Leading Historically Black Congregations

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



African American Studies | Arts and Humanities | Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Religion


Chapter Description:
“The historically black church holds nearly iconic status in the United States. Created in order to allow the enslaved to claim, affirm, and make known their humanity, the black church is a uniquely American expression.[…] It is easy to identify the many ways that the birth and evolution of the historically black church differs from that of other churches, and many scholars have explored the unique genesis of the church. Yet the question of what it means to lead a historically black church also merits exploration. The goal of this chapter is to answer three questions about religious leadership in the historically black church:

  1. Is religious leadership exclusively unique in the historically black church?
  2. Assuming there is a unique difference, what is that difference and how does it operate?
  3. Is it important to maintain the distinctive nature of religious leadership in the historically black church within a contemporary context?”

Book Description:
This 2-volume set within The SAGE Reference Series on Leadership tackles issues relevant to leadership in the realm of religion. It explores such themes as the contexts in which religious leaders move, leadership in communities of faith, leadership as taught in theological education and training, religious leadership impacting social change and social justice, and more. Topics are examined from multiple perspectives, traditions, and faiths.