African American churches

A Multiple Case Study: Participative Decision-Making in Four Black Indiana Churches

Author
Michael S. Johnson D.Min.
Abstract
This research study looked at factors in participative decision-making that would balance congregational polity and pastoral authority. A multiple-case study was conducted with four Black Baptist churches in central Indiana. Fifteen participants were interviewed across cases and organizational documents were analyzed. Four themes emerged from the study. They included effectiveness, unified involvement, decision parameters, and trusted leadership. Effectiveness related to support for a decision. Unified Involvement was about members’ sense of belonging. Parameters involved areas where certain groups had discretion in decision-making. Lastly, trusted leadership pertained to the calling of a pastor and the confidence members placed in that calling.


Discerning Best Practices for Multiethnic Church of Christ Mergers

Author
Jordan T. Tatum D.Min.
Abstract
This project was aimed at discovering best practices for multiethnic Church of Christ mergers. Three churches were discovered that had formed by the merger of a White Church of Christ with a Black Church of Christ. A study of the multiethnic dynamics of the early church provided the biblical and theological foundation for this project. Special attention was given to Galatians, Romans, and Ephesians, as well as the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15. The researcher discovered that the Church was multiethnic from its inception. The researcher then researched the literature concerning multiethnic churches in America, Churches of Christ, and church mergers. These three streams of literature converged in this project and based on the literature the researcher created the research instruments for this project. The researcher then traveled to the three congregations. Questionnaires were distributed at the end of Bible class times. The researcher also took field observations at these locations. Phone calls were set up to interview key leaders after these trips. The data was then coded and analyzed for trends. The following key findings for best practices in multiethnic Church of Christ mergers were discovered. Churches should pursue unity with other churches. Mergers take time and leaders must be patient. Putting together the right steering team is vital. In most mergers, only one of the two ministers will last more than five years. The eldership should reflect the diversity of the church.

Prophetic Activism: Increasing the Academic Achievement Among Low Performing African-American Male Students at Mary B. Martin School

Author
Danny Anthony Everett D.Min.
Abstract
University Circle United Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio partnered with Mary B. Martin School to address academic achievement disparities for low performing African-American males. If students participate in faith and culturally based extended school programs, then their academic performance improves. Explorations from qualitative research during a church led after school program were expounded. The approach incorporated prophetic activism based on themes of spirituality, educational inequity, and social learning and critical race theories. The data suggests partnerships between churches and schools improve outcomes for African-American male students. A final project was submitted to the Doctoral Studies Committee at United Theological Seminary in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Ministry.

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.
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