Henry ``Hank`` Allen - Chairman
Dr. Henry Lee Allen has been active as a sociologist within postsecondary education for nearly four decades, having taught at Bethel College (University), Calvin College (University), the University of Rochester (NY), the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Wheaton College. He has taught courses in sociology [sociology of education, sociology of science, urban sociology, mathematical sociology, etc.] and criminology [Violence in Minority Communities, Violence against Women, Sociology of Hate] across those years. Beyond these topics, Allen has pursued ongoing research regarding police shootings, race and ethnic relations, and the sociology of higher education. In 2018, he received the Albert Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who’s Who.
Henry has been a consultant across many venues, such as the National Education Association (1993-2018), the American Bible Society, the African American Leadership Roundtable, and so forth. He has engaged scholarly presentations or venues such as the University of Oxford, Carnegie Mellon University, Wolfram Research, New England Complex Systems Institute, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Athens Institute for Education and Research. Via recent publications, Dr. Allen has probed the sociology of science in Canada, Israel, and Scandinavia. Many students have also admired or cited his articles about women professors and gender inequality.
Most recently, Professor Allen has been active as a member of the International Sociological Association, with presentations in Japan, Vienna, Athens, and Toronto. His latest publications examine the sociology of science in the United States as well as the lack of scientific literacy in current public policies. At the end of 2019, the Russian Academy of Sciences published his article about new frontiers in the sociology of science for the twenty-first century. He has been invited by the International Sociological Association to Brazil to give a path-breaking presentation about the interconnections between astrophysics, cybersecurity, and quantum computing.
Altogether, Professor Allen has published nearly 40 scholarly articles across many research venues, including strategic domains across three continents. As a member of the newly-formed Advisory Group of the Institute of Justice Formation at John Leland Center for Theological Studies, Allen can integrate his undergraduate degree in biblical studies (and prior publications on church-related themes) with salient theological and sociological concerns related to justice. As a member of Jubilee Baptist Church, Hank has taught the Adult Sunday School class for 17 years as well as served periodically as a Bible Study teacher in the Pastor’s absence.
Rev. Dr. Paul D. Flowers, Sr.
Dr. Flowers, or “Pastor Paul,” as he is affectionately known, is the elder son of Rev. Dr. Gloria and Deacon Alvin Flowers, Jr., husband to the former Monique Meekins, and father to Paul Jr., Andre Malik, and Erica. He is a native of Virginia and a product of the Henrico County Public School System. He is a 1985 graduate of Henrico High School, a veteran of the United States Air Force, and a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies.
Understanding the importance of life-long learning, Pastor Paul earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond in May 2006 and was conferred the Doctor of Ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio on June 2, 2012. His research emphasis explored the creation of A Model for Fostering Faith Maturity Using Multi-Dimensional Faith Formation Interventions.
On March 29, 2009, Rev. Flowers was installed as the twelfth pastor of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, a church growing by the word of God. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Pastor Paul serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 491 in Richmond, VA. He served as Moderator for the Chickahominy Baptist Association and is currently the Vice-President of the Division of Clergy. Dr. Flowers is adjunctive faculty at Infinity Bible Seminary in Richmond. His specializations are Old and New Testament Survey as well as world religions. He is also the co-founder and Chief Servant Leader of Next Level Youth and Family Services, Inc., an organization committed to being change agents in the lives of youth and families throughout the Commonwealth. Their mission is to support the child, strengthen the family, and serve vulnerable communities.
In January 2016, Rev. Flowers self-published his first book; You Must Decide: 7 Principles for Achieving the Life you Envisioned. In February 2016, he released two books, a 40-day devotional for Lent, entitled Praying Through Lent: 40 Days of Reflection, Renewal, Regeneration, and Revival and a monograph on faith, entitled It Happens by Faith.
Dr. Flowers is the Director for the Doctor of Ministry Program at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University and recently accepted an appointment to serve as the Department of Contextual Theology Chair.
Drew Hill was called as the sixth pastor of Memorial Baptist Church on April 15, 2012. Drew holds a Doctor of Ministry and a Master of Divinity from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and also studied Old Testament archaeology at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Drew has taught at two Baptist seminaries in Ukraine and has been involved in mission work in Canada, South Africa, Belarus, and India. Additionally, he has led various Bible study field trips to Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, and Israel. Before coming to Memorial, Drew served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Sedalia, Missouri for fourteen years.
Carl Jensen III
Carl Jensen is an Emeritus Professor of Intelligence and Security Studies at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. After graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978, he served in the Navy, first aboard the nuclear fleet ballistic missile submarine USS George Washington Carver and then as an aide to the Commander of Submarine Group Five. He subsequently enjoyed a 22-year career in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he served as a field agent in the Atlanta, San Francisco, and Cleveland field offices; a Forensic Examiner/Cryptanalyst in the FBI Laboratory; and a Supervisory Special Agent in the Behavioral Science Unit (BSU). While in the FBI, Dr. Jensen founded the Futures Working Group (FWG), a collaboration between the FBI and the Society of Police Futurists International; the goal of this collaboration was to create ethical and community-based strategies for the future of policing.
Upon his retirement from the FBI in 2006, Dr. Jensen joined the RAND Corporation as a Senior Behavioral Scientist. In 2007, he joined the Legal Studies faculty at the University of Mississippi while retaining adjunct status at RAND. In 2008, he founded the University’s Center for Intelligence and Security Studies, writing its entire curriculum and teaching in every course. Under his leadership as Director, the CISS was designated as an Intelligence Community (IC) Center for Academic Excellence and in 2014, its Intelligence and Security Studies minor became the first program in the world to receive certification from the International Association for Intelligence Education.
In 2015, Dr. Jensen accepted an appointment as Professor and Director of the Intelligence and Security Studies program at The Citadel. In that capacity, he oversaw the approval of a Master of Arts degree in Intelligence and Security Studies, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Intelligence and Security Studies, and the establishment of The Center for Cyber, Intelligence, and Security Studies, which promotes research, education, and collaboration across many academic disciplines. In 2016, The Citadel was designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
Dr. Jensen’s current research interests include the history of policing, community policing, social justice, and program evaluation. In addition to his undergraduate degree, Dr. Jensen holds a Master of Arts degree from Kent State University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Maryland. He is the recipient of many national awards and has authored and co-authored over 70 books, articles, book chapters and reviews.
Dr. Jensen and his family reside on Johns Island, South Carolina.
Tara Murrayis a justice defender and civil and human rights lawyer with her own practice based in Washington, DC. Her firm’s mission is to bring accountability in the justice system through litigation and public advocacy on behalf of communities most vulnerable to unfair treatment. Tara is the former Deputy Director of London-based human rights non-profit, Reprieve, where she represented over 30 Guantanamo detainees in federal district court proceedings and led the organization’s first investigations into civilian casualties in drone strikes in Pakistan — an investigation that has expanded to include Yemen and the horn of Africa.
Tara’s work on behalf of Muslims targeted as a result of the ‘War on Terror’, and her conversations with her clients and their traumatized family members, bears striking similarities to her own experiences growing up in Los Angeles, California where law enforcement’s heavy-handed and abusive tactics served to terrify her surveilled community and sent a message much like the one sent by drones: that the state intends to police the community with force, and the lives of those impacted do not matter. Tara is committed to dismantling structural racism and xenophobia that has both domestic and global implications.
Tara received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University, a Juris Doctorate degree from Harvard Law School, and a Masters of Laws degree from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was an E. Barrett Prettyman fellow, taught a weekly seminar in the Criminal Justice Clinic, and represented indigent clients in Washington, D.C. who were charged with misdemeanors and felonies. Tara was a law clerk to retired Judge Richard W. Roberts, who served as the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Tara’s work as a lawyer and advocate has been featured in several publications and news outlets worldwide.
Temitope Oyegbile M.D.
She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), Washington Psychiatric Society (WPS), and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Society of Greater Washington (CAPSGW). Dr. Oyegbile has served on various association committees for media, advocacy and diversity. She currently serves on the Executive Council of CAPSGW as the Virginia Representative. She is also on the Medical Executive Committee at Dominion Hospital. She is actively involved in tele-psychiatric services with a focus on providing tele-psychiatry services in local community clinics in Upstate New York.
Dr. Temitope Oyegbile earned her medical degree from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. She completed her residency in General Psychiatry at Cabrini Medical Center & Westchester Medical Center in New York. She completed a Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Strong Memorial Hospital/University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York.
Dr. Oyegbile is a member of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Arlington, VA.
Rick Sawyer, CEO, Hope for Miami
Hope for Miami
550 NW 42 Ave. 4th floor
Miami, FL 33126
http://www.hopeformiami.org/ Rick came to faith in Christ in 1975 after travelling around the world for three years searching for life’s meaning and purpose. He graduated from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, was discipled for a year, and received an MDIV degree from Columbia International University (1976-79). Rick served as missionary and church planter in Spain, Ecuador and Colombia and has lived in Miami since 1995. Begun in 1999, Rick (CEO) and wife Yvonne (COO) are founders of Hope for Miami. The vision of Hope for Miami is a Miami in which each of us uses our resources, skills, and interests as “threads” to re-weave our neighborhoods into a “Shalom” tapestry of well-being for everyone. Since 2017, Rick serves as Miami Co-City Leader for Made to Flourish Miami, an emerging, relational network of South FL pastors and church leaders with the goal of encouraging, uniting, resourcing and equipping leaders for the flourishing of our communities. Rick also gives leadership to a new endeavor, Hope Network of the Carolinas, based in his hometown of Asheville NC, which will be similar in vision and mission to Hope for Miami.
The Reverend Andre Towner’s life mission is to help create a world where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential. He frequently does this as a consultant who helps faith communities and nonprofits discover, enhance, and focus their passions and capabilities to address the most pressing needs of their communities. In addition to his work with the Institute, he also serves on the pastoral staffs of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ in Washington, DC and Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Arlington, VA. Prior to serving in his current positions, Reverend Towner worked in various congregational and denominational settings throughout the country.
In addition to his years of ministry service, Reverend Towner is also a United States military veteran who retired from the United States Coast Guard after over 20 years of service. He began his military career as a Civil Engineering Technician and after earning his bachelor’s degree and receiving a commission, served as a search and rescue pilot where he and his teams were responsible for saving hundreds of lives while responding to local, national and international natural and human made disasters. During the latter part of his military career he began working in financial field where he managed federal contracts and coordinated multimillion-dollar budgets for the U.S. Coast Guard’s 900-member Acquisitions Directorate.
In pursuit of his childhood dream of becoming a pilot, Reverend Towner earned his bachelor’s degree in Aviation from Jackson State University and later earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the George Washington University as his military career transitioned to the financial sector. After recognizing his call to Christian Ministry, he prepared for the task by earning master’s degrees in Religion and Divinity from Wayland Baptist University and Wesley Theological Seminary, respectively and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry degree where he is focusing on creating Church structures and practices that help clergy and laity understand part of their commitment to Christian discipleship as a mandate to be agents of justice and righteousness in their communities, workspaces and the world.
He also has a long and distinguished record of serving the community through nonprofit leadership. He currently chairs the board of directors for the Interfaith Council of Metropolitan Washington, Co-Chairs the District of Columbia Food Policy Council’s Food Access and Equity Working Group and is a member of the Implementation Team for Alliance of Baptists’ Racial Justice Task Group. Additionally, Reverend Towner sits on the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Advocacy Council and the National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd’s Advisory Board.
Reverend Towner is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and lives in Washington, DC with his wife Shondelyn. They are the proud parents of three adult children, one delightful grandchild and Dustin, a former Guide Dog.
Dr. Inez Tuck is an educator, consultant and researcher. She has over 40 years of experience in higher education as a university professor and administrator. Her most recent academic position was as dean of the School of Nursing at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston. She has been faculty in several universities including branches of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Greensboro, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Tuck is a nurse researcher with a specialty in psychiatric/mental health nurse therapy and counseling. As a nurse, she has witnessed human suffering firsthand, whether with persons with pain accompanying acute or chronic illnesses, those at the end-of-life dying with cancer, or those with living with stigmatized conditions such as addictions and HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Tuck has a diverse educational background with degrees in nursing, child development and family relations, and business administration. In 2008, Dr. Tuck completed the master’s degree in theology (Master of Divinity degree) at Samuel Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. Her deep faith in God is evident in efforts to heal the human spirit and truly experience God’s presence in her life. Her work in her local congregation has been as a lay eucharistic minister and facilitator of quiet meditation retreats and Taizé services. She serves as co-chair of global missions for Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of Virginia.
She feels strongly about eradicating violence in our communities. Emotional and psychological trauma and healing and reconciliation have been key parts of her career as an educator. She has researched a healing intervention with family members who experienced the devastating loss of a loved one due to homicide. Her work focuses on healing and forgiveness for victims, perpetrators and by-standers including those in positions of authority. Earlier in her career, she was the author of two books on forgiveness. She now consults and trains with a focus on
healing organizations, families, and communities. Her participation as an advisor to The Institute for Justice Formation at John Leland Center for Theological Studies is a commitment to educate others to further this work through service and advocacy.
Rev. Dr. Robert Wallace
Currently serving as the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of McLean in McLean, VA, Rev. Dr. Robert Wallace has spent over 20 years as a Professor of Biblical Studies striving to bridge the gap between the academy and the church. While finishing his Ph.D. at Baylor University, he was ordained at First Baptist Church of Waco, Texas, and he worked as a full-time pastor for several years. Throughout his academic career, Robert maintained an active, ecumenical ministry of supply and interim preaching.
He has a deep love of the Psalms, and much of his academic research has focused on that area. He currently is finishing a book with Baker Academic Publishing provisionally titled, “Reading the Old Testament Through the Psalms.” The book brings together several of Robert’s passions by using the Psalms as the entry point to make the rest of the Old Testament accessible to a Christian audience.
From 2016 – 2018 Robert also cohosted a podcast based on the Revised Common Lectionary with New Testament professor and former colleague, Dr. Michael McKeever. “Reading in Church & Other Distractions” has been a source of devotion and fun.
Robert and his wife Cindy have two sons, Daniel and Thomas, who delight in beating their father at video games. As a family, they enjoy music, laughing, and Robert’s cooking.
Rev. Dr. Jeffrey G. Willetts, PhD is professor for the Philosophy of Religion and former Dean of Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology, in Atlanta, GA. From 1998 -2016, Dr. Willetts served as the founding Dean, Vice-President, and Professor of Divinity at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies, in Arlington, VA.
Dr. Willetts academic interests include the philosophy of religious language, philosophical theology, ethics, and philosophy and culture. Dr. Willetts is also an experienced Baptist minister with more than 25 years of experience, as a church planter and senior pastor.
Dr. Willetts earned his BA in Religion and Philosophy at Campbell University, his Master of Arts in Religion at Yale University Divinity School, and his PhD in Philosophy at Swansea University, Wales, UK.
He currently serves on a number committees, commissions, or advisories of several different ecclesial or academic organizations, including: the Baptist World Alliance, the Society for Philosophy of Religion, and the Institute for Justice Formation.
He is the former Book Review editor for the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, and is President of the Network for Theological Engagement, a non-profit organization which focuses on the accessibility of theological education for the local church.