African American Methodist Heritage Center
36 Madison Avenue • PO Box 127 • Madison, NJ 07940
(973) 408-3862 • firstname.lastname@example.org • Website: www.aamhc-umc.org
November 15, 2017, Madison, New Jersey
AAMHC Names Recipients of Bishop Forrest C. Stith Grant
Rosetta E. Ross, Ph.D., Professor of Religion, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Spelman College is an ordained elder and full member of the South Carolina Annual Conference. A fifth-generation United Methodist, she grew up watching black people in her hometown of Dorchester, South Carolina, bravely pursue voting rights and opportunities for their community. In all of her work, at many levels in The United Methodist Church, she has sought to embody the lessons she learned from her parents and other role models by acting as a United Methodist Christian seeking justice.
Dr. Ross is conducting a research project as part of a book-length biography of Methodist laywoman and NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) administrator Ruby Ruffin Hawkins Hurley. Hurley grew up as a member of Asbury Methodist Church in Washington, D. C. As an activist laywoman, she began her work with the NAACP as a local youth worker and became the NAACP national youth secretary (1943-1951) and first director of the NAACP’s Southeast Region (1951-1979). Under Hurley’s leadership, NAACP youth and college chapters grew from 97 with approximately 4,100 members in 1943 to over 380 chapters, with memberships topping 22,000 by 1946. Hurley led development of the NAACP’s Southeast Region, moving it from a non-existent structure to one of the most well-developed and significant arms of the NAACP during the Civil Rights Movement heyday. An important aspect of Hurley’s effectiveness was her ability to actively engage local congregations and Methodist denominational entities such as the Women’s Society of Christian Service. Grant funds received will be used for travel to conduct interviews and purchase transcription services.
Rev. Shayla Johnson currently serves as the pastor of Mother African Zoar United Methodist Church. She is a New York native and migrated to Philadelphia as a child. She is a graduate of several educational institutions holding a Bachelor’s in Business Management and Law (2002), an MBA in Human Resource Management (2007) and Master’s in Theological Studies focusing on Christian Counseling (2014) and is currently studying for her Master’s of Divinity. She has worked in several administrative positions, social work, legal accounting and completed one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at AI DuPont Nemours Children’s Hospital.
Pictured left to right: Ms. Janice Mann, Administrative Council Chairperson, Rev. Shayla Johnson, Ms. Betty Henderson, Chairperson, Archives and History Committee.
About the Grant:
Questions may be directed to Carol Travis, Executive Assistant at 973-408-3862.