NATIONAL ACTIVIST AND PASTOR TO SPEAK ON HILTON HEAD
How can the intersection of race and faith help calm the troubled waters of today’s society? This theological and practical question will be the heart of Dr. Peter M. Wherry’s presentation on June 22 at Hilton Head Island’s St. Andrew By-The-Sea United Methodist Church.
Wherry is a pastor, community leader, social activist and scholar who has addressed audiences across the U.S. and in Haiti, Zambia and South Africa.
“Race is an artificial construct that the Bible doesn’t speak of, ever,” Wherry said. “Race is something that unfortunately, humans created. What the Bible does talk about is love for the neighbor and radical hospitality.”
His talk will address God’s concerns, throughout Scripture, for justice and mercy.
Wherry is senior pastor of Mayfield Memorial Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte and founding moderator of the United Missionary Baptist Association, representing a constituency of 40,000 in the Charlotte area. He is a founding “foot soldier” of the Forward Together Moral Movement, which advocates for social issues including voter rights and economic justice. His published works include a musical CD and devotional in collaboration with his wife, Dr. Wanda Wherry. He also partnered to produce “The Forward Together Lectionary” as a resource to help preachers incorporate social justice into houses of faith. His latest book is “Preaching Funerals in the Black Church: Bringing Perspective to Pain.” He also is a singer and actor who has performed in international and national touring productions of Broadway shows including “The Wiz” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”
St. Andrew By-The Sea invited him to speak following his recent civil rights pilgrimage through the Deep South and panel discussion of the role of race in the criminal justice system. In Virginia, Wherry served urban and rural churches, was appointed to the board for the state Department of Juvenile Justice, and served as a counselor for the Virignia Department of Corrections.
St. Andrews’ Bridge Builders group, which is sponsoring the event, was formed after the shooting at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston. The group partners with other faith-based organizations to address racism and inequality.
“We are asking him to give us some deliverables,” said Sue Yearwood, co-chairwoman of the group with Donna Beavers. “What are you going to do as an individual? As a faith-based community?”
Dr. Peter M. Wherry will present “Faith & Race” at 10 a.m. June 22 at St. Andrew By-The-Sea United Methodist Church at 20 Pope Ave., Hilton Head Island. His talk is free and open to the public. A question-and-answer session moderated by Ahmad Ward will follow. For more information, call 843-785-4711 or go to www.hhiumc.com.