Every year, in celebration of Black History Month, REH highlights the life and ministry of key Black Christian pastors, theologians, and leaders in the U.S. While, in the past, we have highlighted the life and ministry of those from past history, this year, we will highlight several contemporary leaders (and their work) who are making history. The list is far too long to do justice to the plethora of influential leaders who exist, but rather is a list of those who have had a significant influence on our pastors.

For many more leaders, see this list curated by The Witness:


Dr. Jemar Tisby: Dr. Tisby is a historian, theologian, author, and founder of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective & The Witness Foundation. Jemar’s contributions have been influential in understanding the history of racism in the church and the necessary commitments needed for contemporary change. 

Truth’s Table: A podcast hosted by three Black women, Dr. Christina Edmondson, Ekemini Uwan, and Michelle Higgins. They address a number of issues related to politics, race, gender, and more. The voices and insight provided by these women are deeply needed by the church today.


Dr. Charlie Dates: Dr. Dates is the Senior Pastor of the historic Progressive Baptist Church in Chicago and adjacent professor at Moody Bible Institute. His sermons and teachings are Christ-glorifying and inspirational. 

Dr. Esau McCaulley: Dr. McCaulley is a theologian, author, and professor. His latest book Reading While Black draws on the rich tradition of African American biblical interpretation. The book is a must-read.


Dr. Vince Bantu: Dr. Bantu is a church historian with a focus on Semitic and Egyptian Languages. His expertise and writing focus on historic African Christianity and social identity. His work is a helpful resource dispelling the notion that Christianity is a “white man’s religion.” He researches the rich Christian tradition in Africa, which far pre-dates European Christianity. 

Dr. Jarvis Williams: Dr. Williams is a theologian, author, and professor. His work in both NT Theology and racial reconciliation is highly commendable.


Dr. Christina Edmodson: While part of the podcast Truth’s Table, Dr. Edmondson is also a clinical psychologist, academic, organizational consultant, and theologian. Her work has been deeply formative to our church and pastors. Her newest book, which releases next month, will surely be one to prioritize.

Dr. Willie Jennings: Dr. Jennings is the Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale Divinity School. As a theologian, scholar, and also ordained pastor, Dr. Jenning’s work addresses issues of justice and culture in a way that is profound and insightful, while also deeply pastoral. 


Dr. Korie Edwards: Dr. Edwards is a sociologist who studies religion, social stratification, and gender. Her work in researching interracial and multicultural churches in American Christianity provides needed insights for the church today. Her research has been deeply formative in the work of our church.