Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Church Memorials as a Provision of God
Christianity | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Johnsen, Jeffrey William, "Provision of God in our Lives: Examining Impact of Church Memorials" (2020). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2350.
The study assumes that church memorials have significant meaning in our faith journey, are visible within the church, and have little meaning if no interpreter is present. If the membership is aware of a memorial’s history, it draws them to understand the memorial as a provision of God. The study’s research question is, “Will people remember the provision of God in their lives when engaging a memorial regularly with an interpreter present?” Memorials used in the study were within Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church. The Bible was the primary literary resource in God’s provision to redeem and restore humanity. The Patriarch Abraham built four types of altars, which were identified as the Altars of Praise, Prayer, Peace and Provision. Creswell’s Phenomenological Research provided a research framework for data collection and analysis. Church members served as the sample for the qualitative study, using a pre-test post-test design. Five key results were identified. First, memorials have an impact on the provision of God as a way to remember their loved ones, and form a shared history. Second, the role of the interpreter is foundational to explain and sustain the memorial’s purpose and intention. Third, the Bible served as the research thesis foundation. Fourth, viewing the Bible through the lens of God’s provision from Genesis through Revelation is foundational to understanding memorials. Fifth, opportunities exist for church governance of memorials. The results of the study provide foundational steps for Mount Pisgah and other churches and a pathway for everyone to become a part of the church’s shared history.