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New book by UMCSC pastor Rev. Amiri Hooker released: ‘Preaching in the Midst Of’ on Black preaching and COVID-19

New book by UMCSC pastor Rev. Amiri Hooker released: ‘Preaching in the Midst Of’ on Black preaching and COVID-19

This month, the Advocate Press releases its newest book, addressing the need for what the author calls “great Black preaching in the midst of a tri-pandemic of disease, racism and poverty.”

Authored by United Methodist elder the Rev. Amiri B. Hooker, the book is titled Preaching in the Midst Of: How Black Preaching Has Changed in the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Hooker wrote it as he was sick with COVID-19, pulling together his notes on preaching and how it has changed in the midst of the fear, uncertainty, new technological challenges and ever-changing scope of the church today.

“While I was sick with COVID-19, between medication and rest, I begin to reflect on so many of the social issues of our day and how my preaching and the preaching of others would be forever changed and I just had to share my thoughts,” Hooker said. “My grandmother used to warn my good Methodist aunts on Sunday after church when they would gossip not to say too much because they never knew who was taking notes to write a book. Well, with all that has happened in our community and in the midst of the Black church, I felt it was high time to share some of the notes I had collected on the change in preaching in the last few years.”

Releasing this month (pre-sales going on now), Hooker’s groundbreaking book explores the innovative and Spirit-filled ways Black preachers are bringing Jesus and justice to the people.

A fierce challenge to rise up and embrace prophetic, transformative preaching, the book draws from a rich blend of hip hop artists, theologians and other intellectuals as it guides readers toward a new paradigm for bringing the gospel message with relevance, authority and truth.

“The book is really God’s writing,” Hooker said. “To be a functional dyslexic who suffers with dysgraphia, I am just glad God led me back down the mountain without slamming his commands and breaking his tablets. There were times in my life I didn’t think I would ever be able to read, and now the idea that God is using me to spread a vision of preaching for future is a dream come true.”

Jessica Brodie, the book’s editor who produced the book with the Advocate
Press team, said “Preaching in the Midst Of” is both extraordinarily well-written
and a compelling read filled with much wisdom.

“I found myself convicted over and over again,” Brodie said. “We believe this is a must-read.”

Hooker has been an ordained elder in the UMC for two decades in South Carolina. He is active with a number of groups including the Advocacy Ministry Team and Racial Reconciliation Design Team for the UMCSC, South Carolina Christian Action Council, National African American Ministers Leadership Council, Poor People’s Campaign, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Black Methodists for Church Renewal.

Harry Singleton III, author and professor of theology at Benedict College, wrote the foreword to the book, calling it a “life-changing read.”

“For any minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ looking for a measuring stick with which to determine the effectiveness of their ministry/preaching, this book is it,” Singleton said.

“Preaching in the Midst Of” is available as a paperback ($15) and an eBook ($5) and is available at www.advocatesc.org/books.

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