Dr. Wil Gafney Inaugurated

Dr. Wil Gafney Inaugurated

The Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney was inaugurated as the holder of the Right Rev. Sam B. Hulsey Professor of Hebrew Bible Chair at Brite Divinity School at TCU on Thursday, October 28, 2021. Her lecture, “What if Bathsheba Took the Throne,” can be viewed at 34.17 in the video below.  The stole, which is emblazoned with the names of Julia Foote, Katie Geneva Cannon, Pauli Murray, Kelly Brown Douglas, Delores Williams, and Renita Weems, was made for Dr. Gafney by Tawnya Denise Anderson, a Presbyterian minister.

Dr. Gafney is the author of Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to Women of the Torah and of the Throne, a commentary on Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah in the Wisdom series, Daughters of Miriam, Women Prophets in Ancient Israel, and co-editor of The People’s Bible and The Peoples’ Companion to the Bible. She is the author of a Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church and translator of its biblical selections. She is an Episcopal priest canonically resident in the Diocese of Pennsylvania and licensed in The Episcopal Church in North Texas. She is a former Army chaplain and congregational pastor in the AME Zion Church.  A former member of the Dorshei Derekh Reconstructionist Minyan of the Germantown Jewish center in Philadelphia, she has co-taught course with and for the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Seminary in Wyncote, PA.

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At the Inauguration on Thursday, Dr. Alfie Wines played two African American Spirituals, “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” and “Nobody Know the Trouble I’ve Seen” as the congregation assembled, and then “”Tis the Old Ship of Zion” for the Academic Processional.

Dr. Michael St. A. Miller, executive vice president and dean of Brite, welcomed everyone, followed by Dr. D. Newell Williams, president of Brite. The Scripture readings fittingly were from “A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church, Year W” by Dr. Gafney.

Lectors were Ms. NaShieka Knight and Dr. Timothy Sandoval, associate professor of Hebrew Bible at Brite. Dr. Valerie Bridgeman, dean and vice president for academic affairs at Methodist Theological School in Ohio, introduced the lecture and proclaimed the Womanist Lineage, bringing women from scripture right into the room.

The Rt. Rev. Rayford B, High Jr., assisting bishop of The Episcopal Church in North Texas and assistant bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, gave the blessing of the Chair and Teaching and Scholarship, anointing Dr. Gafney. Dr Williams gave the final words and Dr. Pamela Lightsey, vice president of academic and student affairs at Meadville Lombard Theological School, gave the benediction and dismissal.

Watch the entire event at https://youtu.be/E3fOajNuxuo