Preaching with Power

A Forum on Black Preaching and Theology

Preaching With Power
March 13-16, 2022

This year we will celebrate Preaching with Power virtually with each event shown on our YouTube channel at the designated listed times.
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2022 presenters:

Click on a name below:

Scott O. Cumberbatch

Scott O. Cumberbatch, 34, is a native of Paterson, New Jersey. He is an active member and associate minister of Prophetic Church of God of Paterson, New Jersey, where Rev. Warren F. McDowell serves as Pastor. Scott currently serves as Minister of Music of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church of Englewood, New Jersey, director of the New Jersey State Fellowship Choir of the Church of God, musician and director for the National Association of the Church of God, musical director for Grammy Award-winning choir Rev. Stef and Jubilation, Inc., and musician for the Emmy Award-winning McDonald’s GospelFest. Scott also has had the great pleasure for the last 12 years to serve as an Instructor of English and multi-year Class Advisor at the historic Arts High School of Newark, New Jersey– the nation’s first school for visual and performing arts. As of July 1, 2019, Scott has moved higher in education, now serving as a Supervisor of Humanities of the Diana C.Lobosco STEM Academy (Passaic County Technical Vocational Schools) of Wayne, NewJersey. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from William Paterson Universityof New Jersey (2007), a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from St. Peter’s University(2018) and in September of 2019, Scott began his studies for the Doctorate of Educationdegree at St. Peter’s. In 2007, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Sacred Music fromthe New Wine School of the Bible (Dennison, TX).In all of his academic and Biblical learning and teaching, Scott continues to ascribe to thethought of the late, great Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon you canuse to change the world.”Amid all of his educational and employment accomplishments, Scott has also been aprofessional actor, having starred in four major motion pictures, one Disney Movie of theWeek, two Broadway plays, over twenty national commercials, and more. As a composer,he has had a number of his compositions performed and recorded by the NACOG, NationalConvention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, Hampton University Ministers Conference, theNorth Jersey District Missionary Baptist Association, and the Paterson City Sings Choir.
To God be the glory for the great things He has done!

Rev. Dr. Wayne E. Croft, Sr.

The Rev. Dr. Wayne E. Croft, Sr., serves as Pastor of St. Paul’s Baptist Church in West Chester, PA. Prior to this assignment, he served The Church of the Redeemer Baptist in Philadelphia for a total of 20 years. Dr. Croft is the founder of the Redeemer Renaissance Community Development Corporation, a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Past President of the NAACP West Chester Branch, and has been inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers of Morehouse College. Dr. Croft is also a recipient of the Edwin T. Dahlberg Peace and Justice Award. The Dahlberg Award is the American Baptist Churches USA’s highest recognition. The first recipient of this award was The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is also a prolific writer. The African-American Pulpit Journal published his sermons; The Promise Guaranteed, A Candidate for the Hall of Faith and his article entitled What Does it Mean to Preach Biblically Today. He is the author of the book The History of the Black Baptist Church: I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired, which won the Independent Book Award. He is also the author of the books, Unexpected Calls to Unexpected Places, Pretty Poison: Seven Deadly Sins, The Motif of Hope in African American Preaching During Slavery and Post-Civil War: There’s A Bright Side Somewhere, and a contributor to the books From One Brother to Another: Voices of African American Men, Volume 2 and Athens & Oxford Sermons, Volume 10. He has published articles in the Past Master section of Preaching Magazine; “John Jasper: Preaching with Authority”, “E. K. Bailey: Expositor of the Word”, “Gardner C. Taylor: Poet Laureate and Dean of Preachers”, “Charles E. Booth: The Preacher’s Preacher”, and a book that chronicles his journey to serve as Pastor of the St. Paul’s Baptist Church. Dr. Croft has served as Dean of the Pennsylvania Eastern Keystone Baptist Association and as the Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Liturgics at Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University in Philadelphia. He now serves as The Jeremiah A. Wright, Sr. Associate Professor of Homiletics and Liturgics in African American Studies at United Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia. Dr. Croft has distinguished himself as a pastor, writer, and scholar, having earned an Associate degree from Pinebrook Jr. College and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Trinity College earning a Bachelor of Arts. He received the Master of Divinity degree from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Seminary), Master of Theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and graduated with distinction from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey earning a Doctor of Ministry degree. He also earned a Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy degree from Drew. He is the first person to earn both a Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Philosophy from Drew University and received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Villanova University. Dr. Croft is married to Dr. Lisa L. Croft, a family physician and they have three children, Darlene, Wayne Jr., and Candace Nicole.

Rev. Dr. Stephen G. Ray Jr.

Rev. Dr. Stephen G. Ray Jr. recently retired as the 13th President of Chicago Theological Seminary (a seminary related to the United Church of Christ). He is the Immediate Past President of the Society for the Study of Black Religion. An ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, Ray has served as the pastor of Imani Fellowship Community Church (UCC) in Hartford, The Black Church at Yale in New Haven, CT., Plymouth Congregational Church (UCC) in Louisville, Kentucky, and as assistant minister at Faith Congregational Church in Hartford, CT.Prior to taking this leadership role at CTS he held the Neal F. and Ila A. Fisher Chair of Theology and is Professor of Systematic Theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. In addition, he is the President of the Society for the Study of Black Religion. Having written and lectured broadly in the areas of Systematic Theology, African American religion, human rights and the intersection of religion, race and politics, Ray’s current work focuses on the Church’s complicity in several genocides which have unfolding during modernity and in theologically reconstructing the idea of Christian vocation such that the idea it contributes to the formation of genocide resistant Christian communities.Dr. Ray is the author of several works including: A Struggle from the Start: The Black Community of Hartford, 1639-1960 and Do No Harm: Social Sin and Christian Responsibility. In addition to his own monographs he is co-author of Black Church Studies: An Introduction; editor of the 20th Anniversary Edition of We Have Been Believers: An African-American Systematic Theology; co-editor of Awake to the Moment: Introduction to Theology; and a contributor to several other books.Prior to joining the faculty at Garrett-Evangelical he was Associate Professor of African-American Studies and Director of the Urban Theological Institute at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and lectured at Yale Divinity School and the Hartford Seminary. Dr. Ray received his Ph.D. in Theology and African-American Studies from Yale University and his M.Div. (summa cum laude) from the Yale Divinity School. Among his awards are the Hooker Fellowship for Excellence in Theological Studies; Charter Oak State College Distinguished Alumni Award; Kentuckiana Metroversity, Distinguished Teacher of Adult Learners, 2006 Associated Church Press Award of Excellence for Column, and the 2018 Distinguished Alumni of Yale Divinity School. Stephen and his wife Susan have been happily married for 35 years of marriage and have a wonderful daughter Kiara who is married to Barton Logan. 

Bishop Yvette A. Flunder

Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder, a San Francisco native, has served her call through prophetic action and ministry for justice for over thirty years. This call to “blend proclamation, worship, service and advocacy on behalf of those most marginalized in church and in society” led to the founding of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in 1991. In 2003, Rev. Dr. Flunder was consecrated Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, a multi-denominational coalition of over 100 primarily African American Christian leaders and laity.. Rev. Dr. Flunder is on the Board of Starr King School for the Ministry and DEMOS and has taught at many theological schools. She is a graduate of the Certificate of Ministry and Master of Arts programs at PSR, and received her Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She is also an award winning gospel music artist and author of Where the Edge Gathers: A Theology of Homiletic and Radical Inclusion.

Rev. Dr. Janet J. Sturdivant

The Rev. Dr. Janet Jenkins Sturdivant is a woman of many firsts. She is the first woman to ever preach the Annual Sermon in the Mother Conference of African Methodism since its organization in 1817. The sermon title was ‘Who’s report will you believe’, Numbers 13:26-33. This historic event took place at Mt. Pisgah AME Church, Philadelphia, PA. (May 1998). Rev. Dr. Sturdivant was the pastor of St. John AME Church—Wayne, Pa., her first pastorate. Rev. Dr. Sturdivant, was the first woman to pastor Asbury AME Church, Chester, PA. She was assigned to Asbury in June 2003 by the Rt. Rev. Zedekiah L. Grady and served faithfully until her promotion on June 15, 2013. Rev. Dr. Sturdivant was the first woman to host the Delaware Annual Conference in the First Episcopal District of the AME Church (2005), again in 2007 and again in 2012.On Saturday, June 15, 2013 Rev. Dr. Sturdivant was promoted to the office of Presiding Elder of the South District of the Philadelphia Annual Conference by Bishop Gregory G. M. Ingram of the First Episcopal District. Her appointment as Presiding Elder makes it the first time that any Annual Conference in the AME Church has two female Presiding Elders serving in it, at the same time. She is the first woman to superintend the South District. Elder Sturdivant is the first Presiding Elder to lead a Presiding Elder District—(The South District) in hosting the Philadelphia Annual Conference in its 201st year history. This was the very first time any Presiding Elder District hosted the Annual conference in the Philadelphia Conference’s history. Presiding Elder Sturdivant graduate from Medialle College in Buffalo, New York with a B.S. (May 1986). She graduated with a M.Div. from Lutheran Theological Seminary-Philadelphia (May 1993). She also received her D.Min. at Lutheran Theological Seminary-Philadelphia (May 2008). Her project topic is ‘The Woman’s Journey to the Pastorate in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.’ Her own personal accomplishments, she was assigned the Dean of the Ministerial Institute of the Delaware Annual Conference in 2006—2013; she was one of three preachers selected to preach for the Super--Soul Fest in Bermuda (alongside Bishop John Bryant, and Rev. William Watley); she preached for the Connectional Council of the AME Church and the Department of Evangelism for the AME Church. She formerly served as the President of the Department of Evangelism for the Philadelphia Annual Conference for 7 years. She also served for six years as the Statistician for the Philadelphia Annual Conference. She was elected a delegate to the General Conference of the AME Church for 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020. She received a prestigious award from the NAACP Role model of the year. She is a part-time instructor at Lutheran and Payne Seminaries teaching AME History and Polity. Presiding Elder Sturdivant is the Secretary of the Connectional Presiding Elder’s Council of the AME Church (2019); sheis the Secretary of the Presiding Elder’s Council of the First Episcopal District, she is the Director of The Rev. Dr. D. Albert Turk Ministry of Evangelism for the First Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (2019) and the 3rd Vice President of Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity (2019). Presiding Elder Sturdivant is married to the Rev. Michael W. Sturdivant. Together they share a daughter, two sons, three grandchildren and two godchildren.Presiding Elder Sturdivant is saved, sanctified and filled with God’s Holy Spirit and she is not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation, first to the Jews and then to the Greeks. Her life’s aim is to help somebody as she passes along, so that her living is not in vain.

Rev. Dr. Barry C. Black

Barry Clayton Black Ph.D., D.Min., D.D., L.H.D., D.P.S RADM, USN (Ret.) US Senate Chaplain
On June 27, 2003, Rear Admiral Barry C. Black (Ret.) was elected the 62nd Chaplain of the Senate. He started his work on July 7, 2003. Prior to Capitol Hill, Chaplain Black served in the U.S. Navy for over twenty-seven years, ending his distinguished career as the Chief of Navy Chaplains. The Senate elected its first chaplain in 1789. U.S. Senate In addition to opening the Senate each day in prayer, Chaplain Black provides counseling and spiritual care for Senators, their families, and staff – a combined constituency of over seven thousand people. He also meets with Senators about spiritual and moral issues, assists with research on theological and biblical questions, and facilitates discussion and reflection small groups among Senators and staff. He also conducts marriage enrichment counseling and officiates at weddings, funerals, and memorial services. Chaplain Black initiates and participates in special and seasonal observances, leads interdenominational prayer gatherings, and cultivates relationships with local clergy and leaders of humanitarian agencies.In order to stay informed of the needs of the Senate community, Chaplain Black maintains a program with a volunteer liaison in each office to assist him. A member of his staff directs this program. “I see my role as the chaplain to be a confidential counselor, spiritual advisor, scripture teacher, intercessor, and friend to the Senators, their spouses, and the Senate staff as they seek to discover and live God’s wonderful plan.”The Office of the Chaplain is nonpartisan, nonpolitical, and nonsectarian.U.S. NavyCommissioned as a Navy Chaplain in 1976, Chaplain Black’s first duty station was the Fleet Religious Support Activity in Norfolk, Virginia. Subsequent assignments include Naval Support Activity, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland; First Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa, Japan; Naval Training Center, San Diego, California; USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA 3) Long Beach, California; Naval Chaplains School Advanced Course, Newport, Rhode Island; Marine Aircraft Group THIRTY-ONE, Beaufort, South Carolina; Assistant Staff Chaplain, Chief of Naval Education and Training, Pensacola, Florida; and Fleet Chaplain, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, Virginia.As Rear Admiral, his personal decorations included the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two medals), Meritorious Service Medals (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals (two awards), and numerous unit awards, campaign, and service medals.Personal InformationChaplain Black is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and an alumnus of Oakwood College, Andrews University, North Carolina Central University, Palmer Theological Seminary, Salve Regina University, and Alliant International University. In addition to earning Master of Arts degrees in Divinity, Counseling, and Management, he has received a Doctorate degree in Ministry and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Psychology. Chaplain Black has been selected for many outstanding achievements. Of particular note, he was chosen from 127 nominees for the 1995 NAACP Renowned Service Award for his contribution to equal opportunity and civil rights. He received the 2002 Benjamin Elijah Mays Distinguished Leadership Award from The Morehouse School of Religion. In 2004, the Old Dominion University chapter of the NAACP conferred on him the Image Award, “Reaffirming the Dream – Realizing the Vision” for military excellence. In May 2019, Chaplain Black was awarded Becket’s highest honor, The Canterbury Medal, for his worthy defense of religious liberty for people of all faiths.He has authored five books beginning with his autobiography, From the Hood to the Hill (2006), The Blessing of Adversity (2011), Nothing to Fear (2017), Make Your Voice Heard in Heaven (2018), and Bible Wisdom for Better Living (2019).Chaplain Barry C. Black is married to the former Brenda Pearsall of St. Petersburg, Florida. They have three sons: Barry II, Brendan, and Bradford.

Meet the Director of Urban Theological Institute,
Dr. Quintin L. Robertson

The Rev. Dr. Quintin L. Robertson, a native of Newark, NJ, holds ordination through the National Baptist Convention, USA and the Church of God in Christ. He serves as the Director of the Urban Theological Institute at the seminary, overseeing the Black Church Studies Program. He also served as Director of Admission and Recruitment for the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta for 10 years. He conducts seminars and workshops, and preaches at churches across denominational lines around the nation.