Baptist Seminary of Kentucky Siloam Project Director, Reverend Dr. Anthony Everett, and Reverend Dr. Kymberley Clemons-Jones of the Restored Life Group and the Community Healing and Caring Center (Valley Springs, NY and Hartford, CT) led an entourage of seventeen ecumenical Black clergy, faith leaders, and others on the 2023 Pilgrimage to Ghana from October 5 – 15, sponsored by the Center, Alpha Management LLC, the Centre for Prophetic Activism, and United Theological Seminary (UTS). The purpose of the pilgrimage is to allow African Americans the opportunity to connect educationally, spiritually, and culturally with their enslaved African ancestral heritage. UTS MDiv student and pastor of Shiloh AME Zion Church (Monrovia, CA), Reverend Celesta Ary, used the pilgrimage as an opportunity to fulfill an experiential context course as part of her degree requirement.
During a panel discussion at Trinity Theological Seminary of Ghana on Tuesday, October 10, Dr. Everett presented on the subject Prophetic Activism and the African American Church in Context. The Director of Graduate Studies and Hebrew Bible scholar, Reverend Dr. Frederick M. Amevenku, presented on Prophetic Action in Ghana. New Testament scholar, Reverend Dr. Abraham Boateng facilitated the ensuing discussion. Both Drs. Everett and Amevenku expressed a view of prophetic as “speaking truth to power,” in contrast with the popular belief by many African and African American church leaders who view prophecy as foretelling of what will come usually by prescription from self-professed paid prophets. Reverend Dr. Martin A. Obeng, the seminary vice president, welcomed the group.
Following a lunch sponsored by the seminary, the group met with Dr. Nicoletta Gatti at the University of Ghana’s Department of Religion. Dr. Gatti shared her experiences as an Italian Roman Catholic female scholar in Ethiopia, and later in Ghana. After visiting the University of Ghana, the group proceeded to the Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture. The group was introduced to the seminary faculty and staff. They provided a tour of the facilities, including the Johannes Zimmermann Library, where a project is underway to translate the Holy Bible directly into local indigenous languages.
Other highlights of the pilgrimage included visits to the W. E. B. Dubois Museum, the Kwame N’Krumah Memorial Park, the Potter’s Village Orphanage, Elmina Castle, where Dr. Everett led a remembrance ceremony honoring enslaved ancestors, the Ntonso Adinkra Village, the Roman Ridge Senior Correctional Facility where Dr. Jones provided The WANTED Project – a social impact ministry that began in the United States and expanded to Ghana, the Assim Manso Slave River, and various sites. Members of the group included Philip Jones – SVP of America Works (New York, NY), Larry Smith – President and CEO of the Fathers and Families Center (Indianapolis, IN), Reverend Robin Pinckney – Pastor of Congregational Care/Associate Minister at Union Baptist Church (Passaic, NJ), Reverend Tyrone Cook of Powerhouse Church of God in Christ (Merrick, NY), Reverends Drs. Imani and Colin Jones – co-pastors of Advent United Church in Christ (Columbus, OH), Reverend Dr. Lester Woods Jr. – Bishop and Senior Pastor of Urban Empowerment Ministries (Columbia, MO), Vera Brown – lay member at First Baptist Church (Versailles, KY), and Tonya Carlos – trustee at Martin Temple AME Zion Church (Compton, CA).