The History & Development of African American and Native American Churches & Communities in the Rural South

June 23, 2014



Is sponsored by the Rural Chaplains Association to provide both lay and clergy persons a supportive setting for sharing insights and perspectives on the state of rural communities, institutions, environmental/ economic challenges and religious /family life concerns.  The gatherings bring together dynamic innovative practitioners  from a wide variety of settings to  share vital  ministries that are transforming communities, institutions and congregations across the USA and beyond.  While most Rural Chaplains certified by the association serve in the United States, there are others serving in Russia and England. Outside of the USA there are other groups that train and utilize rural chaplains (i.e. Australia).


This years focus is “The History and Development of African American and Native American Churches and Communities in the Rural South.”  Aside from major presentations, experiential/contextual learning will take place with local people sharing ministries that reach into surrounding communities and beyond. Church and community leaders, lay and clergy, will share how their work through cooperative strategies have led to life/community/world transforming ministries. The setting for this year’s gathering is two of the most effective, productive, long-lived church cooperatives in the United States.  One day will be spent in each of them- Native American Cooperative Ministries in North Carolina and Bennettsville- Cheraw  Area Cooperative Ministries in South Carolina.  Ten Rural Chaplains serve in the Carolinas.  



Rev. Brad Thie, Director of Thriving Rural Communities Initiative , Duke Divinity School

Dr. William C. Turner Jr., Professor of Homiletics, Duke Divinity School

Mr. Robert R. Webb, Director of the Rural Church Program of The Duke Endowment

Dr. Linda Oxendine, Professor emeritus, University of North Carolina & Native American Resource Center

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church

Rev. Dr. Kenneth W. Locklear,  Senior Pastor of Prospect UMC

Rev. Jeffrey Salley, South Carolina Conference Congregational Specialist for African American Ministries

Rev. Dr. Robert Mangum , Advocate for Native Americans                                                        Dr. Carolyn Cummings Woriax, Visitation chaplain, Prospect UMC

Mr. Gary Locklear, Church & Community Worker;  Coordinator of Native American Ministries, NC

Rev. Leatha Brown, Director of Bennettsville Cheraw Cooperative  Ministries

Mrs. Shirley Townsend-Jones, Church & Community Worker, Bennettsville-Cheraw

Ms. Darlene Jacobs, Director of Robeson Church and Community Center

Rev. Millie Nelson, Congregational Specialist, Marion & Florence Districts,SC

Rev. Marion David, Founding Director of “Sustaining the Soul that Serves”



Scholarship support is available  for lay and clergy persons seeking to become certified Rural Chaplains (a two year process).  Applications must be complete with required recommendations filed with the RCA  membership secretary 30 days prior to the annual FOCUS gathering. Dr. Judy C. Matheny, P.O. Box 55, Lake Junaluska, N.C. 28745, [email protected].

A limited number of scholarships are available to assist certified Rural Chaplains in retaining certification & in “special needs” situations. Dorsey Walker, 4705 Alabama Hwy #40, Dutton, Al 35744, [email protected].

AIRPORT SHUTTLE PICK UP & RETURN PROVIDED: MON., OCT 27th from Raleigh-Durham (NC) airport (arrive no later than 2:30 PM) or from Fayetteville (NC) airport (no later than 4PM.)   DEPART THURS., OCT 30th no earlier than 10AM from Raleigh-Durham or 8AM from Fayetteville.


$265. Double or $395. Single. Make checks payable to: THE RURAL CHAPLAINS ASSOCIATION, 4705 Alabama Hwy #40, Dutton, AL 35744.


Click HERE for brochure.