Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Johnny J. Baker


African, American, Depression, Men, Church


Biblical Studies | Counseling | Religion


This dissertation examines the Black Church’s influence on Pentecostal African-American men who are depressed, and how the church may assist these men to heal from the wounds of despair through a Pentecostal experience. While many Pentecostal African-American men have matriculated through the ranks of leadership, establishing successful businesses, churches, ministries, and organizational denominations; they are teetering on the edge of an emotional and spiritual breakdown. Researchers have found that African-American men are understudied and underdiagnosed as it pertains to depression. Eight African-American Pentecostal men were interviewed and given questionnaires to examine how depression affected them while maintaining leadership roles in their perspective places. After implementing a research-based intervention, participants explained their understanding and epiphanies regarding depression in men. The themes that emerged from this project were that men lacked an understanding of depression, were often in denial about their own depressed state and didn't know where to access help (i.e., available resources and counseling tools). This study implies that Black men need more education and developmental programs that build their awareness of what depression looks like and how to address depression in Black men. Additionally, African-American men could particularly benefit from structures and programs that provide hands-on mentors for men that are struggling with depression. Future studies might include how to build programs within Pentecostal Black Churches that help Black men struggling with depression, along with identifying best practices for interventions located within communities of faith, particularly for men in leadership roles within the church.