The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis is Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church (middlechurch.org), a 1,200-member multiracial, welcoming, and inclusive congregation in New York City. She is an activist, preacher, and fierce advocate for racial equality, economic justice, and LGBTQIA equality. Middle Church and Jacqui’s activism for these issues has been featured in media such as The Today Show, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The New Yorker, Essence and The Huffington Post.
Jacqui is the Co-Founder and President of The Middle Project, which, along with Middle Church, hosts an annual conference to train faith leaders to combat racism by growing multiracial congregations. The 14th annual conference, “Revolutionary Love: Toward a More Perfect Union,” will take place April 24–26, 2020 in Washington, DC, to organize for the 2020 Presidential Elections. Jacqui hosted created and produced Just Faith, a television program available on demand from Shift by MSNBC.com. Just Faith gathered diverse voices in a conversation about justice, healing, and faith.
When Jacqui was just eight years old, the assassination of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. both traumatized her and catalyzed her calling to work against racism and poverty in America. Jacqui earned her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and earned a M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in Psychology and Religion from Drew University. Her doctoral studies focused on racial and gender identity development. She has been adjunct professor at seminaries across the country, including Princeton Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary, and the Drew Theological School, where she is currently co-teaching a Doctor of Ministry program in Public Theology with her best friend and spouse, The Rev. John Janka.
Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Jacqui is the first African American and first woman to serve as senior minister in the Collegiate Church, which was founded in New York City in 1628. She is the author of The Power of Stories: A Guide for Leading Multi-racial, and Multi-cultural Congregations; The Pentecost Paradigm: 10 Essential Strategies to Grow a Multiracial, Multicultural Congregation; and the children’s book, You Are So Wonderful! She is writing a book on fierce love and its power to heal our souls and the world, and a memoir about finding a grown-up God.
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