People of African Descent, friends, and allies conference


2014 MCC Conference for People of African Descent, Friends, and Allies

15-17 MAY 2014





The theme for the 2014 PAD Conference is “Be the Change” reflecting MCC’s commitment to Transforming Ourselves as We Transform the World. There will be amazing programming, soul-stirring worship, and informing plenaries on a wide range of topics that will support churches, clergy, and other leaders in becoming even more diverse and inclusive.


As a part of Saturday’s second plenary, “Intersectional Justice: Why Should I Care,” the Rev. MacArthur H. Flournoy, Director for Faith Partnerships and Mobilization at the Human Rights Campaign, will offer an opening talk to help us understand the significance of connecting justice and faith, especially in relationship to our layered identities. The following dynamic speakers will also accompany him, share their inspirational journeys and perspectives about embodying/being the change, and explain why it’s important to invest our time and talents into the liberation of others.


RevCedricReverend Cedric A. Harmon has a BS in media management from Emerson College and has completed extensive graduate work at Wesley Seminary. Cedric’s deep faith calls him to do the work of justice and equality, and to equip others to do the same. He served as pastor of a “radically inclusive” congregation in Washington, DC and is currently Co-Director with Ann Thompson Cook of Many Voices – a new nonprofit creating a Black Church movement for gay and transgender justice.

KylarKylar W. Broadus is senior policy counsel and director of the Transgender Civil Rights Project, at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in Washington, D.C. He was a full professor of business law at Lincoln University, a historically Black college where he previously served as chair of the business department. In 2010, Kylar was appointed to serve as Division Director within the Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities of the American Bar Association and continues to serve in that capacity, as well as Co-Chair for the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

RevDrJoanThe Reverend Dr. Joan M. Martin, William W. Rankin Associate Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Episcopal Divinity School, has been a member of the faculty since the academic year 1993, and began teaching in 1994.  In addition to her teaching and committee responsibilities, she serves as the coordinator of the Doctor of Ministry degree program, and advisor to the institutional anti-racism and anti-oppression, “Change Team II.” Presently, Martin is a member of the Womanist Group in Church and Society Steering Committee of the American Academy of Religion, and also serves in the Wabash Consultants Program.  Martin is an ordained Presbyterian minister (PCUSA).

RevDeWayneRev. DeWayne L. Davis is the Senior Pastor of All God’s Children Metropolitan Community Church in Minneapolis, MN. He currently serves on the MCC Moderator’s Public Policy Team and was a participant in MCC’s inaugural class of the Leadership Mentoring Retreat. He holds a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy from Howard University and an M.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland at College Park.  DeWayne received his Master of Divinity degree with honors from the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.



During the conference there will be an amazing pop topic at each lunch gathering on Friday and Saturday. We will not only have an opportunity to break bread together, but will also hear about some of the inspiring work going on in our communities! The speakers will share briefly on the following topics and then attendees will have time to ask a few questions. And, of course, there will be plenty of time to eat and reconnect with friends and loved ones.



RevRolandStringfellowFriday, May 16th – We are excited to have our very own Rev. Roland Stringfellow, Pastor of MCC Detroit, join us to talk about the internally transformative work of the Umoja Project, an effort designed to facilitate safe, non-threatening dialogue about the diversity of human sexuality and the tension that sometimes exists within African-American faith communities in relation to LGBT individuals, as well as the curriculum that any church and organization can participate in.

Rev.Dr.JenniferSLeathSaturday, May 17th — We welcome the Rev. Dr. Jennifer S. Leath to the PAD conference for the first time as she brings to us her talk, “No Place Like Home”?: The Formation, Vision & Mission of The Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics & Social Justice (CARSS). CARSS is a new project of Columbia University that seeks to facilitate dialogue with African American religious and thought leaders who are committed to sexuality and gender justice.

Worship Preachers

Find out more information about our worship preachers.

 News to know

Conference Hotel Rate Deadline


Attending the 2014 PAD Conference? Deadline for the conference rate at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Atlanta North Druid Hills – Emory Area is swiftly approaching. Reserve your room TODAY! Your credit card will not be charged until you arrive at the hotel.

DEADLINE for Conference rate is APRIL 22, 2014.



The PAD Conference is increasing access to restrooms for all people attending conference. Mindful of the challenges that facilities labeled “Men” or “Women” pose to many, the conference staff and host church devised a plan for more gender inclusive bathrooms facilities.

Each bathroom will be labeled with either one of three signs: “Everyone”, “Women” or “Men”. We hope that this will meet the needs of all individuals. We seek to offer a conference in which all members of the community may choose the restroom that best matches their gender identity and expression.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Rev. Vickey Gibbs at RevVickeyGibbs@MCCchurch.net.


Do you want to attend the PAD Conference, but need a roommate? Let someone know. The PAD conference is providing a connection space where those who want roommates can find someone. Click here and see you in Atlanta!

View the schedule to see all of the excellent programming in store for you.



Do you have time to volunteer during the 2014 People of African Descent, Allies, and Friends Conference?  We are looking for people with kind hearts and generous spirits to volunteer their time. Volunteer opportunities include (but are not limited to): conference registration, worship (usher, greeter, acolyte), workshops, audio visuals, hospitality, VIP Buddies, and so much more.

To find out more about all of the volunteer opportunities: http://padconference.mccchurch.org/register-attend/volunteer/


Looking for: Musicians, Dancers, and Singers/Choir Members

Contact: CassandraWhite@MCCchurch.net

 Can I Get An Amen!

For many attendees the PAD Conference has made a difference in their lives, for their families, and and for their churches. We thought hearing some of their testimonies would inspire you. In this edition, we get an “Amen!” from Goldie Brown, Resurrection MCC, Houston, Texas. In her testimony she shares how enriched she has been attending the PAD Conference. For more testimonies, click here.

From Goldie—

Attending and joining an MCC church gave me a safe place to worship. Our worship services are very diverse allowing the members to see glimpses of their faith somewhere during service. Another entity where I see glimpses of my culture is from the services and activities during the PAD conferences. Both give me a sense of belonging. During PAD, a connection is made, friendships developed and networking conducted. PAD is a time to present our unique challenges and exchange of ideas and or solutions. I look forward to seeing those I have met from previous conferences. I get to put faces with names. When I travel, I look up those names. I also learn about the unique challenges that our allies face and help find solutions through listening and education. PAD is a much smaller (although attendance grows with each one) collection of people who are more like me than not. I bring back what I’ve learned and share them with my church. I get excited about connecting with those in my church who look like me and those who don’t. The bridge fades and is replaced with like minds and hearts. Plus I get to sightsee a new city!

Register to join us for this powerful and inspiring event.

Be a Pillar to help someone attend the conference.

Volunteer to help make a difference at the conference.

Become an Exhibitor or Sponsor to promote your business, movement, or ministry.

If you have any questions, please contact Rev. Candy Holmes, PAD Conference Planning Chair for more information.

ThankyouHRClogomany voicesmccedsMCCAustinFMCC


  • Michelle Freeman, M.Div.:

    Greetings in the name of our Creator God Who Makes Us ALL ONE!

    I was first led to attend a MCC PAD Conference as a member of the Board of Directors at Resurrection MCC in Houston in 2008. The PAD Conference that year was held in St. Louis, MO. This conference was very transformational for me, my spirit, my walk with God and my ministry. In that conference, I was affirmed in who I am as a all-gender loving person in a life-long committed same-gender loving relationship. I was affirmed that my Creator God has truly placed on me a calling to reach out to ALL persons of God’s creation regardless of gender identity, orientation, religion, creed, color, economic status etc. The PAD conference that year also formed a basis for my future seminary studies for it was at that conference I was introduced to Eden Theological Seminary located in St. Louis. My beloved wife of 18 years, Georgia Chambers and myself completed our studies at Eden in May of 2012. The PAD Conference in 2008, warmed my soul, my heart and my spirit and uplifted me up to where I truly felt at home. I am honored that my beloved Georgia and myself will be attending the PAD this year in one of our favorite cities, Atlanta and we will be reunited with our MCC PAD friends and family. I can’t wait and I am so excited and looking forward with renewed hope and promise to the arrival of the 2008 MCC PAD Conference. See everyone in HOTLANTA!!!!

    Blessings in Christ,
    Michelle Freeman, M.Div.
    Houston, TX

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