

Author
Leon D. Parker
Abstract
What kind of tools would enable African American congregations to engage more effectively in their response to the crisis of mass incarceration of African American males? The author conducted interviews with pastors and ministry leaders engaged in prison ministry. Based on the author's years of experience as a Chaplain and on data generated by the interviews, the author developed a four-part workshop training.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

All things to all people : creating engaging, empowering, and evangelistic entry points of grace for millennials in 21st century traditional churches

Author
Allen L. Hollie Jr.
Abstract
Millennial engagement in traditional churches in the African American Community have experienced a vast decline in the 21st century. Pew research reports that 63% of the silent generation (born between 1928 and 1945) identifies with historically black denominations, while only 41% of black millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) say the same. Three-in ten (29%) African Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 claim to be religiously unaffiliated. Considering these statistics, many churches face the danger of extinction due to the lack of entry points promoting consistent engagement among millennials. The pressing issue then becomes how Black Churches as a whole (and more specifically, the Greenforest Community Baptist Church) can create engaging, evangelistic, and empowering entry points for millennials. This project will expound upon Paul’s mission strategy of becoming "all things to all people, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23 [NSRV]) to serve as a theological framework for establishing evangelistic entry points for millennials into traditional churches.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Making Room: Conversations About Race and Faith Between Members of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC and St. John's Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC

Author
Martha Dixon Kearse
Abstract
In this project, the candidate recorded personal stories from members of two different Baptist congregations: Friendship Missionary Baptist Church (a church made up predominantly of members identifying as African-American) and St. John’s Baptist Church (a church made up predominantly of members identifying as Caucasian). Using those recordings, the candidate created a podcast called “Making Room,” and invited participating group members to listen to each other’s stories. In addition, the candidate invited these same group members to participate in conversations about issues of race, especially as they present themselves in Charlotte, NC. The candidate and group members challenged themselves with the biblical ethic of hospitality and explored conversations about how each individual might help to improve relationships between African-Americans and Caucasian Americans using that Christian ethic.

DEVELOPING A STRATEGIC PLAN FOR TRANSFORMING THE WAYS IN WHICH AN AFRICAN AMERICAN CHURCH MINISTERS IN A MULTI-ETHNIC CONTEXT

Author
K. Edward Copeland D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry project created a strategic plan to transform the way a historically African-American church named New Zion Baptist Church in Rockford, Illinois, does ministry in a multi-ethnic context. This project report detailed the process by which that strategic plan was formulated, evaluated, and designed to be implemented.

The project report began by providing the biblical and theological foundations for ethnic diversity within God's worshipping community. The project report also examined the current literature on multi-ethnic congregations and the contextual dynamics of African-American church history that impact ministry praxis.

The project was divided into a research phase and a synthesis phase. The research phase was designed to understand the current and projected demographics of the region and to ascertain the church's capacity and willingness for intercultural hospitality in light of the surrounding community's burgeoning immigrant Latino population. The synthesis phase of the project analyzed and interpreted the data and developed and evaluated a strategic plan with the help of the church leadership, membership, and ministry partners.

The project report concluded with a summary of the internal and external challenges New Zion must face in order to implement the strategic plan and the implications of this project for the local church and the church at large. Two insights gained from this project include that local Latinos viewed their cultural connection to Catholicism as a more significant barrier to interacting with an African-American congregation than doctrine or worship praxis and that biblical hospitality is essential to bridging ethnic and cultural divides.

CHRISTIAN AFRICAN-AMERICAN MEN IDENTIFYING CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL FORMATION AS A UNIQUE RESPONSE TO THE CALL OF CHRIST

Author
Bryan Hodges D.Min.
Abstract
CHRISTIAN AFRICAN-AMERICAN MEN IDENTIFYING CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL FORMATION AS A UNIQUE RESPONSE TO THE CALL OF CHRIST

Christian spiritual formation responds to the call of Christ. This project makes its contribution to Christian spiritual formation as it relates to Christian African American men.

This project initiates: (1) biblical and theological reflection regarding Christian spiritual formation; (2) To think critically through societal, cultural and familial influences in relation to their spiritual formation; (3) To implement a biblical and theological vision for Christian spiritual formation; and (4) To create a personal Christian spiritual formation program.

This project consisted of surveys and interviews to measure Christian spiritual formation influence. After three months of follow up a summation is specified.

EXPOUNDING ROMANS 6-8 TO ADVANCE GREAT COMMISSION OBEDIENCE IN THE LEADERSHIP AT MAYFIELD MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH, FORT WORTH, TEXAS

Author
Larry Hall D.Min.
Abstract
The writer is the pastor of a Missionary Baptist congregation. In a self-appraisal survey, congregational leaders ranked Great Commission obedience low among ministry priorities. This project investigated the question: Can a pastoral approach in expounding Romans 6-8 be effective in developing a Great Commission theology and in advancing Great Commission obedience for select leaders at Mayfield Missionary Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas. The project pursues two goals: 1) to develop the theology of the participants and 2) to develop pastoral preaching effectiveness.
The research design combined both the qualitative and quantitative method. The writer designed seven sermons from Romans 6-8 in a series entitled Gospel Assurance, a Motivation to Great Commission Obedience. The writer expounded selected doctrinal themes from the Biblical text to develop elements of a Great Commission theology in the participants. Using a pastoral approach, the writer selected eight congregational leaders to participate in a small group to give feedback on the preaching effectiveness. In addition, the participants completed a pre and post project questionnaire to indicate theological understanding, opinion surveys, and interviews. The writer assessed the participants’ awareness, attitudes and actions in relation to the Matthew 28:18-20 mandate to make disciples.
The writer diagnosed the participants’ gain in theological understanding and simultaneously increased pastoral preaching effectiveness through small group feedback. The writer and participants advanced toward Great Commission obedience.

Building Community for the Renewal of Mission in Chicago's Catholic Parishes: The Wisdom of the Black Catholic Experience for Renew My Church

Author
Matthew Sean O'Donnell D.Min.
Abstract
Renew My Church is described as an innovative pastoral initiative in the Archdiocese of Chicago that identifies the three guiding imperatives of making disciples, building communities, and inspiring witness as essential to the renewal of pastoral life and ministry in the Archdiocese. Every parish in the Archdiocese will participate in this initiative. This thesis-project will critically engage the imperative to build community by looking at St. Katharine Drexel parish in Chicago, Illinois. This thesis-project will demonstrate how learning from the Black Catholic experience of building, strengthening, and sustaining community can contribute a spirituality and theological foundation for Renew My Church that is rooted in a communal worldview.

A Project to Discover the Need for a Prison Ministry at New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Cleveland, OH

Author
Vernell Lumbus-Young
Abstract
A Project to Discover the Need for a Prison Ministry at New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Cleveland, OH :
The purpose of this project was to discover the need for a prison ministry at New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio. In order to determine the need for a prison ministry, a five-point Likert scale questionnaire survey was designed along with one to two open ended questions. The results of the survey revealed that there was a great interest among the congregants for a prison ministry. In the final results of my questionnaire survey and open ended questions, almost all respondents revealed that there is a need for a prison ministry. I concluded that there was a 95% interest in the need for a prison ministry at New Mount Zion Baptist Church.
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