|Job Title||Director, Centre for Black Theology|
I am the Director of the Centre for Black Theology (CBT), where I am passionate about leading the teaching and training in Black and Womanist theological studies.
I have been at Queen’s since September 2014, and one of the things that attracted me here was the opportunity to work with students from Black majority Pentecostal churches to enable a new generation of church leaders and ministers to take up the opportunity to engage in advanced theological studies.
My academic and professional background is interdisciplinary. My earlier studies was in social sciences. I trained as a probation officer and completed a MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice. I also spent many years teaching in health and social care, focusing on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.
My PhD research (University of Birmingham, 2014), was the first academic study of Black gospel music in Britain. I channelled my investigation through Black theological lens, taking an interdisciplinary approach to tracing the impact of the spirituality of Black Pentecostal churches giving birth to Black gospel music in Britain. My broader research interests are African Caribbean Pentecostal spirituality, Black hymnody, Black church history, and womanist theology. I am currently co-editing an exciting book on Black British gospel music with Monique Ingalls and Pauline Muir; finalising the manuscript for my PhD thesis; and working on other book projects and chapters that focus on the expression of Black Pentecostalism through its hymnody and liturgical practices.
In terms of longevity and ongoing interests that combine my research aspirations and teaching; I am a pioneer of Black gospel music in the UK. I spent many years on the radio, and I have achieved multiple awards, including a lifetime achievement award for dedicated years to Black gospel music on radio, and supporting artists and church ministries through media. Although I have been part of advancing Black gospel music in Britain since the 1980s, I am concerned about what I see is a lack of data concerning African Caribbean Pentecostalism in scholarship. There is a lot of work to do to galvanise more sustained interest in its historical growth, and locate more theological insights.
I am committed to combining my historic first-hand knowledge of the landscape to systematic research. As such, I continue to research African Caribbean Pentecostal contribution to global Christianity, and I am encouraging past, present, and future students of Queen’s to discern the value in investigating and writing about all forms of Black Pentecostalism in Britain, both its history and contemporary contributions.
- Roles and responsibilities at Queen’s
- In addition to my role as Director of the Centre for Black Theology, I am the lead tutor for Black Theology, and teach on other modules for undergraduate and postgraduate studies
I also chair and convene the online monthly Black Theology Forum at Queen’s.
- Migration, Mission and Music: Valuing the Legacy of African Caribbean Pentecostalism, Chapter 5, in World Christianity in Western Europe: Diaspora Identity, Narratives and Missiology, editor, Israel Oluwole Olofinjana, (2020). Oxford, Regnum Studies in Mission p 71 – 89.
- “The Future of the Past- Forging a historical Context for Black Gospel Music as a Tradition amongst African Caribbean Pentecostals in Post-War Britain.” PhD Thesis (March 2014) University of Birmingham.
- “Toward Teaching Black Theology through Black Gospel Music in Britain.” Discourse 8, no. 2 (2009): p 127 – 171.
- “Black British Theology in Black British Gospel Music” Chapter 3 in Post-Colonial Black British Theology – New Textures and Themes, edited by Michael N. Jagessar and Anthony G. Reddie (2007). Peterborough; Epworth p 25 – 29.