VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/6/23)—Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, executive director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) and CEO of Judson Press, will be inducted April 13, 2023, into the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers at the annual College of Ministers & Laity, a signature program of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
The Board of Preachers honors clergy from diverse global religious, spiritual and ethical traditions who manifest a distinct combination of personal piety, religious civility, keen intellect and a commitment to faith bearing witness in various forms of social justice, equality and human rights.
As exemplified by their brother Dr. King throughout his adult life, members of this auspicious group comport themselves according to a high standard of cosmopolitan ethical principles. They have demonstrated significant achievements in their chosen vocation and are evolving toward ever-greater ones. They are also profoundly committed to their community and society, the planet and the cosmos.
Alluding to his life-long reverence for Dr. King, Dr. Haggray shared thoughts on his pending inauguration: “This acknowledgment means much to me because, from my childhood, Dr. King was one of my role models. As I reflect on my commitment to preaching the gospel of liberation, wholeness, healing and justice for 42 years, in addition to serving others, this recognition from my peers, bearing the imprimatur of both Dr. King—a native Georgian and Baptist minister—and Morehouse College—one of America’s foremost HBCUs [historically black colleges and universities]—affirms my spirit and encourages my soul in a very deep place.”
Dr. Haggray finds the heart of his ministry in motivating Christians to impact communities with their deeply held faith; encouraging emerging leaders to discern and respond to God’s call; and emphasizing God’s loving concern for humanity’s well-being, wholeness and justice. Importantly, as ABHMS’ executive director, Dr. Haggray works closely with diverse national and regional partners to provide a clear vision of the Christian mission in today’s world. In so doing, he cultivates invaluable relationships and develops resources for transformational ministry with congregations, communities and regions across the United States and Puerto Rico.
“What a gift it is that Dr. Jeffrey Haggray chooses to use his prophetic voice from the national pulpit that American Baptist Home Mission Societies offers to the U.S. and Puerto Rico,” said the Rev. Dr. Jaime Washam, president of ABHMS’ Board of Directors. “His induction into the MLK Jr. Board of Preachers confirms what American Baptists have long recognized, namely that Dr. Haggray is a preacher of faith, vision and substance.”
Before his tenure as ABHMS’ executive director, Dr. Haggray was called to serve congregations in New Jersey; Washington, D.C.; and Georgia, where he developed a comprehensive understanding of the day-to-day needs of local congregations involved in disciple-making, worship, leadership development, evangelism and mission engagement. Further, as a regional executive minister for the District of Columbia Baptist Convention, Dr. Haggray found that access to necessary human and material resources would unfetter congregations and institutions in their efforts to positively impact their communities.
A native of Savannah, Georgia, Dr. Haggray graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. He went on to earn a Master of Divinity from Yale University and a Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary.
Morehouse College will be live-streaming the ceremony honoring Dr. Haggray and his fellow inductees on its YouTube channel on April 13 at 11 a.m. EDT.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.