Theologians attend Brite’s forum on black preaching


    Preaching can change lives, nations and the world, said a reverend Tuesday, in a sermon that ended the second annual Power of Black Preaching Forum. The Rev. Frank Thomas said Tuesday’s sermon was about the fear of failure.

    “Mistakes can be lived through, and failures can be faced,” Thomas said.

    He also said many people are afraid of failure.

    “Many of us are afraid to fail and think that if we fail, our world falls apart, and we feel worthless,” Thomas said. “To fail is to be human.”

    This three-day event was sponsored by the Black Church Studies program of the Brite Divinity School. The forum, Preaching with Power: An Interdenominational Forum on Black Preaching, featured three sermons each day by three black preachers and theologians.

    Stacey Floyd-Thomas, associate professor of Ethics and Black Church Studies, said the Brite Divinity School offers the only black church program east of California and west of the Mississippi River.

    Floyd-Thomas said the event provided a context for teaching and learning for Brite students and the community, which allowed them to gain a wider knowledge of, deeper appreciation and increased sensitivity for the tradition of black Christians within American society.

    “This forum encourages diversity and reinforces the value for a black church studies program at Brite Divinity School,” Floyd-Thomas said in an e-mail.

    Floyd-Thomas said the forum had an impressive representation at all three events, which helped to achieve the goal of bringing the school and community together to experience the event.

    J.J. Lynn, a first-year graduate student at the Brite Divinity school, said this program provides an experience to learn about a culture outside of one’s own.

    “This is an awesome program because it provides an opportunity to learn about black church history, theology and preaching,” Lynn said.

    Another student, Sarah Kingsbery, who is in her first semester as a graduate student at the Brite Divinity school, attended the events all three days, and said she was impressed with each day’s sermons.