Community Conversations on Race

Community Resources and Conversations

Asbury Seminary celebrates the achievements of African Americans in the Seminary Community and beyond.

Why do we celebrate black history month? Dr. Médine Keener, Pastoral Care Coordinator, reminds us that we celebrate to remember so we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. We celebrate African American achievement and contributions to society. Black History Month was started in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson as “Negro History Week” and was held on the second week in February to include both  the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. In 1976, it officially became Black History Month, calling us to inclusivity and reminding us that God’s kingdom includes peoples from all social statuses, all nations, tribes, ethnic groups, races and colors.

Dr. Rick Gray, Professor of Leadership and Christian Ministries, shares the history of Harry Hoosier for Black History month. Harry was born a slave around 1750 and by 1781 was a free man. He was the first Methodist preacher, black or white, to be commented on in a New York newspaper and was the first African American to preach to a white congregation. His preaching was so eloquent that it often outshadowed the preaching of Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke, for whom he drove the carriage. Let’s listen and learn!

Tammy Hogan, Executive Director of Development at Asbury Seminary, shares the story of her personal journey toward racial reconciliation.

Dr. Steve Ybarrola, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, shares some of the history of Richard Allen, who was born a slave, was later ordained by Francis Asbury as the first black Methodist minister in the U.S., and became the founding member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 2006, the Seminary dedicated a chapel on campus in his honor.

Roadmap to Reconciliation: An Evening with Dr. E. Dale Locke

Dr. E. Dale Locke, Asbury Seminary Alum, Board of Trustee Member, Founder and Lead Pastor of Community of Hope Church, joined Rev. Donna Covington, Vice President of Formation, for a conversation about racial reconciliation on October 21. Listen and learn!

Kingdom Leadership

Theology and Race – Part 1

Theology and Race – Part 2

Church Leadership

We are grieving the unjust loss of life in recent days. We have witnessed the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. These senseless deaths show the racism that continues to plague our nation. As we process these events together, we have recorded and released a series of community conversations to help us listen and learn as people of the Kingdom.

This four-part community conversation discusses:

  • Kingdom Leadership (originally released June 8 at 11 a.m.)
  • Theology and Race Part 1 (originally released June 10 at 11 a.m.)
  • Theology and Race Part 2 (originally released June 12 at 11 a.m.)
  • Church Leadership (originally released June 15 at 11 a.m.)

Please join us as we listen to Rev. Donna Covington, Vice President of Formation, lead a series of conversations with Dr. Timothy C. Tennent, the faculty, and Board of Trustee members, about these important topics. Let’s listen and learn.

Video Recommendations

A Call to Prayer for Justice



Poetry: For One Who Holds Power

May the gift of leadership awaken in you as a vocation,

Keep you mindful of the providence that calls you to serve.

As high over the mountains the eagle spreads its wings,

May your perspective be larger than the view from the foothills.

When the way is flat and dull in times of gray endurance,

May your imagination continue to evoke horizons.

When thirst burns in times of drought,

May you be blessed to find the wells.

May you have the wisdom to read time clearly

And know when the seed of change will flourish.

In your heart may there be a sanctuary

For the stillness where clarity is born.

May your work be infused with passion and creativity

And have the wisdom to balance compassion and challenge.

May your soul find the graciousness

To rise above the fester of small mediocrities.

May your power never become a shell

Wherein your heart would silently atrophy.

May you welcome your own vulnerability

As the ground where healing and truth join.

May integrity of soul be your first ideal,

The source that will guide and bless your work.

A Primer for Prayers of Justice (Downloadable Link)