Bishop Jeffrey Nathaniel Leath Brings the 2023 Tulsa Race Massacre Lecture
Bishop of Ecumenical & Urban Affairs Jeffrey Nathaniel Leath will deliver a lecture titled “The Destruction of Black Wall Street and the Burden of Invisibility” for the 2023 Tulsa Race Massacre Lectureship at Phillips Theological Seminary.
The Rt. Reverend Leath was elected and consecrated the 128th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in July 2008 in St. Louis and has been assigned to serve in the 13th Episcopal District in Kentucky and Tennessee. He previously served the 19th Episcopal District in South Africa.
Leath is a child of the parsonage. He was born in Huntington, New York and has lived in Norwalk, Connecticut and Inwood, New York as his father served in those places. He is a graduate of Yale College, Yale Divinity School (Master of Divinity) and United Theological Seminary (Dayton, Ohio) – Doctor of Ministry. His doctoral dissertation focused on the class leader system in the A.M.E. Church.
The bishop has served churches in New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware. His final pastoral charge was at Mother Bethel Church where he served for 14 years as the 51st pastor. Before his assignment to the Thirteenth Episcopal District (Kentucky and Tennessee), her served the 19th Episcopal District (Republic of South Africa).
Leath is the husband of Susan J. Leath, MD, the Leaths have three children: (the Rev. Dr.) Jennifer, Victoria, and Jeffrey, II.
Brother Leath is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and he is a 33rd Degree Prince Hall Mason. He is a member of Mt. Pisgah Lodge, #32; Montgomery Chapter, #44 and Martin Luther King, Jr. Consistory, #86.
The Language of Our Souls: The Visual Poetry of Harvey Johnson
Phillips Theological Seminary is pleased to present the 2023 Race Massacre Lectureship and Art Exhibition featuring the art of Harvey Johnson on its Tulsa, Okla. campus, April 25–30. The show also features works by John Biggers, Delita Martin, and Kermit Oliver.
Inaugural Tulsa Race Massacre Annual Lectureship
Phillips Theological Seminary announces the inaugural lecturer for the Tulsa Race Massacre Annual Lectureship will be the Rev. Dr. Angela Sims, president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. She is the author of the book, Lynched: The Power of Memory in a Culture of Terror.
The book “chronicles the history and aftermath of lynching in America. By rooting her work in oral histories, (she) gives voice to the memories of African American elders who remember lynching not only as individual acts but as a culture of violence, domination, and fear,” says the book’s back cover.
This lectureship commemorates the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The Greenwood District of Tulsa, also known as
Black Wall Street, developed within an America that held the belief that prosperity was a sign of God’s blessings.
Whereas the all-Black residents of Greenwood, who inherited an African spirituality, held the belief there is no separation between the sacred and the secular, they no doubt believed their success was God ordained. Just as religion is a synthetic feature of African cultures, religion and spirituality were the glue that helped the people of the decimated Greenwood to survive.
Engaging Greenwood’s prosperity as evidence of faith, and conceiving the devastation as the destruction of the household of faith, this annual lecture shifts the gaze from the aesthetics of inanimate buildings to the stories of human lives.
The traumatic end of Greenwood is the story of how easily the Image of God can be distorted and destroyed as well as the power of resilience and resistance. Each year, we will invite a noted scholar to suggest the lessons the history offers and interpret the inherited legacies that must be confronted.