Dr. John Perkins visited Wesley Biblical Seminary recently to give a lecture to a class that focuses on ministry in the African-American Church. Dr. Perkins, a Civil Rights icon, community leader, and influential author, shared from his life and decades of ministry experience to students in Proclamation and Discipleship in the African-American Church.
“We are honored to host Dr. Perkins on our campus,” said Dr. Chris Lohrstorfer, vice president of academic affairs at Wesley Biblical Seminary. “His decades of faithfulness to the gospel and justice are an example worth emulating. We are thrilled that he is sharing his insight with WBS students.”
In his lecture, Dr. Perkins focused on the role of sin in racism and racial division. The fundamental problem is the sinfulness of man, he said. Rather than a program, our nation needs the gospel. After his lecture, Dr. Perkins spent time meeting class participants and talking about life and ministry.
Proclamation and Discipleship in the African-American Church is part of a new focus at Wesley Biblical Seminary on equipping African-American men and women to minister in their churches and communities. Twenty-nine percent of master’s-level students at WBS are black, and this class is part of the effort to prepare WBS students for contextual ministry.
Melissa Clayton, a WBS alumna and participant in the class, expressed her appreciation for the learning opportunity. “I can’t express how my heart is rejoicing,” she said. “This [class] is so needed as we address issues in the African-American expression of the Church.”
In addition to Dr. Perkins’ contribution, Bishop Frencher from the AME Church Zion delivered a lecture on the history and practice of African-American preaching and Bishop Campbell from Church of Christ Holiness USA taught on discipleship within the African-American community.
“Each of these lecturers was able to teach from a wealth of experience and knowledge,” said Lohrstorfer. “We are excited to offer this class to our students, and we look forward to future opportunities.”