Book - Paperback
I'm Black. I'm Christian. I'm Methodist.
Paperback ISBN: 9781791017095
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E-Book ISBN: 9781791017101
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Published November 2020

It’s uncertain that Howard Thurman made the remark often attributed to him, “I have been writing this book all my life,” but there is little doubt that he was deeply immersed in reflection on the times that bear an uncanny resemblance to the present day, which give voice to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Our “life’s book” is filled with sentence upon sentence of marginalization, pages of apartheid, chapters of separate and unequal. Now this season reveals volumes of violence against Blacks in America.

Ten Black women and men explore life through the lens of compelling personal religious narratives. They are people and leaders whose lives are tangible demonstrations of the power of a divine purpose and evidence of what grace really means in face of hardship, disappointment, and determination. Each of the journeys intersect because of three central elements that are the focus of this book. We’re Black. We’re Christians. We’re Methodists.  Each starts with the fact, “I'm Black,” but to resolve the conflict of being Christian and Methodist means confronting aspects of White theology, White supremacy, and White racism in order to ground an oppositional experience toward domination over four centuries in America.

About the Authors

Lillian C. Smith

Lillian C. Smith is senior pastor, Cheverly United Methodist Church, Hyattsville, Maryland. She previously served in denominational agencies and the Pennsylvania conference office. In addition to contributing to 365 Meditations for Women by Women, she has written Sunday school curriculum for youth.

Vance P. Ross

Vance P. Ross is senior pastor, Central United Methodist Church, Atlanta, Georgia. Previously he served several United Methodist churches and on staff at a denominational agency.

Justin Coleman

Justin Coleman is the Senior Pastor of University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. A native of Houston, he is a graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, and Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina.  Rev. Coleman has also served as the Chief Ministry Officer for the United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville, TN, as Lead Pastor of the Gethsemane Campus of St. Lukes United Methodist Church in Houston, TX, at the SMU Wesley Foundation, and in other college and youth ministry settings. His ministry at University UMC includes leading the church as it seeks to transform lives by loving God, serving others, and building Christian community. Rev. Coleman is married to Dr. Chaka Coleman and they have three sons.

F. Willis Johnson

F. Willis Johnson currently leads Living Tree Church in Columbus Ohio. Prior to starting Living Tree, he was senior minister of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, Missouri, where thousands have been influenced by his prophetic, faith-filled reflections and strategies on social justice and racial understanding. He counsels bishops, general board agencies, conferences, and local churches across the country. He has also served in professional ministry in Indiana and North Carolina for the last 15 years. Johnson’s writing and lecturing credits range from TIME Magazine, National Public Radio, universities, and seminaries to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History Culture. He has been adjunct faculty at Drew Theological School, Methodist Theological School of Ohio, and Eden Theological Seminary.

Pamela R. Lightsey

Pamela R. Lightsey is dean of the faculty and vice-president of student affairs, Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary. 

Erin Beasley

Erin Beasley is associate pastor at Germantown United Methodist Church in Germantown, Tennessee.

Jevon Caldwell-Gross

Jevon Caldwell-Gross is Teaching Pastor, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Indianapolis, Indiana.