May 1999


Dr. Frank Schmitt

Primary Subject Area



There is a plethora of literature on pastoring churches. However, very little literature exists on the subject of pastoring African American churches. The belief that "man was created in the image of God" negates the contention that there are inherent differences in the people of the world. It is a Biblical fact that all of mankind descended from common ancestors, Adam, Eve and Noah (Genesis 1:26, 27; 2:7, 21-25, Genesis, Chapters 9,10,11). It must, therefore, be understood that differences existing in human behavior can not be attributed to ethic or racial inheritance. However, it must be recognized that differences in human behavior along racial and ethic lines do exist, resulting from varying socio-cultural experiences. In this light, therefore, Americans of African descent have differences that are peculiar to their culture and lifestyle as compared to the culture and lifestyle to varied Americans.

The differences in the skills necessary to effectively carry out the responsibilities of the Pastor are due to the historical and cultural experience of African Americans; thus, this study investigates the history of the African American.

In addition, the study includes varied ministries of Calvary Evangelical Baptist Church, predominantly an African American congregation located in Portsmouth, Virginia. Methods used and the quality and competency of practices within the ministries will be addressed.