Leadership

Board

Nicholas A. Johnson, President

Pastor, Raritan Valley Baptist Church

The Reverend Nicholas A. Johnson is a proud native of Newark, New Jersey. An ordained Baptist minister, Nicholas is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, USA and the National Baptist Convention, USA. Since 2014, he has served as pastor at Raritan Valley Baptist Church in Edison, NJ. Nicholas is a...

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Rick Ufford-Chase, Treasurer

Institutional Advancement Officer, Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary

Rick Ufford-Chase is a faith-rooted activist and author with a long history of developing popular education tools. He currently serves as the Institutional Advancement Officer for Johnson C Smith Theological Seminary based on Atlanta, GA, and volunteers with the Grassroots Reparations Campaign and Proyecto Faro (an immigrant led advocacy organization...

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Dong Hyeon Jeong, Co-Secretary

Assistant Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Dong Hyeon Jeong is a United Methodist Pastor and an Assistant Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, where he utilizes such critical interpretive lenses such as postcolonialism, gender and sexuality, socio-economic, race and ethnicity, ableism, and posthumanism/eco-justice. His book With the Wild Beasts, Learning from...

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Elisabeth "Betsy" Simpson, Co-Secretary

Rev. Betsy Simpson is a retired Presbyterian Pastor, having served at the First Presbyterian Church of Glen Cove, Long Island for 17 yrs. until Sept. 30, 2016. She is a widow, has two sons, Chris, a high school physics teacher in Los Angeles, and Ben, an immigration and criminal lawyer...

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Thomas E. Boomershine

President, GoTell Communications

Thomas E. Boomershine (PhD, Union Theological Seminary) is an emeritus professor of New Testament and a United Methodist elder. He has been an activist as a biblical storyteller, educator (New York and United Theological Seminaries), author, and community organizer of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, International, and the Bible in...

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Matthew J. M. Coomber

Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, St. Ambrose University

Matthew J.M. Coomber is a professor of biblical studies and an Episcopal priest. He has served as an activist in various roles, including faith leader, educator, street medic, and as an organizer/director of international conferences on Bible and social justice. His primary focus of research is on how biblical texts...

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Laura Gottwald

Laura Gottwald was born into a privileged white family in Georgia, where she was raised in a fundamentalist Baptist church. Her education includes a B.A in English from Georgia State University, a Masters of Religious Education from New York University, and a Masters of Divinity from New York Theological Seminary,...

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Sister Sharifa Vernice Meytung

Sister Sharifa Vernice Meytung, OLC (Our Lady of Czestochowa) is an African-American artist, haijin (a writer of haiku poetry), teacher and lay religious practitioner in the Catholic and Buddhist traditions. Her practice is also steeped in and informed by West African, Native and HipHop traditions. She has studied in many...

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Hugh R. Page

Associate Professor of Theology and Africana Studies, University of Notre Dame

Hugh R. Page, Jr. is Professor of Theology and Africana Studies; and Vice President and Associate Provost at the University of Notre Dame. He holds a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University.  His research interests include early Hebrew poetry; Africana biblical interpretation; the role of mysticism...

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Cass Shaw

CEO, The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport

Cass Shaw began her tenure as the CEO of The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport (CCGB) in June, 2013. She received her B.A. in religious studies from Smith College in Northampton, MA, and an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Prior to coming to Bridgeport to lead CCGB into the...

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Staff

Amy L. Dalton, Executive Director

Amy L. Dalton is a faith-rooted scholar-activist who has been active in peace and justice organizing since age 13 when she served on the Reconciling Committee at Claremont United Methodist Church. Her professional experience spans nonprofit development, publishing and communications, and community organizing. Amy holds a Master of Divinity from...

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Advisory Committee

Hillel Arnold

Assistant Director for Digital Strategies, Rockefeller Archive Center

Hillel Arnold is the Head of Digital Strategies at Rockefeller Archive Center. He holds an MA in History from NYU and a MLIS from Long Island University’s Palmer School, as well as a BA in English from Hunter College. Previously, he worked as Digital Projects Manager for the Foundation for...

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R. Douglas Bendall

Founder and President, The Newark School of Theology

R. Douglas Bendall is the founder and president of The Newark School of Theology, Newark, New Jersey. The school offers high quality theological education to lay persons and inner city ministers in Newark and surrounding cities. It promotes social justice and the development of congregations by providing educational opportunities to...

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Laurel Dykstra

Reverend, Salal + Cedar Watershed Discipleship Community

Laurel Dykstra (no pronouns/they/them) is an Anglican priest, environmental activist, and amateur naturalist who lives in the lower Fraser watershed on Coast Salish territory near Vancouver British Columbia. Laurel leads Salal + Cedar Watershed Discipleship Community, a tiny church that worships outdoors and builds skills for climate justice. They have...

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Jennifer Henry

Executive Director, KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

Jennifer Henry is an activist, preacher, and feminist leader. She has served the Canadian churches for close to three decades in national ecumenical social justice and is currently advising the United Church of Canada on the development of their strategic plan. From 2012 to 2020, she held the role of...

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Ched Myers

Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries

Ched Myers is an activist theologian who has worked in social change movements for 40 years. He holds a degree in New Testament Studies, and has authored over 100 articles and a half-dozen books, including Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus (1988), The Biblical...

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In Memoriam

John H. Elliott

Professor Emeritus, University of San Francisco

John H. Elliott (Dr. Theol., Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, Germany) was known internationally for his research on 1 Peter and as a leading proponent of the social-scientific study of the Bible. He taught and wrote extensively on Jesus and the early Church in their historical and cultural contexts during tenures at...

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Norman Gottwald

Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, New York Theological Seminary

Norman K. Gottwald (1926 - 2022) was Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at New York Theological Seminary and taught previously at the Graduate Theological Union and Andover Newton Theological School. His most influential book is _The Tribes of Yahweh: A Sociology of the Religion of Liberated Israel, 1250-1050 B.C.E._ (1979),...

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Mark C. Johnson

Mark C. Johnson served as the first Executive Director of CLBSJ. Previously, he served as the national executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation USA (2007 -2013). Prior to that he had a 37 year career with the YMCA, concluding with service on the National Staff of the YMCA of...

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