A Forum on Black Preaching & Theology
A Forum on Black Preaching & Theology
Five sermons and one lecture by six distinguished African American preachers and theologians and a celebration of music in the African American Church.
Local churches within the community host the evening worship services. All are welcome — come and be inspired!
36 Years of Excellence
5 Days. 8 Events.
Sunday, March 11
Sunday Morning Worship
Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ
6401 Ogontz Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19126
Sacred Music Concert featuring St. Thomas Gospel Choir
Church of St. Martin in the Fields 8000 St. Martins Lane Philadelphia, PA 19118get directions
Monday, March 12
Rev. Dr. Jerry M. Carter, Jr.
Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Germantown
41 West Rittenhouse Street
Philadelphia, PA 19144
Tuesday, March 13
Dr. Anthea Butler
The Brossman Center at
United Lutheran Seminary
7301 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19119
Rev. Michael A. Walrond, Jr.
Enon Tabernacle Baptist
2800 West Cheltenham Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19150
Wednesday, March 14
Rev. Dr. Mark Kelly Tyler
Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel at
United Lutheran Seminary
7301 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19119
Rev. Dr. Delman L. Coates
Reformation Lutheran Church
1215 East Vernon Road
Philadelphia, PA 19150
Thursday, March 15
Rev. Sheleta Evette Fomby
St. Matthew AME Church
215 North 57th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139
A Full Lineup of 6 Incredible Speakers
Rev. Dr. Jerry M. Carter, Jr.Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, Morristown, NJ
Dr. Carter is a faithful theologian whose commitment to articulate the gospel in both written and oratory forms has transformed and shaped the lives of generations. He is a highly sought-after revivalist, keynote speaker, lecturer, mentor and teacher who has been invited to share the gospel on numerous platforms throughout the country. He served as an evening expositor during the National Baptist USA Conventions, and a lecturer at the Hampton Ministers Conference, E.K. Bailey Expository Preaching Conference and Charles E. Booth Preaching Conference respectively.
He is president of the African- American Clergy Association of Morris County, and has had the honor and privilege of sharing his passion for teaching as a distinguished visiting professor of the Transformational Preaching Doctorate of Ministry program at New Brunswick Theological in New Brunswick, NJ. He also served as an adjunct professor of preaching at Drew Theological Seminary, and an instructor of homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary’s Summer Institute.
A respected mentor, Dr. Carter’s influence and impact, is far reaching within the Kingdom. In 2008, he founded the How Shall They Hear (HSTH) Preaching Conference which exists to equip those who are called to preach the gospel, with practical, theological resources aimed at developing the discipline of preaching.
An author, Dr. Carter has inspired through his published works in the New Interpreters Handbook of Preaching, Oxford Sermons Volume III, Evangelizing the Black Male in the 21st Century and the African American Pulpit. His latest work, “The Empowered Life: Living Well in the Spirit” was published in 2015.
He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Denison University in Granville, OH and a Master of Divinity degree at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ where he was awarded the Princeton Expository Preaching Prize. Continuing his education, Dr. Carter earned a Ph.D. in liturgical studies with a special emphasis in homiletics from Drew University.
Dr. Carter has served since 1990, as the 14th pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church of Morristown, NJ. During his tenure, numerous ministries have been initiated, and many lives have been changed and committed to Christ. A native of Columbus, Ohio, he is a devoted and loyal fan of The Ohio State College football team and the proud father of three children, Jerry M. III, Zachary Daniel, and Camille.
Dr. Anthea ButlerAssociate Professor & Graduate Chair of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Anthea Butler is Graduate Chair and Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Butler’s research and writing spans religion and politics, religion and media, African American religion, sexuality, gender, and popular culture. She is the author of and Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making A Sanctified World on The University of North Carolina Press. She is currently completing a book project on religion, politics, and evangelicals from the 2008 to the 2016 election which will be published with the New Press.
A sought-after media commentator on the BBC, MSNBC, CNN and other media outlets, Professor Butler also provides op-ed on contemporary politics, religion, and race at The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Guardian. She has also served as a consultant to the PBS series God in America and the American Experience on Aimee Semple McPherson.
Rev. Michael A. Walrond, Jr.Senior Pastor, First Corinthian Baptist Church, Harlem, NY
Michael A. Walrond Jr. is the Senior Pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church (FCBC) in Harlem, New York. Walrond—affectionately known as Pastor Mike—is quickly rising as one of the most prolific and sought-after teachers and preachers in the country. Considered a visionary, cultural architect, and game-changer by his peers, Pastor Mike has not only catalytically changed the traditional prospective of black church, but he is also shifting the paradigm of Christian understanding and culture. Within two years of his leadership at FCBC, the church experienced exponential growth, tripling its membership. Over the past thirteen years, membership at FCBC has grown from 300 to over 10,000 members.
Pastor Mike’s community and social justice initiatives include the Micah Clergy Roundtable of NYC, A.C.T. Social Justice Ministry, anti-“stop and frisk” campaign and helping to get the “New York City Living Wage” legislation passed through the City Council. He is a board member of the National Action Network (NAN) and was appointed the first National Director of the Ministers Division. He serves as a Trustee and adjunct faculty member of Chicago Theological Seminary and currently serves as the Chair of The Board of Visitors at Duke University Divinity School. For over two years served as weekly columnist for the New York Amsterdam News. Pastor Mike’s work has been recognized by The Harlem Torch, Positive Community Magazine, The Amsterdam News, and he was named “One of the Lord’s Foot Soldiers” by Newsweek Magazine. Pastor Mike has received numerous honors, accolades, and recognitions include induction into Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers as a “Distinguished Preacher.” In 2014 Pastor Mike was a recipient of The Root 100 Award, a list of the top 100 most influential African Americans under the age of 45. In July of 2015 New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, named Pastor Mike as the first chair of the NYC Clergy Advisory Council.
In 2012, Pastor Mike’s foresight and passion for the Harlem community shaped the vision for the FCBC community development corporation (CDC). The most ambitious project to date of the FCBC CDC is The Dream Center: a transformative space designed to awaken dreams of the community. Focused on creative arts, leadership development, and economic empowerment, The Dream Center offers over twenty-five completely free programs to the Harlem community for all ages, races, and backgrounds. With a desire to deeply engage the issues of the community, in December of 2016 Pastor Mike opened the H.O.P.E. (Healing On Purpose and Evolving) Center; the first faith-based mental health facility in Harlem. The H.O.P.E. Center is a manifestation of Pastor Mike’s vision to effectively support the vast mental health needs of the community. The center seeks to minimize the stigma that exists in many communities of color when seeking mental health services.
Pastor Mike is a graduate of Morehouse College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy. He continued his studies at Duke University School of Divinity as a Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar and earned a Master of Divinity degree with a focus in Theology. He served Duke University as the University Minister and Director of the African American Campus Ministry for eight years. Pastor Mike served as the Senior Pastor of Zion Temple United Church of Christ in Durham, North Carolina for eight years. He is a proud member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and the Morehouse College Alumni Association.
Pastor Mike is a native of Roosevelt, New York. He is married to the Rev. Dr. LaKeesha N. Walrond, who serves as the Executive Pastor of FCBC. They are the proud parents of two beautiful children, Michael III and Jasmyn Dominique.
Rev. Dr. Mark Kelly TylerSenior Pastor, Mother Bethel AME Church, Philadelphia, PA
Mark Kelly Tyler is a native of Oakland, CA and he is the third child of Bill and Elroy Tyler. In 1987, he accepted God’s call to preach the liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
He is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University (B.A., Religion), Payne Theological Seminary (Masters of Divinity), and the University of Dayton (Ph.D., Educational Leadership). Since 1994, Dr. Tyler has been in full time pastoral ministry in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He has been blessed to serve as pastor of congregations from one coast to the other: Oakley Chapel (Tebbetts, Missouri); Quinn Chapel (Jefferson City, Missouri); Allen Chapel (San Francisco, California); Prince Chapel by the Sea (La Jolla, California); Bethel (Oxford, Ohio); Bethel (West Chester, Pennsylvania); and, Macedonia (Camden, New Jersey).
Dr. Tyler currently serves as the 52nd pastor of Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. Mother Bethel, the first congregation founded by Bishop Richard Allen, has been a spiritual, social, and community force since the late 1700s. Mother Bethel also has the honor of serving as the final resting place of church founder, Bishop Allen, Sarah Allen, and Bishop Morris Brown. It is an international destination for AME pilgrims and tourists alike.
Dr. Tyler is a documentary film maker. He has produced several projects, including Bishop Richard Allen: Apostle of Freedom (The Documentary), The Anvil: Echoes from the General Conference, The Anvil: The Spirit of African Methodism, and The Anvil: Preaching on the Frontline. He has been on air in other documentaries, including Dr. Henry Louis “Skip” Gates’ PBS documentary, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross; multiple episodes of Sam Katz’ Philadelphia: the Great Experiment; The Scroll: Evidence of the Life Unseen, Volume 2; the PBS series, A Taste of History; Philly Firsts; and, Coltrane’s Philadelphia.
Dr. Tyler has also been active in the world of theological education, currently serving as a Fully Affiliated Faculty Member at the Methodist Theological Seminary in Ohio. He has been a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Payne Theological Seminary (PTS), Northeastern Seminary (NES), New Brunswick Theological Seminary (NBTS), and Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). Additionally, Dr. Tyler is the past Director of Church Relations and Alumni Affairs at PTS and the past Director of Church Vocations at NBTS. He serves on the Advisory Board for the Urban Theological Institute at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and formerly served on the Advisory Board for Northeastern Seminary.
Dr. Tyler’s ministry has also led him into the work of organizing for social justice. As a member of POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild), he serves as the co-chair of the Clergy Caucus and co-chair of the LIVE FREE campaign to end mass incarceration and make the criminal justice system more accountable. He is also one of the facilitators of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Action, Resistance, and Empowerment (MLK DARE), a coalition of more than 30 local, state, and national organizations fighting for racial justice in society.
Dr. Tyler is the host of the morning drive talk show, “Wake Up With WURD”, on 900 AM/96.1 FM WURD in Philadelphia. The show brings together all of Dr. Tyler’s passions as he interviews local, national, and international guests on the important topics of the day. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and in his “spare time” enjoys traveling to new places, riding his motorcycle or mountain bike, and roller skating. He and his wife, Leslie, live in the Philadelphia area. He has four wonderful children.
The Rev. Dr. Delman CoatesSenior Pastor, Mt. Ennon Baptist Church, Clinton, MD
Rev. Delman Coates is a graduate of Morehouse College (B.A. in Religion, 1995), Harvard Divinity School (Master of Divinity, 1998), and Columbia University (Master of Philosophy in Religion, 2002; Ph.D. in New Testament & Early Christianity, 2006).
Dr. Coates published articles including: "And the Bible Says: Methodological Tyranny of Biblical Fundamentalism and Historical Criticism" in Blow the Trumpet in Zion (2004, "Towards a Progressive Christian Interpretive Praxis" in The African-American Pulpit (2004), and "Origen of Alexandria" in Union Seminary Quarterly Review (vol. 59:3-4, 2005). Coates wrote a piece entitled “The New Abolitionism: Monetary Reform and the Future of Civil Rights,” which is in the book “Mr. President: Interfaith Perspectives on the Historic Presidency of Barack H. Obama” (2017). Among his published sermons include “From Proclamation to Protest” (The African American Pulpit, July 2008) and “Race Still Matters” (TAAP 2009).
Dr. Coates has served as the Senior Pastor of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, MD since 2004. During this time, the congregation has grown to 9,000 members. Dr. Coates has initiated and revitalized ministries, expanded the church's ministry campus and land holdings, and incorporated the Mt. Ennon Development Corporation (MEDC). In October 2009, Outreach Magazine named Mt. Ennon as one of the 100 Fastest Growing Congregations in the U.S.
Pastor Coates is founder and president of the Black Church Center for Justice & Equality (BCC), He is a board member of the Parents Television Council and the National Action Network. He is also a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Morehouse College Board of Preachers, and the NAACP. In 2008, TAAP honored him as one of the "20 To Watch." In 2012, “The Root” named Dr. Coates as one of their 100 African American achievers and influencers. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) honored Dr. Coates in 2013 for his commitment to advancing civil rights and liberties for all. The same year, Ebony magazine selected him as one of their “Power 100.”
Coates’s ministry, messages, and social activism spans a variety of media platforms. He has appeared on, and been profiled in, national media such as MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, Essence Magazine, NPR, VH1, The New York Times, The Washington Post, & Huffington Post, and is featured in the documentary The New Black.
Dr. Coates is the proud father of four children: sons, Nathaniel and Joshua, and twin daughters, Ava Marie and Leah Blair.
Rev. Sheleta Evette FombyAssociate Minister, Reid Temple AME Church, Glenn Dale, MD
The Reverend Sheleta Evette Fomby serves as the Director of Discipleship Development at the Reid Temple AME Church under the dynamic leadership of Rev. Dr. Lee P. Washington. In 2016, she was elevated and given leadership as Managing Minister of the Sunday Evening Worship Service. Reid Temple AME Church is the largest A.M.E. church in the Second Episcopal District with a total membership that exceeds 13,000 congregants. Rev. Fomby has served in several key leadership positions over the years, namely as Minister of Church Life and Minister to Women at the Reid Temple North location, led by Rev. Matthew Watley, Executive Minister.
Rev. Fomby is a native of Washington, D.C. and received a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources from the University of Maryland. She then completed her Master of Divinity at Wesley Theological Seminary with a focus on African American Church Studies. Additionally, she has studied at the Faith and Leadership Institute at Duke University. Rev. Fomby is a lifelong learner and currently pursuing doctoral studies at Wesley Theological Seminary focusing on leadership. In addition to her educational background, she has nobly served her country in the United States Air force. She has been recognized for her decorated military service and has received various honors of distinction.
Rev. Fomby is the founder of Sequoia Ministries based in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Sequoia Ministries is a non-denominational ministry dedicated to sharing the Gospel and extending the love of Jesus Christ through clear and relevant biblical preaching and teaching, worship gatherings, and Christian fellowship. Her passion is seeing women reach their full potential in Christ. She ministers faithfully to see women empowered through the development of programs, events, activities, conferences, and seminars. Through this ministry, she has proven to be fully committed to liberating lives, encouraging hearts, and inspiring hope through the faithful proclamation of God’s word.
Rev. Fomby received The Lord Jesus Christ at the age of 16 at the New Covenant Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., under Bishop A. Norris Smith. She received ordination as Itinerant Deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in April 2007 and Itinerant Elder orders in April 2009. Rev. Fomby has been recognized as one of the emerging voices of this generation and has been privileged to proclaim the Gospel in churches, retreats, and conferences across the nation. Rev. Fomby was recognized by The African American Pulpit Journal as one of the “20 to Watch Under 40” and sermons have been published nationally. In addition, Rev. Fomby’s sermons have been included in These Sisters Can Say It, edited by Darryl Sims and Dr. Cynthia Hale. Rev. Fomby’s preaching gifts have garnered many prestigious invitations, including serving as the George A. Crawley Women in Ministry the historic 102nd Hampton Minister’s Conference.
Rev. Fomby firmly believes that she has come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord. It is not clear all that God will do through her, but she is certainly a voice for such a time as this. She is encouraged daily by Philippians 1:6, “…being confident of this very thing that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Is God calling you to minister?
The Urban Theological Institute
The Urban Theological Institute (UTI) of the United Lutheran Seminary is dedicated to providing theological education with a focus on ministry in the Black Church. For over 38 years, students of various traditions have enhanced their education and ministry through UTI. Our programs provide opportunities for Philadelphia’s ministers and church leaders to prepare to serve Christ.
Preaching with Power
This year, UTI and ULS celebrate the 36th year of Preaching with Power. Since its inception, it has presented the finest in African American preaching and music. PWP is held annually in March and is hosted both on the ULS Philadelphia campus and in congregations throughout the community. Each of the preaching events are free and all offerings primarily benefit the Rev. Dr. Joseph Q. Jackson Endowed Scholarship Fund. On Sunday morning at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, an offering will be taken for the Bishop Ernest C. Morris Scholarship Fund.
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Q. Jackson Endowed Scholarship Fund
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Q. Jackson Endowed Scholarship Fund provides support for students preparing to serve the African American church community. The fund provides scholarships for entering students as well as merit awards given annually to the African American UTI student preparing for ordained ministry with the highest cumulative GPA.
Come and See
If you have a sense God may be calling you to be a minister, to serve as a social justice advocate, Christian educator, chaplain, teacher, or church leader, UTI can provide you with degree and certificate programs both relevant and upbuilding for the African American community.Learn More About UTI
Meet the Director of UTI, Dr. Quintin Robertson
The Rev. Dr. Quintin L. Robertson, a native of Newark, NJ, holds ordination through the National Baptist Convention, USA and the Church of God in Christ. He serves as the Director of the Urban Theological Institute at the seminary overseeing the Black Church Studies Program. He also served as Director of Admission and Recruitment for the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta for 10 years. He conducts seminars and workshops and preaches at churches across denominational lines around the nation.