Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Rev. Dr. Julius Carroll reflects on a life lived in the church

Hesitation, in making decisions, found Dr. Carroll spending a ministry as a layman, college administrator, before leaping into seminary.  Parish ministry, synod staff, national church staff, and seminary staff have all been stops in a ministry that was fueled by the enthusiasm of Grover Wright, a Lay Associate turned recruiter for the staffing of urban ministries.  Still doing interim ministry Dr. Carroll reflects on his life.


At the 2019 Upstate NY Synod Assembly Dr. Carroll and Dr. Kenneth Simurro presented "African Forced Migration" .

Monday, October 15, 2018

Theartrice Williams - Layman, community organizer, long term justice warrior.

Theartrice Williams has gone from Chicago, to Philadelphia, back to Chicago for education and work, but call to direct a settlement house in Minneapolis, where he settled into being a churchman in the ALC and the ELCA.  He is a long term member of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Minneapolis and lay worker on the District/Synodical level

.  When a non-Luther graduate was looking for a first call, Mr. Williams fought to call Mark Hanson, who was a newly minted graduate of Union Seminary in New York.


Dr. Addie J. Butler, Eternal Advocate for the Big R.

Dr. Addie J. Butler declares that her journey with God has been a lifelong adventure. Howard University and Our Redeemer Lutheran Church opened her up to being justified by her faith alone, but in the last quarter century, she has appeared to be always at work in the church at the congregational level, the synodical level and as ELCA Vice President.  As much as she credits the church for her adventures in life, she brings a basketful of enthusiasm and energy to being a servant leader.


Rev. Sharon F. Kelly, PhD. Long term Lutheran still searching for what is yet to unfold.

Dr. Sharon Kelly, grew up in Baltimore with family values that were and are 'upwardly mobile.'  Gifts and skills were to be nurtured, with final goals unclarified, but expected.  Her local pastor led her to seminary at Gettysburg, a Lutheran Church in America school, while her church background was in the American Lutheran Church.  While that seems immaterial in the 21st century, it created interesting choices and challenges at the end of the 20th.  Like a number of women of color, her longest call was seven years. Dr. Kelly completed her doctoral degree by resigning as an academic advisor at a community college during the 2nd worst economic crisis in U.S. history (2009). More recently, she completed two interim ministries that permitted her to be near her family during her father’s health crisis and subsequent death.  She highlights the image of struggle that face many of our female colleagues, and women of color.


Friday, October 12, 2018

Robbin W. Skyles response to a 1980 request for an interview lasted 90 seconds.

Image result for Robbin W. SkylesWith the equipment set to record a conversation in 1980, Pr Skyles said clearly, "Boy turn that tape recorder off."  There was no debate.  This liturgical scholar, and single pastor of one congregation had lots to say beyond what is included in the "LCA Partners" April 1979 issue.


A mature picture appears in the article from the April 1979 issue of "LCA Partners".

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The First Interview,,, so long ago...Winston Bone's 1980 response to his being a part of African Descent Lutheran Ministry

Winston Bone's 50th Anniversary of Ordination in Blaine, WA

Not all excursions seeking out the elders provide face to face and oral encounters. A month after a west coast trip, many on Facebook learned from Winston Bone's daughter that she was experiencing,  "...the absolute hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Watching my daddy, the kindest man in the world in hospice. I don't want to say goodbye. He has been my rock always."  In going through my old research I found a response from Winston that included a reference to Richard Stewart's work in 1980, and his own personal history, Thank you to his family for the use of a family picture.

From Winston: "I received your request of February 26, 1980, for a personal history.  I am not quite sure what kind of information you would wish.  I am enclosing some biographical information.  Please let me know if you wish more elaborate information or if you wish information of a different nature.
Also enclosed is a copy of a talk I gave to our pastors' group, the Timotheans.  As you can see, and as I stated in the paper, I drew the first part of the presentation from your project.  The latter half is based on my personal involvements.  I thought that you may be interested in seeing a copy of the paper."

Winston Bone 1980 response.

My Daddys memorial service information. You are very welcome to attend.
Saturday, 8 December at 11:30a, Cross of Christ Lutheran Church, 411 156th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98007
Daddy loved to mentor students into the ministry. He served on the board of several seminaries.
Memorial Gifts can be made to the Urban Theological Institute of United Lutheran Seminary to further the theological education of African American students. Please make checks out to “Urban Theological Institute” and write “Winston Bone Memorial” on the memo line. Checks can be mailed to United Lutheran Seminary, 61 Seminary Ridge, Gettysburg, PA 17325

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Lee Wesley, Pastor, Church Staff, Social Service Agency Director

Calling to a congregation seems to be opening charge to all who consider ministry.  The church, too, has the potential of discovering hidden talents in those who serve the church and its agencies.  Uppsala College challenged Lee Wesley to examine his own religious roots in the CME and AME traditions.  Pr. Wesley's questioning mind continues to demonstrate the intellectual flexibility to have served the church in a number of positions over the course of his career.


The Rev. Dr. Lee H. Wesley entered the church triumphant on Saturday, July 13, 2019.

Pastor Wesley served congregations in Los Angeles, California and Jamaica, New York, Lutheran ministries in Philadelphia, and as president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services New York until he retired in July of 1998. A memorial service for Pastor Wesley will be announced in the coming months.

Note: Pastor Wesley’s family held burial service Saturday, July 27, 2019
Dudley’s Funeral Home
617 East Jackson Street
Dublin GA 31021.

You can read the full obituary here.
God of all grace, we give you thanks because by his death our Savior Jesus Christ destroyed the power of death and by his resurrection he opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Make us certain that because he lives we shall live also, and that neither death nor life, nor things present nor things to come will be able to separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Rev. Victor Langford, being the best friend of a Detroit childhood friend, led to a life of service to the church.

Rev. Victor Langford has a diverse history, from being a tag along friend, to developing a mission while on internship, to settling in Seattle and serving two congregations.  Along the way he was encouraged to join the National Guard as a Chaplain and retired as the first Brigadier General Chaplain to have completed the United States Army War College.  He is still serving St. Marks, Seattle.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Rev. Dr. Nelson Strobert, Author, Educator, Pastor

Growing up Lutheran is not a direct path to being a pastor. Being a French major in college is not an automatic indicator for someone headed toward the ministry, but the life, the studies and the experience have all shaped the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Nelson T. Strobert.  He has served as a Religious Educator in the Virgin Islands and a parish pastor at Advent Lutheran Church in Cleveland. He retired in 2013 as Professor of Christian Education from Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary [now United Lutheran Seminary], where he was recognized as the first tenured faculty of color.  He is the author of Daniel Alexander Payne: The Venerable Preceptor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, who was also the second African American ordained as a Lutheran in the United States.


Heading toward the Priesthood at Duquesne University, a mentor suggested he read Luther...

Joseph Donnella has served parishes in Indiana, the Virgin Islands, Campus Ministry at Howard University and was the Chaplain at Gettysburg College until his retirement in 2017.  He is currently serving as an interim pastor in Baltimore.  His story of living a true Reformation experiences is informative, even after 500 years.



Friday, April 20, 2018

Nurtured by her Pastor, Gwen King found a way to serve, Her LCMS Pastor/Father found a way to support her in her quest.

Pr Gwen King was interviewed at her home church, St. Philips LC-MS on Wyalusing Avenue, Philadelphia.  The congregation celebrated their 100th Anniversary in October 2017, but on April 19, 2018 they are anticipating the sale of the building to which Gwen refers in our conversation.  The faithful remnant, are renting smaller space and continuing as a congregation and praying for new visions of community involvement from a congregation that has become more regional than neighborhood based. You will hear her reflections on the past in our interview.



Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Getting healthy has been the task from June to September. The interview took place prior to the 100th Anniversary of St. Philips Lutheran Church in Philadelphia, the oldest Black Missouri Synod Lutheran Church.  Reading and research have been task for the past two months, including, moving the "church" papers from Rev. Dr. James Gunther's childhood home to the archives at the Philadelphia Seminary.  

Those activities say more about my improving health, than anything else.  So my prayer is that there will be more postings as I move into the second year of the Louisville Institute grant.

Today the Philadelphia Chapter of the African Descent Lutheran Association will have a service of remembrance on the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration weekend.  As chapter chaplain attached you will find the prayer composed for this event.  The struggle continues.  The shape of the challenges morph due to our own expanding awareness, and the fear of change and loss by others.  After attending and 8:15 am service with folks of a variety of colors and countries, I share this prayer and the above thoughts for an update of who I am, and noting that God isn't finished with me yet.

Let Us Remember:
Leader: We gather together this day to remember a martyred servant of God, who died too young, but started his learning at the foot of his pastor father. We thank you God for Inspiring this Baptist pastor, who on a pilgrimage to Germany in 1934, not unlike others who traveled this year. Inspired by spiritual and pastoral challenges modeled by Luther, Michael King was inspired to change his name and the name of his first born Son.
Congregation: May we be inspired by God’s word daily.
Men: Some of us who remember being personally inspired by the ministry and the leadership of the son, Martin Luther King, Jr.  There may be among us some who met him when he lived and preached in Chester. Let us remember him for leadership that was nurtured in this corner of Pennsylvania.
Congregation: May we remember the fear and the pride inspired by this youthful pastor, from Montgomery.  With his leadership, and others just as young, we saw, we lived; we remember an early version of Black Lives Matter.
Women: Six months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, there was a 15 year old school girl, Claudette Colvin, who had paid her fare and refused to give up her seat, and was arrested during “Black History Month, in 1955.
Congregation: May we never forget those whose pathways we no longer have to walk.  May we remember those who prayed then for a better day, just was we do today.
Leader: In 1999 Black Lutherans from the United States, Europe, and the African Continent, gathered at Wittenberg, Germany; proclaimed that those of African Descent must incorporate their heritages and histories into the Lutheran Church tradition. We pray dear God that you, Keep us on our task.
Men: We learn about the Theology of the Cross and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We pray that the pain of the cross is not all we remember. Let us all be Blessed, like the women in Galilee, who were blessed by the surprise and wonder that comes from encountering the risen Christ.
Leader: Today we pray for comfort, courage and hope to all victims of oppression and injustice, not just here, but wherever the love of Christ needs to be heard and experienced.
Women: We pray that in our spiritual and daily conversations that we continue to address injustices in both local and global communities, for that is the work of communities of Christ.
Men: We pray that the Gospel leads us as Christians and Lutherans to highlight that God’s word has relevance to all cultures. We pray for God’s guidance in meeting the social, political, and spiritual need of All God’s people, as we encounter them.
Men: We know by our experience and the Word, that racial justice is God’s will. It is worthy of pursuit by all God’s people. Strengthen our faith; enables us and strengthen us, as we continue the struggle for racial justice.
Women: Let us call for the Global Lutheran Community to discuss freely and openly, the justice needed in our world today.  Guide all of your children in seeking gender justice, an end to spousal abuse and child abuse. Push us to pursue justice and righteousness for all.
ALL: Father and Savior, Let not this remembrance and prayer be only used on this national holiday, but as often as necessary to remind us, that we continue to walk together and accompany each other in lives of commitment and faithfulness to the love God has shown all of us a members of the God’s Family and Sisters and Brothers in Christ, AMEN.

RStewart, MLK Day 2018