We knew we were in for a ride when the Reverend Neichelle R. Guidry, PhD, Dean of Chapel and Director of the WISDOM Center at Spelman College, concluded the reading of Judges 11 by naming it “God’s complicated and terroristic word for God’s complicated trying to get free people of God. Thanks be to God.” As people of faith, we have a responsibility to preach a whole, free, and true Gospel, even if that means opening up to passages that causes us to lay down the rose-colored glasses and readjust our vision. Guidry preached a whole, free, and true Gospel that reminds us that the text is complicated. Her sermon was a powerful moment of the 2023 Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference (SDPC), in the spirit of cultivating prophetic beloved community and leadership.
The late Reverend Dr. Samuel DeWitt Proctor, for whom the conference is named, was Pastor Emeritus of the Abyssinian Baptist Church of New York City and Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University. Dr. Proctor was a great preacher, and the flame of his legacy vibrantly burns through the ongoing work of the conference leaders: Rev. Drs. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., Iva E. Carruthers, Frederick D. Haynes III, and Bishop Leah Daughtry. The mission of the SDPC “is to nurture, support and mobilize African American faith, civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders to address critical needs of human and social justice within local, national and global communities.”1 The 1100 attendees range in age from the Silent Generation to Gen Z. Read more