My path in ministry has similar in some ways to parts of Moses’ narrative in the Old Testament. I completed my M.A. and Ph.D. in History with an emphasis on African American and environmental history. Later as a professor, I taught at Loyola Marymount University, Tulane University, and Morehouse College. Much like Moses I was living in Egypt. I wasn’t a prince or princess but my life was stable and predictable.
My life changed when Katrina hit New Orleans and I evacuated the city in 2005. I was feeling Moses after he killed an Egyptian. Wait, let me explain. Moses was forced to leave Egypt for the desert or die. He went from prince to homeless. I was in a desert place wondering what was next. Would I return to New Orleans? Would I stay in Atlanta? I did stay in Atlanta and attended the Candler School of Theology at Emory University completing my M.Div. Those were tumultuous times in which I felt I had no flotation device.
God made things clearer when I met with ministers from the Western Pennsylvania Conference (WPA) of the United Methodist Church, while in school. I became a member of the conference and an associate member of Warren United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh. I was feeling like Moses headed for the promised land.
After graduating from Candler with my M.Div. in Faith, Health, and Science, I spent a year as a chaplain resident in Pastoral Services at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. The experience helped to grow and form me experiencing death and dying, life and living.
I have served as a local pastor at Crafton United Methodist Church and Ingomar Church. And on July 1, 2015, I began as the Coordinator of Diversity Development at Western Pennsylvania United Methodist Conference Center.
I continue the process as a candidate for ordination, and am a provisional elder in the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church.
What’s different for me compared to Moses right now? He never quite made it to the Canaan, the Promised Land. Others did though. I’ve passed through the wilderness for now and I’m headed to Canaan. It’s not over yet.