Within a few years there will be no ethnic majority in North America. Already, some formerly majority Anglo metropolitan areas, such as Gwinnett County, Georgia, in Greater Atlanta, are “majority minority.” Though Hispanics and African-Americans are the two largest ethnic minorities in the U.S., they are the least represented in PCA churches. Korean Christians compose the largest ethnic minority within the PCA, which has a heavily Anglo constituency.
At the 43rd General Assembly, Dr. Bryan Chapell will moderate a panel discussion of experienced church leaders of Asian, African-American, Hispanic, and Anglo ethnic origins on how we can most effectively reach out to and minister among the various ethnic-cultural communities in North America.
Dr. Bryan Chapell is pastor of the Grace Presbyterian Church of Peoria, Illinois. He previously served as president and Professor of Preaching at Covenant Theological Seminary and is the author of several widely acclaimed books. He served as the moderator of the 42nd PCA General Assembly.
Dr. Thurman Williams has recently moved to St. Louis, Missouri, to become an associate pastor of the Grace and Peace Fellowship, a multiethnic church that began in 1969 as a house church. Dr. Thurman, an African-American, serves with pastor Kurt Lutjens, an Anglo. Williams previously served on the staff of Young Life in Baltimore for four years, ministering to high school students. While attending Chesapeake Theological Seminary, he served for five years leading outreach and youth ministry at Faith Christian Fellowship (PCA). For 15 years he served as pastor of New Song Community Church (PCA) in the Sandtown community of West Baltimore, a low-income predominantly African-American neighborhood. Williams led New Song in its identity as an ethnically diverse congregation that seeks to minister to its community through incarnational ministry, encouraging Christians to move into Sandtown from the suburbs and gentrified areas of Baltimore not only to share the Gospel in words but also in deeds. New Song Church is part of the Christian Community Development Association that focuses on holistic ministry. Williams’ D.Min. dissertation at Covenant Theological Seminary was on “Christ-Centered Preaching in a Hip Hop Culture.”
Pastor Al Guerra is a PCA church planter with the Chicago Metro Presbytery, Chicago, Illinois. He is a Cuban-American pastor who, in 34 years of ministry, has served the Hispanic community in different geographical areas such as New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, and presently West Chicago. As a 13-year-old boy, Guerra moved to New York City with his parents in September 1968. He successfully planted five Hispanic churches while serving as a Southern Baptist church-planting consultant (UBA, Houston) from 1985 to 1998. Guerra received his M.Div. (1984) from Talbot School of Theology and has completed the course-work requirement for a D.Min. at Reformed Theological Seminary-Orlando. He became a PCA minister in the Chicago Metro Presbytery in July 2011. Since September 2011, Guerra has been planting a PCA church in the heavily Hispanic-populated city of West Chicago, 35 miles west of Chicago. His present church attendance is 236 (2014).
Dr. Alexander Jun is involved as a ruling elder in a church-planting ministry of Korean Southwest Presbytery, the New Life Church of Fullerton, California. Before becoming professor of Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University, he taught for 15 years at the University of Southern California, from which he had received his Ph.D. One of the courses Dr. Jun teaches at Azusa Pacific deals with diversity and social justice in higher education. He has published several books and numerous articles on historically underrepresented minorities in higher education.
Pastor Tom Anderson has had an unusual ministry since 2009 as an Anglo pastor planting a church, Strong Tower Fellowship, in a low-income African-American neighborhood in Macon, Georgia. For more than 100 years, Vineville Presbyterian Church (est. 1904) served a middle/upper-middle-class Anglo congregation. As the church declined, its members had a desire to see their building continue to be used for ministry. After the dissolution of the Vineville Church, Central Georgia Presbytery commissioned Anderson, then an assistant pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Macon, to plant a church in the building formerly owned by Vineville. Tom, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, went to high school there during the civil rights period of the 1960s and returned after seminary to plant a church. He has also served PCA congregations in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and Arden, North Carolina. In addition to evangelism, discipleship, and worship, Strong Tower Fellowship of Macon is involved in mercy ministries to the poor, housing development, racial reconciliation, sports ministry, and educational mentoring.
The seminar will be Wednesday, June 10, from 9:15 to 10:45 a.m.