Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Letter From the Brothers: We Support Women Period

Bishop Joseph Walker and the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International (FGBCF) launched a "new kingdom initiative and ministry paradigm" that focused on a "progressive agenda to promote church, social and political reform" via a "five point platform."  This historic gathering was by "invitation only" and featured "prominent, new generation pastors and leaders" that came to Miami, Florida to "interact and to integrate their ideas on bold, powerful and world changing topics.”

However, not lost on many was the omission of women at this "historical gathering."  This sparked an intense and trending tweet chat on December 10, 2013 (#R3nowomen) and an open letter inistatied by Woman Preach CEO and President Dr. Valerie Bridgman, to Bishop Walker and the attendees of the inaugural meeting of the "SHIFT." Many criticized the initiative as "backwards and wondered how can a group talk about the future of the church and have no women present. Others felt like we have learned nothing from the work of womanists feminists, and activists in both the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. 
We are not questioning the motives of Bishop Walker and the FGBCF for they can speak and indeed have spoken for themselves. We, the undersigned,  just wanted simply to say that as menwe support women period! We feel that this is important for us as men to say and to say loudly. We acknowledge that we benefit from Black Male Privilege (BMP) in the church and that sometimes that can blind us from recognizing and realizing how we benefit from such a system. 

Therefore, as ministers of the gospel, church leaders, and people who love and support women, we promise to speak up, speak out, stand up and stand with our sisters in ministry. We promise to listen better, learn better live better and love better. In short, we respect and affirm our sisters in ministry and our desire is to become even better allies at standing up to this ecclesiastical apartheid that continues seemly unabated in our churches. Therefore, we say again and say loudly—we support and love our sisters in ministry!

*We invite others to sign our letter as well. If you would like to be included, please just send your name and how you would want us to list you to:
Rev. Andre E. Johnson, PhD
Pastor, Gifts of Life Ministries, Memphis, Tennessee
Dr. James L. Netters Associate Professor of Rhetoric & Religion and
African American Studies, Memphis Theological Seminary

Rev. Earle J. Fisher
Senior Pastor, Abyssinian Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee
Adjunct Instructor of Contemporary Theology, Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee

Rev. Rashad D. Grove
Pastor, First Baptist Church of Wayne
Wayne, Pennsylvania

Bishop W. James Thomas, II, M.Div.
Senior Pastor, Shiloh Church of Memphis - "The Place of Praise"
Presiding Prelate, The Apostolic Covenant of Churches Int'l, Inc.

Rev. Timothy Jones
Senior Pastor, Community Baptist Church, New Haven, CT
PhD Candidate in Practical Theology, Boston University School of Theology

The Reverend Asa J. Lee
Assistant Pastor/Minister of Christian Education
Mount Olive Baptist Church, Arlington, VA

Rev. Quincy James Rineheart, M.Div., S.T.M.
Member of Victory for the World Church UCC, Stone Mountain, Georgia

Min. Brandon J. Van Horn 
Senior Servant, Anointed Youth Ministries,
Memphis, Tennessee

Pastor Joshua Harper 
Second Congregational UCC Church, Memphis TN

Pastor D'Arcy A. Deveaux, Sr.
Senior Pastor/Teacher
Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church
Director of Senior Pastors Network
The Apostolic Covenant of Churches Int'l, Inc.

Rev. Brian Foulks
Lexington, South Carolina

Min. Brandon J. Perkins, M.A.
M.Div Candidate at Columbia Theological Seminary
Providence Missionary Baptist Church-Christian Education Intern
Atlanta, GA

Matthew Wesley Williams
Lithonia, Georgia

Rev. L. Andrew Turner

Rev. John Gilmore
Open Heart Spiritual Center
Memphis, TN

Darnell L. Moore
Writer and Co-managing Editor
The Feminist Wire 

Minister Louis J. Mitchell
South Congregational Church
Springfield, MA

Rev. Torey T. Wilson
Associate Pastor
Friendship Baptist Church
Trenton, NJ

Rev. Justin M. Shamell, M. Div.
Stone Mountain, GA 30088

The Rev. J. Lee Hill, Jr., Senior Pastor
Christian Fellowship Congregational Church (UCC)
San Diego, California

Kenneth L. Whitehurst, M. Ed. 
Elder, Trinity PC(USA)
Decatur, GA

Gerald I. Parks II
Pastoral Intern.
Church of the Master Presbterian Church (PCUSA)
Senior at the Interdenominational Theological Center

Rev. David Israel Madison, MDiv
Pastor, Greater Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church
Houston, TX

Rev. Thomas Grinter, Th.M.,
Ph.D. Student at Chicago Theological Seminary

Pastor Yeshua A. Holiday
National Liaison for TransSaints Ministry of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries
Tabernacle of Love Ministries, Founder

Dr. Jawanza Eric Clark
Assistant Professor of Global Christianity
Manhattan College

Ewuare X. Osayande
Editor - Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander

1 comment:

mhandy7 said...

Thank you so much brothers for your support in word and deed! Ase!