Pulpit Oratory: Jesus and the Black Prophetic Tradition

In a fitting end to the African American Public Address preconference, Rev. Bowyer G. Freeman and the members of New Saint Mark Baptist Church have invited Dr. Andre E. Johnson to speak Wednesday evening November 13, 2019, at 7pm. The church is located at 3905 Springdale Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Johnson has titled the message that evening, "Jesus and the Black Prophetic Tradition." The event is free and all are welcomed!

Dr. Andre E. Johnson is the Founding Pastor of Gifts of Life Ministries an inner-city church built upon the servant leadership philosophy. He is married to Lisa Jones Johnson, owner of 4 Peaceful Resolutions, a conflict mediation company. As a called-centered, mission group-oriented, servant leadership church, pastor Johnson leads a congregation that last year served over 8,000 meals, clothed over 250 persons, counseled over 70 individuals and families, and visited many sick and incarcerated people. He leads a congregation that focuses on the Word of God in the feeding of the hungry, healing and deliverance of the sick and oppressed, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger, visiting the prison-bound, educating the unlearned and loving the unloved. 

Dr. Johnson also leads a socially conscious and socially relevant ministry. He and G'Life have been at the forefront of much of the social justice activism in Memphis, Tennessee. Grounded in his faith and call to ministry, it is not uncommon to see Dr. Johnson leading, organizing, and participating in protests, vigils, marches, boycotts, and other direct social actions. His faith has led him to take part in efforts to reform our prison system, economic and poverty issues such as "Fight for 15" and living wage initiatives, voter suppression efforts, police misconduct, and brutality issues, and issues surrounding race. He was also one of the lead architects in #TakeEmDown901, the successful effort to remove confederate statues in the City of Memphis lead by Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer.

In addition to his work in the church and community, Dr. Johnson also serves as an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies in the Department of Communication & Film at the University of Memphis. He is also an affiliate faculty member of Christian Theology Seminary teaching in the areas of rhetoric, race, and homiletics. He formerly served as the Dr. James L. Netters Associate Professor of Rhetoric Religion and African American Studies at Memphis Theological Seminary and continues to serve as an adjunct professor teaching in the areas of Black Church studies, urban ministry, and rhetoric and religion. 

He is currently editing the works of AME Church Bishop Henry McNeal Turner under the title The Literary Archive of Henry McNeal Turner (Edwin Mellen Press). He has already published the first six volumes. The seventh volume is set for publication in 2020. In addition to collecting the writings of Bishop Turner, Dr. Johnson is also the author of “The Forgotten Prophet: Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and the African American Prophetic Tradition” (2012) that won the National Communication Association (NCA) 2013 African American Communication and Culture Division Outstanding Book Award. He is the editor of “Urban God Talk: Constructing a Hip Hop Spirituality” (2013) both with Lexington Books. He co-authored (with Amanda Nell Edgar) “The Struggle over Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter” (2018) that recently won the National Communication Association (NCA) 2019 African American Communication and Culture Division Outstanding Book Award.