COVID-19 and the Black Church Online Summit
The United Methodist Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century (SBC21) hosted more than 300 black church pastors, laity, and nonprofit leaders for its first ever online conference on April 9, 2020.
Interim National Director Toska Medlock Lee said the virtual summit was designed to bring clarity to the challenges facing the Black Church and its community and share practical resources to strengthen churches facing uncertainties due to the national pandemic.
“COVID-19 has changed the game completely for all of us, and it is imperative that the Black Church equips itself for transformational leadership that will bring innovation, vision, and creativity to this crucial time,” said Rev. Dr. Michael Bowie Jr., the newly named incoming director. “I believe SBC21, along with many partners will be crucial to help strengthen black churches for greater discipleship and witness.”
Blacks are dying at a higher rate from COVID-19 than any other ethnic group, and the African American community, in many cities, also appears to have the highest rate and chance of infection.
This virtual conference features a speaker to discuss ways to help combat these concerns. The meeting offers three tracks of teaching and learning: Inform, Inspire, and Ignite. Presenters share information on Payroll Protection and How the Cares Act Can Help Your Church or Nonprofit; We Need to Survive COVID-19; Social Distancing Does Not Mean Social Isolation; and Seeing All the People in the Age of COVID-19, just to name a few.
Presenters are: Bishop Jonathan Holston, South Carolina Annual Conference; Janet Jamieson, CFO, Discipleship Ministries; Richie Butler, Sr. Pastor, St. Paul – Dallas, TX; Marvin Moss, Sr. Pastor, Salem UMC, New York; Emanuel Cleaver III, St. James UMC, Kansas City, MO; Jeffrey Campbell, Associate General Secretary Discipleship Ministries; Adrienne Zackery, Senior Pastor Crossroads UMC, Compton, CA; Michael Bowie, Sr. Pastor, St. Luke, Dallas, TX. The virtual summit moderators are Discipleship Ministries General Secretary Junius Dotson, and Toska Medlock Lee, Interim National Director for SBC21.