Social activist, pastor of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, to speak at Divinity School

The Reverend Raphael Gamaliel Warnock, senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, former spiritual home of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., will speak at Yale Divinity School on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 5:30 p.m. in Marquand Chapel, 409 Prospect St.

Raphael Gamaliel Warnock

His talk, the 2013 Parks-King Lecture, will be followed by a reception. It is free and open to the public, but those unable to attend in person can view the event live at

Like King, who served as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Warnock is a civil rights activist and has been particularly active in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, and education. In 2006, he led a “Freedom Caravan” of Hurricane Katrina evacuees back to New Orleans to vote. He has done public policy work with The National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS and has been involved in efforts to provide tuition support for young people pursuing post-secondary education. He established a barbershop ministry to urban men called “Cutting Thru Crisis” and created a Bible study program that is held in a local car wash. 

Warnock began his ministry as an intern and licentiate at the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church of Birmingham, Alabama, then served as youth pastor and assistant pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City, followed by four and one-half years as senior pastor of Baltimore’s Douglas Memorial Community Church.

Warnock’s primary research is focused on black religion and spirituality and interpreting the theological meaning and historical mission of black churches.

He has been listed as one of “Thirty Leaders of the Future” by Ebony magazine, one of “Twenty to Watch” by The African American Pulpit journal, and one of the “Top 25 Pastors in Metropolitan Atlanta” by Concerned Black Clergy.

The Parks-King Lecture, hosted by Yale Divinity School since 1983, was established to bring the contributions of African-American scholars, social theorists, pastors, and social activists to Yale Divinity School and the wider New Haven community.

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