The "Message in the Middle" series continues in 2012-2013 with powerful messages of hope and inspiration from leaders from across the country. Set in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, "Message in the Middle" is designed to offer encouragement and motivation for staff, students and faculty at Dillard University.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - Pastor Telley Lynette Gadson
Reverend Telley Lynnette Gadson, the only daughter of the Honorable Herbert Gadson and "Missionary" Linda Dingle Gadson, was born on February 28, 1974. A native of Hollywood, South Carolina, Reverend Gadson is a sister, an aunt, and a friend to many. A fall 1995 graduate of the University of South Carolina, she was named to the Dean's List, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in Religious Studies. In the spring of 1999, she graduated from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University (Atlanta, GA) with a Master of Divinity degree and Certification in Black Church Studies. On Sunday, November 29, 1992, Reverend Gadson answered God's call on her life for ministry after preaching her first sermon entitled, "What's Your Persuasion?” Since June 13, 1999, she has been serving as the Pastor of Saint Mark United Methodist Church (Sumter, South Carolina). She is an ordained Elder, in full Connection, in the South Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
From June 13, 1999 to June 16, 2004, Reverend Gadson served as the Pastor of two Churches: Mount Zion and Saint Mark United Methodist Churches (Sumter, South Carolina). During Reverend Gadson’s tenure, Mount Zion experienced spiritual growth and purchased a 25-passenger shuttle bus. Simultaneously, Saint Mark experienced spiritual growth, more than tripled its membership, more than quadrupled its financial stewardship, made structural improvements to the Church, and purchased 20.6 acres of land. On June 16, 2004, major milestones were reached when Saint Mark became a “station-church-appointment,” and Reverend Gadson became the Church’s first full-time Pastor. After years of planning and sacrifice, Saint Mark UMC celebrated Ground-Breaking on the construction of a new edifice in September of 2009; and by God’s grace, on Sunday, April 11, 2010, Saint Mark UMC celebrated the Consecration of a new church building designed for worship, study, and fellowship
Affectionately known as “PASTOR T,” Reverend Gadson is a member of numerous church-related, community, academic, and national organizations; including the African American Clergywomen's Caucus, the NAACP, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. With sensitivity and a warm smile as her hallmarks, Reverend Telley Lynnette Gadson leads by example and believes that everyone has a place at the table of empowerment. She is the energetic and inspiring host of “THE CALL,” a weekly Praise/Prayer telephone-conference. Recognized as a ministry mentor, a church leadership coach, a national leader and some have even said “national evangelist” in the United Methodist Church, Reverend Gadson models her life after the African-American spiritual: "If I can help somebody as I travel along the way, then my living shall not be in vain."
NOTE: The April 24, 2013 MIM event will take place at 7 p.m. in Lawless Chapel
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - Pastor Fred Luter Jr.
Pastor Fred Luter, Jr., the first African American President of the Southern Baptist Convention, is the Senior Pastor at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana. Pastor Luter says Franklin Avenue's mission statement is simple: To spiritually impact our families, neighborhoods, city and state by Exalting the Savior, Equipping the saints and Evangelizing the sinners. Pastor Luter's strategy for congregational growth is embedded in his concept he calls "FRANgelism" - the acronym "FRAN" standing for friends, relatives, associates and neighbors where he encourages his congregation to invite one of them to come to church with you.
Pastor Luter's passion for the people of God, commitment to his family and his love for God's word led him to be unanimously elected as President of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest protestant organization in America, in June 2012. Many have referred to him as a man after God's own heart that is known for his humility and powerful, lively preaching style. One of Pastor Luter's famous sayings at Franklin Baptist Church is "It's Not About the Pastor; It's All About the Master" and that saying he has taken with him to the SBC. When asked to say a few words after being elected, his response was simply "To God Be the Glory for the Things He Has Done".
Pastor Fred Luter Jr. was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on November 11, 1956. He has been married to his "Prime Rib" Elizabeth Luter for 32 years. They are the proud parents of one daughter Kimberly Luter, one son Fred "Chip" Luter, III, daughter-in-law Jasmine Luter and grandparents of one son, Fred Luter, IV.
Wednesday, November 14 - Melech E. M. Thomas
Minister Melech E. M. Thomas is a first-year Master of Divinity candidate at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ. He is a 2011 graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Culture and a Minor in Community and Economic Development. As a student-leader at Howard, Melech served as the coordinator of the HU "Do You Care?" Anti-Gun Violence Campaign, where as many as 500 students participated in anti-gun violence events on campus and in the surrounding community. Through the campaign's efforts, over 3,000 students signed a petition calling for a White House National Summit on Gun Violence and a permanent reinstatement of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. He has also completed graduate studies at Chicago Theological Seminary.
Melech has spoken, preached, and lectured for several educational institutions such as Johns Hopkins University, West Chester University, University of Central Florida, and James Madison University and for ecumenical organizations such as the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, The Nation of Islam, and the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education. A portion of his work has been used for theological training by the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church.
Melech Thomas is the youngest child of the Rev. Drs. Michael O. Thomas and Debyii L. Sababu-Thomas and is on the ministerial staff at Hemingway Temple AME Church in Baltimore, Maryland. All accomplishments aside, Melech Thomas is one who seeks to serve God and God’s people through love, transformation, and justice.
Wednesday, October 31 - Reverend Olu Brown
Olu Brown is the founder and lead pastor of Impact Church 1.0. He is married to Farrah Brown and they are the proud parents of Daya Brown. A native of Texas, Olu graduated from The Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta and was Associate Pastor at Cascade United Methodist Church for six years prior to starting Impact Church.
Wednesday, October 10 - Reverend Dominque A. Robinson
Rev. Robinson began her Christian walk under the leadership of her late (paternal) grandmother, Overseer Della V. Smith, who founded and pastored Deliverance House of Prayer (Irvington, NJ) until her untimely death. Dominique gave her life to Christ in November of 1998 and launched the genesis of her preaching ministry (age 13). At the age of 18 she transferred her membership to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church where she currently serves as an ordained Itinerant Elder.
Rev. Robinson earned her Master of Theology (May 2011) concentrating in Homiletics and Pastoral Care, at Candler School of Theology. While completing this degree, Dominique earned her Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Certification in December 2010 and worked as a Teaching Assistant to Rev. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, who has been recognized as a pre-eminent homiletician in the nation. She has served as a chaplain at the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta and was selected to serve on the Academy of Preachers Leadership Team Member, a national organization that advocates and equips young preachers.
Rev. Robinson is currently the Staff Associate for CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) and Contextual Education Department at Columbia Theological Seminary (Decatur, GA) and plans to pursue doctoral studies in the near future. Additionally, Rev. Robinson is a Contributing Editor to Harvest magazine, a national web based Christian publication, and is the author of Unspoken Praise: A Manual on Liturgical – Praise Dance. Rev. Robinson is an associate minister at St. Stephen A.M.E. Zion Church, Asbury Park, New Jersey, under the pastorate of Rev. Derinzer Johnson (Mid-Atlantic I Episcopal District). While residing in Georgia, Rev. Robinson worships and serves at the Solid Rock A.M.E. Zion Church (Rev. Dr. Roe Nall Jr., Pastor).
It is Dominique’s life’s goal to utilize her doctrine and discipline in order to be an effective advocate for children, youth, and young adults as well as to empower African American women within the academy and the Black Church.
Wednesday, October 31 - Reverend Olu Brown
Wednesday, November 14 - Minister Melech E.M. Thomas
Wednesday, November 28 - Reverend Courtney Jenkins - CANCELLED