News Details

September 23, 2015

Dr. Leah Gunning Francis to Speak at Wesleyan Sept. 30

Theologian and activist Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, the associate dean of Contextual Education at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO, will be discussing the recent events in Ferguson, MO, at West Virginia Wesleyan College on Wednesday, September 30 at 7 p.m. in Wesley Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

She will focus on the partnerships between faith leaders and community activists and how everyone can be advocates for racial and economic justice.  Dr. Francis will also be discussing highlights of her new book, Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community, published by Chalice Press, 2015.

A frequent guest lecturer, preacher, workshop facilitator, she draws on her marketing experience, pastoral leadership and academic training to creatively equip students, clergy and congregations for transformative social action.

Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community features interviews of more than two dozen clergy and young activists who engaged in the quest of racial justice following the shooting death of Michael Brown, Jr. The book is a collection of stories and hope.

In 2012, Dr. Francis was awarded the prestigious Engaged Scholars Fellowship to study issues of risk among middle-class African American young men from perspectives of mothers. She argues that the negative meta-narrative about young black men puts all of them “at risk,” regardless of socioeconomic class.

Dr. Francis has served as an adjunct professor for the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and has provided pastoral leadership for congregations in Georgia, Illinois, and Ohio. She has received numerous awards such as Candler School of Theology’s G. Ray Jordan award and the Fund for Theological Education’s Doctoral Fellow Award.
Dr. Francis earned a marketing degree from Hampton University, a master of divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and a doctor for philosophy from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.


She presides in St. Louis, MO with her husband, Rev. Rodney Francis, senior pastor of Washington Tabernacle Baptist Church, and their children.

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