VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/16/14)—The African American church is a rich and complex phenomenon. Historically, it has played a major role in the advancement of the African American community. But, what is its future? How does it serve the present age? In The Future of the African American Church: An Invitation to Dialogue, authors Ralph Basui Watkins and Justin G. West offer a new and thought-provoking perspective on the state and future of African American church life.
Watkins and West address the highly debated question “Is the black church dead or alive?” They also invite readers to consider what the church can be, offering multiple ways for different church traditions, like prophetic and praise churches, to dialogue with and benefit from each other.
In addition, this book features:
• Two distinctive voices offering readers cross-generational perspectives and experiences
• Responses to recent critiques of the black church by scholars, pastors and authors
• Current and future church models for effective witness in society
• Discussion questions for small-group dialogue
This resource intends to strengthen the connection between older and younger generations, between traditional and contemporary cultural expressions, and between prophetic and praise-based church traditions. It is an essential resource for pastors, lay leaders and seminarians seeking to improve the prognosis of the black church.
This resource is supported by a series of videos to aid in facilitating dialogue. (See https://vimeo.com/channels/163594.)
About the Authors
Ralph Basui Watkins, PhD, DMin, MA, is associate professor of Evangelism and Church Growth at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. With more than 20 years of pastoral, teaching, and administrative experience, Dr. Ralph Watkins is an active teaching scholar with more than 250 publications and conference presentations to his credit, including five books, three with Judson Press. 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) Church.
Justin G. West, MDiv, 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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