I am pleased to announce "Plenty Good Room! A Sermon Series Based on Negro Spirituals" written by the Rev. Dr. Larry D. Pickens for Black History Month.
The Rev. Dr. Larry D. Pickens is the pastor of Southlawn United Methodist Church in Chicago, Illinois. He is a native of Chicago. This is his twenty-ninth year of serving The United Methodist Church in ordained ministry. Dr. Pickens is married to Debra, and they have a daughter, Jessica, who is s sophomore at the University of Maryland.
Larry is also an attorney who is concerned about merging justice and mercy as a framework for ministry. Social justice is the cornerstone of his ministry. He believes that all of God's people have been "fearfully and wonderfully made" and therefore have a unique contribution to share with the world and the church.
Larry has represented The United Methodist Church in many capacities. He has served as a pastor in urban and suburban settings and as the Ecumenical Staff Officer of The United Methodist Church. His ecumenical experience has also included representation of the United Methodist Church on the Executive and Central Committees of the World Council of Churches.
He has served the church as a delegate to General and Jurisdictional Conferences, and he was also a member of the Judicial Council, the highest judicial body of The United Methodist Church. Larry also served as counsel for the Rev. Greg Dell during a church trial held in the Northern Illinois Annual Conference. The trial adjudicated charges made against pastor Dell for performing a same sex union in his church.
But the most important characteristic about Larry is that God has blessed him, and he believes in the revolutionary impact that Jesus can have on our lives.
On a more personal note, I have known Larry for almost twenty years and am proud to call him not only a colleague in ministry, but a friend. I am pleased to be able to share his work with the wider church in this way. I hope you find his words, thoughts, and insights to be both inspiring and challenging in your work of preaching during this month in which we celebrate the witness and contributions of African Americans in The United Methodist Church.
Dawn Chesser, Director of Preaching Ministries