The Metropolitan Community Churches is hosting the 2014 People of African Descent, Our Friends and Allies. We are delighted to announce the preachers who will grace the Conference pulpit. Each preacher will challenge and invite us to see with new eyes what it means to “Be the Change” no matter where we find ourselves. All worship services will be held at the conference location. Join us for worship!
Worship Schedule — Thursday, May 15, 2014
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Lee Samuel
Opening Evening Worship
Opening the PAD Conference will be the esteemed, Dr. Kenneth Samuel, Senior Pastor of the Victory of the World Church (Atlanta, GA). Dr. Samuel was licensed and ordained at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, under the pastorate of the Reverend Doctor Joseph L. Roberts, Jr., and Pastor Emeritus, Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. And in November 2002, he was granted full ministerial standing in the United Church of Christ through the Georgia/South Carolina Association of the United Church of Christ.
Dr. Samuel has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Religion and Philosophy Department at Clark Atlanta University and as a Teaching Assistant in homiletics at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University. His first book, entitled ‘Solomon’s Success: Four Essential Keys to Leadership’ recently appeared as the number one best seller under Pilgrim Press in The Christian Century.
Believing that our love for Jesus should never be separated from our passion for Justice, Dr. Samuel engaged himself in the struggle for human rights through numerous agencies, which most recently include serving as Vice-Chair of the African American Leadership Council of People For the American Way), Trustee Board Member of Lancaster Theological Seminary, Advisory Board Member of the Interdenominational Theological Center, Board Member of Leadership DeKalb, Religious Advisory Board Member of the National Black Justice Coalition, Past President of the DeKalb Branch NAACP, and a DeKalb County Jail Chaplain.
Worship Schedule — Friday, May 16, 2014
Rev. Carolyn Mobley
Rev. Carolyn J. Mobley will get us ready for the day with her unique and inspiring word through song ministry. Rev. Mobley was ordained in 1995 with the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC). She has and continues to inspire many through her ministry and her work in the community. Rev. Carolyn served as Associate Pastor at Resurrection MCC in Houston, Texas for 15 years. Following, she was Interim Pastor for MCC United, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and now serves as Interim Pastor for Richmond MCC. She has also served as denominational staff supporting the Clergy Connection program.
In Atlanta, Rev. Mobley served as Evangelist at First MCC of Atlanta and the Minister of Music at Circle of Grace Community Church. Spirit has affirmed Rev. Carolyn as a minister who speaks through her music. She is a gifted singer and pastoral leader. Rev. Mobley received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene Texas; and Master’s degree in Religious Education at the Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, Georgia. Rev. Carolyn has been an activist and a community leader since 1976.
Bishop Tonyia Rawls
The PAD Conference will have a night of revivial. — reviving our spirits for the work of “being the change” we are called to be. Bishop Tonyia Rawls of Sacred Souls Community Church will be Friday’s guest preacher. Bishop Rawls is the Founding Pastor of Sacred Souls Community Church, Charlotte, NC. Her ministry has been framed and developed by her Church of God in Christ and Progressive Freewill Baptist Church upbringing. After joining the Unity Fellowship Church Movement, she served in various leadership roles, and in 2008, became the denomination’s first woman Bishops. Bishop Rawls is engaged in advocacy work for children and schools, equality in healthcare (particularly around HIV/AIDS), and champions criminal and social justice causes. She is the Founder and Executive Director of The Freedom Center for Social Justice (FCSJ), founded in 2009. In 2013 the FCSJ launched the Southeastern region’s first LGBTQ Law Center and Transgender Employment Program.
Worship Schedule — Saturday, May 17, 2014
Rev. Mykal Slack, Esq.
The Rev. Mykal O’Neal Slack, Esq. will be the preacher for Saturday morning worship. Rev. Mykal is the founder and lead organizer of 4LYFE, an ecumenical, consultative ministry of Metropolitan Community Churches that provides pastoral and educational resources to address sexual orientation and gender identity issues in faith communities across a broad spectrum, inviting everyone to Live Your Faith Everyday. He also serves First Parish in Cambridge, Unitarian Universalist as a Worship Leader and Community Life Coordinator, supporting their efforts to become a multiracial, multi-faith, justice-making community.
As part of his ministry, Mykal is the Director of Spiritual Outreach for the Trans People of Color Coalition, the only national organization that seeks to promote the social and economic equality of all black and brown transgender and gender non-conforming people. Before ministry called him, Rev. Mykal spent several years in public service, clerking for the Honorable Marilyn D. Go, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and serving as an attorney for the ACLU LGBT & HIV/AIDS Rights Projects. He currently blogs on mendingdrybones.com and is a recently featured blogger on Believe Out Loud, an online network that empowers Christians to work for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality.
Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy L. Wilson
Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches
Closing the PAD Conference will be a music and art extravaganza. As guest preacher, Rev. Wilson will join her voice in casting a vision for making a difference and “be”ing the change in our world. Rev. Wilson was elected as Moderator of MCC in 2005, following the retirement of the Founder of MCC, Rev. Elder Troy Perry and in July 2010, she was re-elected. Her office is in Sarasota, Florida. Rev. Wilson obtained her B.A. from Allegheny College, her M.Div. from St. Cyril and Methodius Seminary and is a D.Min. from Episcopal Divinity School.
She has served as Senior Pastor for various MCC churches in the US from 1972 until 2001. Rev. Wilson was elected Elder of MCC in 1976 and served as the denomination’s Vice-Moderator from 1993 to 2001. She served as Clerk of the Board of Elders for ten years; and became MCC’s first Chief Ecumenical Officer, a post she held for 23 years. She has been the official delegate of MCC to the World Council of Churches General Assemblies in Canberra, Australia (1991); Harare, Zimbabwe (1998) and Porto Alegre, Brazil (2006). And Rev. Wilson is also an Associate Minister with The Fellowship in which Dr. Yvette Flunder serves as the Presiding Bishop. She has been honored with the first “Lazarus Award” from the Presbyterian Church and was invited to preach at the Earl Lectures at Pacific School of Religion in 2002.
In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Rev. Wilson to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Following President Obama’s re-election in 2013, Rev. Wilson gave a Scripture reading at the Inaugural Prayer Service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and was the first openly gay clergy member to participate.
Her published works include: Outing the Bible: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Christian Scriptures (LifeJourney Press); Outing the Church: 40 Years in the Queer Christian Movement (LifeJourney Press); Nossa Tribo: Gays, Deus, Jesus e a Bíblia (Metanoia); Our Tribe: Queer Folks, God, Jesus and the Bible (Alamo Press); with Fr. Malcolm Boyd, Amazing Grace. Rev. Wilson’s prayers and poems are included in Race and Prayer, edited by Malcolm Boyd and Chester Talton (Morehouse Press). A book signing is scheduled with Rev. Wilson during the conference.
Special Musical Artist
Bishop Yvette Flunder
And sharing Word in song will be our beloved, Bishop Yvette Flunder. You may recognize her recording career with Walter Hawkins and the Love Center Choir or her ministry work as a champion for human rights for all, especially the Black LGBTQ community.
Bishop Flunder founded the City of Refuge UCC in 1991 in order to unite a gospel ministry with a social ministry. Bishop Flunder is a native San Franciscan, a third generation preacher with roots in the Church of God in Christ. She was licensed in the COGIC and later ordained by the Bishop Walter Hawkins of Love Center Ministries where she served as Associate Pastor and administrator for the Oakland-based Love Center Church. In 1984 Bishop Flunder began performing and recording with “Walter Hawkins and the Family” and the Love Center Choir. Other gospel music recordings include “There’s Power “with the City of Refuge Praise Ensemble, “We Won’t Be Silent Anymore” with The Fellowship Mass Choir, and “How Sweet the Sound”, with the Grammy Award winning Chanticleer.
Bishop Flunder is also an ordained Minister of the United Church of Christ and a graduate of the Ministry Studies and Master of Arts programs at the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California. She received a Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo California. In June 2003 Bishop Flunder was consecrated Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship a multi-denominational fellowship of 110 primarily African American Christian leaders and laity representing 56 churches and faith-based organizations from all parts of the United States Mexico and Africa.
Responding to the needs of the AIDS epidemic, Bishop Flunder and her staff opened Hazard-Ashley House and Walker House in Oakland and Restoration House in San Francisco through the Ark of Refuge, Inc., a non-profit agency which provides housing, direct services, education and training for persons affected by HIV/AIDS in the Bay Area, throughout the USA and in three countries in Africa. Bishop Flunder has received many awards for her work in the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with the elderly and youth.
Bishop Flunder is a Trustee and Adjunct Professor at Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley California. She has been a lecturer, Adjunct Professor and speaker at numerous seminaries to include Lancaster, Duke, Drew, Eden, Yale and New York Theological. She is the author of “Where the Edge Gathers: A Theology and Homiletic of Radical Inclusion” Pilgrim Press.
She is a board member of the National Sexuality Resource Center, an active voice for the Religion Council of the Human Rights Campaign and Co-Chair of the Religious Advisory Committee of the National Black Justice Coalition. She also serves on the UCC Unified Governance Working Group as representative of the United Church of Christ Seminaries.