McAfee School of Theology Offers Workshop April 1-2 on the Urban Church


ATLANTA – “Congregational Strategies for Urban Mission” is the theme of the April 1-2 workshop of the McAfee School of Theology of Mercer University, 3001 Mercer University Drive.  Designed for pastors, church staff and lay leaders interested in or working in urban ministry, the program will feature four plenary sessions as well as practicum ministry workshops.

Dr. Robert M. Franklin, president of Morehouse College will give the keynote address at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 1. Prior to becoming the 10th president of Morehouse College, he was a Presidential Distinguished Professor of Social Ethics at Emory University and a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at the law school. Over his distinguished career, he has served on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Harvard Divinity School, Colgate-Rochester Divinity School and at Emory’s Candler School of Theology, where he was director of Black Church Studies, and has been president of the Interdenominational Theological Center of the Atlanta University Center consortium. He is the author of several books, including “Crisis in the Village: Restoring Hope in African American Communities” (2007) and “Another Day’s Journey: Black Churches Confronting the American Crisis” (1997).

Other speakers on the program will be the Rev. Joanna Adams, pastor, Morningside Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, “Being Church in the Contemporary City”; the Rev. Tony Lankford, pastor, Park Avenue Baptist Church, Atlanta, “The Challenges of Renewing Inner City Churches,” and William Bolling, executive director, Atlanta Community Food Bank, “The Church Serving the Hungry.” Participating in a panel discussion on “The Most Difficult Challenges I Face as an Urban Pastor” will be the Rev. Anthony Alford, pastor, Butler Street CME Church, Atlanta; Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale, pastor, Ray of Hope Church, Decatur; the Rev. Dr. Michael Tutterow, pastor, Wieuca Road Baptist Church, Atlanta, and the Rev. Dr. George Wirth, pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Atlanta. Rev. Timothy McDonald, Pastor, New Iconium Baptist Church, Atlanta, will lead the Tuesday morning worship.

Workshops sessions will offer information and group discussion. Participants will be able to attend three of the eight sessions offered. Presenters and topics include Dr. Dale Cross, chaplain, FCS Ministries, Atlanta, “Community Chaplaincy”; Dr. Denise Massey, associate professor of Pastoral Care, McAfee School of Theology, and the Care and Counseling Center staff, “Caring for Dying Persons: Challenges for the Churches”;  Gabriel Close, youth associate, Johns Creek Baptist Church, Johns Creek, “Leading Suburban Church to Urban Mission Involvement”; the Rev. Tom Hamilton, pastor, Sozo New Covenant Fellowship, Tucker, “Safe House: Serving the Marginalized Urban Community”; Courtney Hodges, Atlanta Baptist Association Research Project,  “Engaging Your Community: Church and School Partnership”; Nicole Moody, First Baptist Church, Decatur, “Human Trafficking: The Church’s Response”;  Tiffany Murray, intern, Peachtree Baptist Church, “AIDS/HIV Ministry in the 21st Century,” and Jeremiah Myers, staff, Park Avenue Baptist Church, Atlanta, “Engaging a New Urban Monasticism.”

Funds for the workshop are provided in part by a grant from Faith and the City. Registration is $25 per person and $19 per student. The registration fee covers lunch and dinner on Tuesday and program materials. To register, download and complete the form at

For more information, call (678) 547-6470 or e-mail

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial Health University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit