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Doing Public Theology

Doing Public Theology

Archibald J. Carey Jr. and the ministry of Politics

(p.83) Chapter 5 Doing Public Theology
African American Preachers and Politics
Dennis C. Dickerson
University Press of Mississippi

After years of being involved in community and civil rights, Archibald J. Carey Jr. was drawn into the political arena as a candidate for public office, as a party operative, and as a federal appointee while maintaining his ministry and serving in several denominational roles. He believed that all of these activities were intrinsic parts of a public theology designed to lift African Americans and reform their religious institutions. Several pastors agreed that Carey’s blend of ministry and politics had made him ready for the episcopacy of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1949, Carey became president of the Connectional Council, a church-wide clergy/lay organization that served as a forum for developing initiatives intended to achieve denominational reform. But hostile colleagues in the Chicago Annual Conference questioned his loyalty to the AME Church. In 1947, Carey was elected to the Chicago City Council. His most important legislative effort focused on the elimination of racial discrimination in Chicago housing. Carey was reelected four years later.

Keywords:   ministry, Archibald J. Carey, public theology, African Americans, politics, Methodist Episcopal Church, Connectional Council, Chicago City Council, racial discrimination, housing

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