God teaches many things through the stories of those who have gone before us, and the history of Black Americans is filled with lessons of courage, perseverance, and faith. Recently, contributing writers from the new devotional booklet On the Shoulders of Giants: 28 Reflections on Faith Through Black History convened virtually to celebrate the legacy of faithful Black leaders from the past and discuss the importance of a faithful remembering of history for our present divided times.
Noel Hutchinson Jr.
Dr. Noel G. L. Hutchinson Jr. is the mission director for the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC). He is also the organizer and founder of a new ministry, Greater Works Fellowship, and was the pastor of First Baptist Church Lauderdale in Memphis, Tennessee, for 22 years. A native of The Bronx, New York, he earned his BA degree from Brandeis University in the areas of sociology and American studies, a Master of Divinity cum laude from Drew Theological School, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Trotwood, Ohio.
Dr. Roslyn R. Yilpet is a writer and the director of Open Door of Special Education Center in Jos, Nigeria. She loves teaching, writing, and traveling. God fulfilled her passions by calling her to Nigeria in 1978 as a missionary teacher. Her writing testifies of God’s love and faithfulness in her life.
Ekemini Uwan (pronounced Eh-keh-mi-knee Oo-wan) is a public theologian who received her Master of Divinity degree from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. She is co-host of the award-winning Truth’s Table podcast. In 2018, Christianity Today named her among “10 New or Lesser-Known Female Theologians Worth Knowing.” In 2021, she earned the IMPACT Award from The Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience. In April, Convergent releases Truth’s Table: Black Women’s Musings on Life, Love, and Liberation, a book by Ekemini and her podcast co-hosts, Christina Edmondson and Michelle Higgins.
Dr. CJ Rhodes is the pastor of Mount Helm Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi, the youngest pastor to serve Jackson’s oldest Black congregation. He’s also the director of religious and spiritual Life at Alcorn State University and the host of The CJ Rhodes Show airing on WRBJ 97.7 FM. A sought-after thought leader, Dr. Rhodes is founder and president of Clergy for Prison Reform and Public Theologian in Residence for The AND Campaign. He received his BA in Philosophy from The University of Mississippi. In 2009, he received his MDiv from Duke University’s Divinity School and earned his DMin from Wesley Biblical Seminary in 2018.
Rasool Berry (moderator)
Rasool Berry serves as teaching pastor at The Bridge Church in Brooklyn, New York. He also is the director of partnerships and content development with Our Daily Bread Ministries and host of the podcast Where Ya From?, which is part of the CT network of podcasts. Rasool graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in Africana studies and sociology.