August 5-7, 2010
“The Strong Black Woman: A Gentle Force for God.”African-American female clergy and female laity will gather to discuss life issues such as health, spirituality and family from a distinctively African-American female perspective. Participants will learn approaches to assist them in dealing with the relevant issues in their lives and the impact being grounded in their faith can have upon these issues.
Click here to read the NY Times article "Taking a Break from the Lord's Work," which advises clergy to take more time off.
Click here for suggested reading resources.
Rev. Telley Lynette Gadson
Rev. Gadson is the only daughter of the Honorable Herbert Gadson and “missionary” Linda D. Gadson. She is a native of Hollywood, South Carolina and was nurtured in the Christian Faith during her formative years in the Wesley United Methodist Church of Hollywood, South Carolina.
Rev. Gadson is an ordained elder and full member of the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church. Currently, she serves as the pastor of St. Mark United Methodist Church, Sumter, South Carolina.
Pastor T (as she is affectionately known) is a gifted pastor and preacher. Rev. Gadson is in great demand and preaches at conferences and national gatherings. She is a member of numerous church-related, community, academic, and national organizations; including the African American Clergywomen's Caucus of the South Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, the NAACP, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
Rev. Gadson holds a Bachelors degree from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes is a licensed clinical psychologist, minister, and writer. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, she received two Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and African-American and African Studies from Emory University, and her master's and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Miami. She also earned her Master of Divinity from Duke University, where she received the McMurry Richey Award for Outstanding Student in Mission and was named an Alumni Fellow of the Center for Reconciliation.
Dr. Walker-Barnes has served on the faculty of the University of Florida, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Duke University. She currently serves as assistant professor of pastoral care and counseling at Shaw University Divinity School. Licensed to preach in a Baptist congregation in 2004, she is a candidate for ordination as an elder in the United Methodist Church and a member of Asbury Temple United Methodist Church in Durham, NC
Dr. Walker-Barnes feel strongly called to stand at the intersection of the local church, the community, and the academy, and to assist in the formation of Christians who take seriously Christ’s call to personal renewal, reconciliation, and social justice. She is actively involved in the North Carolina Annual Conference, serving as Vice Chair of the Multicultural Team and also as a member of the Strengthening the Black Church, Monitoring and Accountability, and Sexual Ethics committees. She has a strong interest in racial and gender issues, and has written and lectured on topics such as the strong black woman, racism, and racial reconciliation.
She lives in Durham with her husband, Delwin, and her son, Micah.
Lydia Waters Hamilton
Pastor of Administration
Dr. Hamilton was born and educated in Texas. Her undergraduate studies were done at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. Her graduate studies were done both at Southern Methodist University/ Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas and the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California. She graduated from The Claremont School of Theology with a Master of Divinity Degree and received the Doctor of Divinity Degree from the Southern California School of Ministry.
Pastor Hamilton has a diverse background. Prior to her full-time pastorate, she was active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960 and 70’s, being among the first eight African American students who integrated Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and; being the first African American female, in North Texas, to ‘robe up’ as a ministerial candidate, mentored by Dr. Zan Holmes, Jr. She was also a member of the Domestic Peace Corp in Harlem, New York. Prior to leaving Texas, in 1984, she was a Human Development Consultant for the Foundation for Educational Skills, and an Account Executive for the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), Channel 13 in Dallas.
In 1984 Dr. Hamilton moved to the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. In her conference, Dr. Hamilton has been a member of the Board of Ordained Ministry, Chairperson of Ethnic Scholarships and Recruitment for the Board of Ordained Ministry, member of the Episcopacy Committee and Long Beach District Chairperson for Urban Ministries. Rev. Hamilton is a Church Growth Consultant with the General Board of Global Ministries and she was elected National President of the Black Clergywomen of the United Methodist Church for two terms.
After pasturing a circuit of four churches and a circuit of two churches in Texas, Rev. Hamilton was appointed to Crossroads/Njia Panda UMC in Compton, California in 1985. She enjoyed a long term pastorate of nineteen years at Crossroads. Under her leadership the church grew, spiritually, numerically, financially, and programmatically. In those nineteen years a successful merger was conducted, a new sanctuary was acquired and paid for and the congregation purchased a new parsonage. The church also completed a half-million dollar building project that includes classrooms, administrative offices and a fellowship/training hall. Crossroads/Njia Panda was named among the twenty-five churches chosen as Resource Centers for the General Conference initiative, “Strengthening the Black Church for the twenty-first Century.”
Dr. Hamilton retired from pastoral ministry in the summer of 2005 and now lives in Trophy Club, Texas. She was called out of retirement and back into active ministry in 2008. She is now the Pastor of Administration at St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church, Dallas Texas under the leadership of Dr. Tyrone D. Gordon, Senior Pastor. She is the wife of Mr. Simon Hamilton, the mother of three adult children; and, the grandmother of seven.
Rev. Dr. Alfreda Lynette Wiggins
Reverend Alfreda Wiggins is a native Baltimorean. She received her early religious training in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Rev. Wiggins received the call to the ministry in 1965 and began abiding in her calling in 1967. She was first ordained by the late Rev. Auturo Skinner, founder of the Deliverance Evangelistic Centers Inc., located in Newark, New Jersey.
In 1978 she joined the United Methodist Church and was later ordained by the Baltimore Washington Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. In 1983 she was appointed as Pastor of Christ Edmondson United Methodist Church in Baltimore City, where she served for 11 ½ years. In January 1995 she was appointed to serve the historic John Wesley United Methodist Church, also in Baltimore City, where she implemented contemporary worship and many new and diverse ministries. She led the church to becoming one of the twenty-five teaching churches in the United Methodist General Conference Initiative, Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century.
Upon receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Morgan State University in 1964, she embarked upon a career in Criminal Justice. For twenty-three years she worked in the Court System of the State of Maryland in several capacities, retiring after serving sixteen years as a Hearing Commissioner for the District Court of Maryland. In pursuit of further academic achievement in the area of Criminal Justice she studied Law at the University of Baltimore Law School and earned a Masters of Education in the area of Correctional Counseling from Coppin State College.
In academic preparation for the Ministry she earned a Masters Degree in Theology from St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore City. She also holds a Master of Divinity Degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. She studied at the Howard University Divinity School, located in Washington, D.C., in the Doctor of Ministry Program. In July, 1990, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Sacred Theology by the Interdenominational School of Theology in recognition of her gifts and work in the areas of preaching, teaching, and evangelism.
Dr. Wiggins is actively involved in the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference and community life. She has served the former Baltimore North District Committee of Ordained Ministry, and previously served as Chair of the former Baltimore Southwest District Committee on Ordained Ministry. She also served as the Chair of the former Baltimore West District Committee on Ordained Ministry. She has served eighteen years on the Baltimore Washington Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, where she was the first African American woman to serve as Chair of the Conference Relations Committee and the Sermon Review Committee. She is a Candidacy Guide for persons entering the Ministry of the United Methodist Church and Mentoring Elder for probationary members of the Conference. In 1998, she was commissioned as a Cluster Leader by the Presiding Bishop of the Baltimore Washington Annual Conference.
She has served as a Trustee and Vice-President of the now defunct Baltimore and Annapolis Board of Missions of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference. She has served on the Conference Commission on the Role and Status of Women in the Church and the Conference Task Force on Clergy and Congregations at Risk. Rev. Wiggins is actively involved in Community and Ecumenical life. She is a member of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and the Interfaith Clergy Alliance.
Rev. Wiggins holds the distinction of being the first African American female to serve in several capacities:
- First black female law-clerk bailiff, Circuit Court of Baltimore City
- First black female Commissioner-District Court, State of Maryland
- In July, 1989, she was appointed First black female Chaplin, Baltimore City Fire Department
- First black female chair of the former Baltimore Southwest District Committee on Ordained Ministry of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference
- First black female to serve as Vice Chair of the Baltimore-Annapolis Mission Society of the Baltimore Washington Annual Conference
- First black chair of the Conference Relations Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Baltimore Washington Annual Conference
- First black chair of the Sermon Review Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference
- First black female pastor of the almost 200 year old, historic John Wesley United Methodist Church in Baltimore City.
She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Carrington House, a neighborhood, residential center for recovering drug and alcohol abusers. She serves on the Executive Board of Shalom Ministries, an HIV-AIDS project in Baltimore City. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Kinship Care at Coppin State College, a state agency providing resources for family caregivers. Reverend Wiggins is the recipient of numerous religious, community and civic awards, recognitions and citations from across the nation.
During her career in the Ministry, Rev. Wiggins has preached in hundreds of Churches across denominational lines, nationally and internationally, including conducting revivals in both Roman Catholic and Episcopal Churches She chooses as her motto to exemplify her total commitment to the Gospel Ministry and building the kingdom of God these words of the Apostle Paul:
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
The Rev. Dr. Sherry L. Daniels
Daniels is a graduate Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Ga. where she received the M.Div. degree and Drew School of Theology in Madison, NJ where she completed a D.Min. in Urban Ministries and Urbanization. Daniels graduated with “distinction” in her class of thirty—with Drew University noting that her final dissertation/project was completed in publishable form. She was ordained a deacon in 1990 and elder in 1992 in the Texas Annual Conference.
Daniels served in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference for three years as the director of Congregational Development. “My great passion in ministry is having the opportunity to work with clergy and laity as they respond to the ‘call’ of ministry for their community. Having the opportunity to give leadership to the Shalom Zone Ministry Initiative in the Texas Annual Conference helped me to appreciate God's unique calling to local congregations. God has provided all of us with tremendous spiritual gifts and I am convinced that when we trust God and use our gifts faithfully, we will make a difference where we serve." For Daniels, priority must be given to working with new church starts, congregational revitalization efforts and the strategic development of missional communities.
In 2006, three new churches were chartered and three new projects were developed by the Congregational Development Team. Under Daniels’ leadership, use of technology allowed the CDT to equip eight learning centers in local churches strategically located around the conference. During 2005, over 2600 leaders we trained via the Church Communication Network Satellite system. In 2006 ten more churches will have the capability to serve their communities.
In her current appointment she is serving as the senior pastor of Norfolk United Methodist Church in Norfolk Virginia. At the request of the Bishop and District Superintendent, Dr. Daniels is helping this congregation to revision and re-focus its ministry. Since July 2006, this congregation has increased significantly in average worship attendance, stewardship and new members. Norfolk UMC and its non-profit Norfolk United, Inc. oversee the administration of 5000 sq. ft. of premium office space that serves as the Administrative Offices and “State of the Art” Training Center for Church Leaders. Beginning January 2009, Norfolk United, Inc. will host six Urban Academy events for church leadership teams that will equip them in church growth and revitalization in the Urban Center. In addition to the NU-ACT center, Norfolk UMC also has a worship center, located at 1520 Halstead Ave. in Norfolk, VA. This facility is currently being renovated and updated to provide relevant ministry to its community.
Daniels is a noted speaker and presenter. Throughout her ministry she has received a number of awards for community service and outstanding leadership. When pushed however, Daniels acknowledges that her greatest contribution has been responding to the challenge of mentoring the next generation of leaders. According to Daniels, “in order to mentor someone, you must be a lifelong learner.”Jennifer is a Human Resource Professional and Generalist with more than forty years of experience in corporate, manufacturing, public and private sector organizations. She is an objective and respected coach, leader, facilitator, and author with a broad base of experience and expertise in business, human resources, workplace issues and relationships. She is President/CEO of Jennifer P. Davis & Associates, LLC, a minority owned business, which she started in 1997 following her retirement from IBM Charlotte.
During her tenure at IBM, Jennifer spent most of her career in executive management positions managing annual budgets of up to forty-three million dollars. In addition to her management experience, Jennifer provided advice and counsel to the Site General Manager on personnel matters affecting a site of more than 3500 employees and 300 managers. She has written policy, continues to deliver leadership and management training, and develops programs designed to improve employee morale and increase organizational productivity. She was and is still sought out for her problem-solving ability and to provide direct and valuable guidance regarding sensitive workplace issues such as harassment, disparate treatment, and employee and management relations.
Ms. Jennifer Davis
A certified Diversity Consultant, Mrs. Davis has been facilitating discussions regarding this often difficult and misunderstood subject since the 1980’s. She also led the IBM Charlotte site in improving morale from fifteenth to first place out of 18 nationwide manufacturing sites. Her work resulted in IBM Charlotte receiving the NC Quality Award in 1991. Her company currently serves a very diverse client base including the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Aetna, Inc., Food Lion, the cities of Spartanburg, SC Mount Holly and Gastonia, North Carolina and many others.
A much sought after motivational speaker, Mrs. Davis often entertains and inspires her audiences with songs, information, timely advice, and numerous anecdotes regarding her personal and professional experiences. Mrs. Davis served with the Gaston County Board of Education for 12 years, and was elected as the first African-American to chair the Board in 2002 serving in that position for two years. She is also an ALF Senior Fellow (American Leadership Forum), Class VII, Charlotte Region.
Mrs. Davis is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Professional Woman Network (PWN), an international training organization specializing in professional development. A talented writer, Jennifer has written editorial columns for her local newspaper and has co-authored three books with PWN: A Woman’s Survival Guide to Overcoming Obstacles, Transition, and Change” was released in August, 2007, Life Skills for African-American Women was released in the spring of 2009, and this publication, The Woman’s Handbook for Self-Confidence, represents her third collaborative effort with PWN. Jennifer will publish her first single book in 2010.
Featured in the June 2009 publication of Black Enterprise Magazine, Mrs. Davis also hosted a weekly radio show, “Shammah Time”, “for women, about women, to uplift women where men are always welcome.” In addition, she was featured in “Brown in Black and White”, a 2006 documentary developed by award-winning Broadcaster Steve Crump regarding the 1954 Supreme Court decision on the impact of desegregation in schools in Gastonia, NC. She produced and developed a video, “One Time” with Tavis Smiley, TV show host, personality, author, and commentator.
Jennifer is a volunteer in many organizations and has received numerous awards and honors, including the following:
• 2000 Entrepreneur of the Year presented by Bank of America and the Gaston County Chamber of Commerce
• Odyssey of a Woman Award presented by the Charlotte Chapter of the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, February, 2006
• Community Involvement Award presented in May, 2006 by The Gastonia Chapter of Las Amigas, Inc.,
• Gaston County’s 2006 Business Woman of the Year nominee
• Omega Citizen of the Year 2006-2007
She and her husband, Fred, are the parents of two grown children and five grandchildren.
2010 African-American Women’s Leadership Conference
Theme: “The Strong Black Woman: A Gentle Force for God.”
Thursday, August 5, 2010
4:00 p.m. Welcome, Opening and Overview of the event.
7:00—8:30 Worship service
Sermon: The Rev. Telley Gadson
Friday, August 6
9:00-10:00 a.m. Integrated Plenary Session and workshop I: The Strong Black Woman Presenter: Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes
10:30—11:30 Integrated Plenary Session and workshop II: Self-Care
Presenter: The Rev. Dr. Lydia Water S.Hamilton
1:30—3:30 Integrated Plenary Session and workshop III: Claiming one’s Leadership Role, Feminine Authenticity, Mentorships that Fit
Presenter: The Rev. Dr. Alfreda Wiggins
Presenter: Ms. Jennifer Davis
3:30—5:30 Free Time
7:00—9:30 Fellowship in Motion
Trust Building, Unity, Mindful Play and Celebration
Sermon: The Rev. Dr. Alfreda Wiggins
Saturday, August 7
9:00—10:30 a.m. Integrated Plenary Session and workshop: Networking/Resources
Presenter: The Rev. Dr. Sherry Daniels
11:00—12:30 Closing Worship and Anointing Service
Sermon: The Rev. Dr. Sherry Daniels