ATLANTA – Internationally renowned pastor the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, who is currently serving as visiting professor of preaching at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology, has been appointed professor of homiletics, effective fall 2022.
Dr. Moss, who also serves as senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, was recently recognized as one of the “12 Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World” by Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary.
“I have known, worked with, followed and admired Otis Moss for nearly two decades. His experience and giftedness as a preacher and pastor will serve our school and our expanding learning community of pastors and lay-leaders,” said Dr. Greg DeLoach, dean of McAfee School of Theology. “Dr. Moss has taught the last two semesters for us in the capacity of visiting professor of preaching and has endeared himself to our students.”
As part of his community engagement through Trinity United Church of Christ, Dr. Moss led the team that came up with the “My Life Matters” curriculum, which includes the viral video, “Get Home Safely: 10 Rules of Survival,” created in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death at the hands of police in Ferguson, Missouri.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Moss is an honors graduate of Morehouse College. He earned his Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and Doctor of Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary.
Dr. Moss was named to the inaugural Root 100, a list that “recognizes emerging and established African-American leaders who are making extraordinary contributions.” Honorees range from ages 25 to 45, and their accomplishments and successes transcend media headlines or statistics.
The founder of Unashamed Media Group, a justice-centered, faith-based agency committed to producing and curating stories to inspire the heart and challenge the mind, Dr. Moss is the recipient of a 2016 NAACP Image award. The agency was responsible for producing the award-winning short film “Otis’ Dream,” the story of sharecropper Otis Moss Sr.’s attempt to vote in Troup County, Georgia, in 1947. The film won numerous awards for best documentary and narrative short film and was featured on Super Soul Sunday with Oprah Winfrey, The Joy Reid Show, Unfiltered with Roland Martin, the OWN Network and used as an educational tool on voter suppression during the campaigns of U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff.
Dr. Moss is highly influenced by the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the pastoral ministry of his father, the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr. of Cleveland, Ohio.
His latest book, Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul World: Finding Hope in an Age of Despair, was published in 2015 and demonstrates a homiletic blueprint for prophetic preaching in the 21st century. His earlier publications include Redemption in a Red Light District and The Gospel According to the Wiz: And Other Sermons from Cinema. He has co-authored The Gospel Re-Mix, How to Reach the Hip-Hop Generation and Preach! The Power and Purpose Behind Our Praise.
His sermons, articles and poetry have appeared in publications such as Sojourners Magazine and The African American Pulpit Journal, and his work has been featured on HuffPost, Urban Cusp and The Root. Dr. Moss’ speaking engagements have included the famed Lyman Beecher Lectures at Yale and the William L. Self Preaching Lectures at Mercer. His intergenerational preaching gift has made him a popular speaker at college campuses, conferences and churches across the globe.
Dr. Moss is an ordained minister in the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the United Church of Christ. He is on the boards of Auburn Seminary and Faith-In-Place/Action Fund and is chaplain of the Children’s Defense Fund’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Child Advocacy Conference. Additionally, he is a senior fellow in the Auburn Seniors Fellow Program.
He is married to his college sweetheart, the former Monica Brown of Orlando, Florida, a Spelman College and Columbia University graduate, and they have two children, Elijah Wynton and Makayla Elon.
About the School of Theology
The Mercer University School of Theology, named for James and Carolyn McAfee who provided the founding gift for the School, has a mission to prepare ministers who will inspire the church and the world to imagine, discover and create God’s future. Guided by a vision to change the world through learning, serving and leading, the School accomplishes its mission by: 1) integrating spirituality with service through: practicing spiritual disciplines that nurture us for Christian service; embracing ethnic, gender and theological diversity to enhance our spiritual growth and moral formation; creating opportunities to learn in community, experience transformation and risk action; 2) integrating theological inquiry with prophetic vision through interpreting the story of the Christian faith through sacred scriptures and traditions; connecting faith to global contexts in ways that engage personal, communal and political realities; critiquing the structures of our society from an informed prophetic voice; 3) integrating worship with witness through celebrating God’s presence in worship as the source of the Church’s call to community and global transformation; reading cultural contexts to create holistic strategies for ministry; proclaiming the love of God in Jesus Christ through dialogue and in partnership with others. For more information, visit theology.mercer.edu.