We’re heading South for VJN 2015! This year, we will have a focused forum on Ending Poverty, and our conversations will highlight the intersection between “Jesus, the Kingdom, and the Poor.” Our gracious host will be Raleigh Vineyard.
We are honored to have Dr. William Turner to be our opening plenary speaker. Dr. Turner is Professor of Homiletics and Preaching at Duke Divinity School. Professor Turner’s ongoing work focuses on pneumatology and the tradition of spirituality and preaching within the black church. Articles on “Black Evangelicalism,” “The Musicality of Black Preaching,” and “The Black Church and the Ecumenical Tradition” reflect his teaching and writing interests. He taught in the areas of theology and Black Church Studies and directed the Office of Black Church Affairs prior to his appointment in homiletics.
Professor Turner travels widely as a preacher and lecturer. He retains active involvement in church and community activities. Dr. Turner held positions within Duke University in student affairs and Afro-American Studies before joining the Divinity School faculty. Before that, he played football for Duke. He is the pastor of Mt. Level Baptist Church in Durham.
Other plenary speakers include:
The Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis is the Co-Director of the Kairos Center and a Founder and the Coordinator of the Poverty Initiative. She has spent the past two decades organizing amongst the poor in the United States, working with and advising grassroots organizations with significant victories including the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the Vermont Workers Center, Domestic Workers United, the United Workers Association, the National Union of the Homeless and the Kensington Welfare Rights Union. She has led hundreds of trainings, Bible studies, and leadership development workshops; spoken at dozens of conferences and keynote presentations across the US and globally; and published several articles and book chapters sharing her vision that poverty can be ended and that the poor can be agents of social change. Liz received her BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania; her M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in 2004 where she was the first William Sloane Coffin Scholar; and her PhD from Union in New Testament and Christian Origins. The title of her dissertation was “Will the Poor Be with You Always’: Towards a Methodological Approach of Reading the Bible with the Poor.” Liz is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Hugh Hollowell is a minister in the Mennonite Church USA based in Raleigh, N.C. He is the founder and director of Love Wins Ministries, which tackles the problems of homelessness by focusing on relationships, not outcomes.