Resisting Injustice: Leading Through Divided Times

Online Leadership Training Event

Saturday, January 30, 2021 - 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

The last Saturday of January each year has traditionally been set aside as the Ohio River Valley District's Leadership Training Day. This year will be no exception; however, since the virus is not behind us yet we'll be meeting virtually. Using an exciting event platform called Whova, we are planning a very special day for you. This year's timely focus will be on leadership in divided times and courageous responses to various forms of injustice, with two extraordinary keynote speakers.

Our first keynote speaker will be Rev. Dr. Doug Powe, Jr. who will share thoughts and encouragement to help us be agents for change. After two workshop sessions, the day will conclude with a special conversation between our West Ohio Bishop, Gregory Palmer, and District Superintendent, Todd Anderson. They'll discuss personal and professional experiences of race at the intersection of neighborhoods, communities and the church.


The Rev. Dr. F. Douglas Powe, Jr.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Powe is the Director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership and the James C. Logan Professor of Evangelism at Wesley Theological Seminary. Dr. Powe is an ordained elder in the Baltimore/Washington Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  His newest book, The Adept Church: Navigating Between a Rock and a Hard Place, was the number one newly released church growth book just a month after being released. Dr. Powe is also known for his work in Wesleyan evangelism with titles like, Transforming Community: The Wesleyan Way to Missional Congregations and Transforming Evangelism: The Wesleyan Way of Sharing Faith, both co-authored with H. Henry Knight III.  Dr. Powe is a forerunner in African American evangelism, a few of his contributions include: Not Safe for Church: The Ten Commandments for Reaching New Generations, co-authored with Rev. Jasmine Smothers, and New Wine, New Wineskins: How African American Congregations Can Reach New Generations.  He holds a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Emory University (2004), a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology (1998), and a Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University (1987). Additional information.  Publications.

Bishop Gregory V. Palmer

Keynote Speaker

Bishop Palmer was assigned to the West Ohio Conference on Sept. 1, 2012. Born and reared in Philadelphia, Palmer is a “child of the church,” the son of the Rev. Herbert E. and Mrs. Charlotte Sue Hewitt Palmer. Palmer’s father is a retired United Methodist pastor; his mother (now deceased) was a schoolteacher in the Philadelphia Public School system. Rev. Herbert Palmer and his wife Peggy reside in Philadelphia. Bishop Palmer received his undergraduate degree from George Washington University in Washington , D.C., and the Master of Divinity degree from Duke University Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina. Baldwin-Wallace College, Iowa Wesleyan College, Simpson College, Hood Theological Seminary and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary awarded him honorary degrees. He was ordained a deacon and elected a probationary member in the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference in 1977. In 1981, he was elected into full membership and ordained an elder in the East Ohio Annual Conference. His pastoral career includes student pastorates in North Carolina and post-seminary appointments in the East Ohio Conference in Cleveland, Canton and Berea. Palmer also served as superintendent of the Youngstown District of the East Ohio Conference. Elected to the episcopacy by the North Central Jurisdictional Conference in 2000, Palmer served the Iowa Area until assuming responsibilities in the Illinois Area in 2008. Married for 44 years to his wife Cynthia, they are the parents of two adult children. Monica is a public school principal in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Aaron is a Senior Product Owner interactive technology company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Cynthia Palmer is an honors graduate in religion from Duke University. She is a senior sales director with Mary Kay Cosmetics. She has served as a director of Christian education and as staff of several community action agencies focused on Welfare-to-Work projects. She is an outstanding student and teacher of the Scriptures and has strong competencies in leadership development.

Schedule of Events 

9:00 am  - 10:00 am     Opening worship with The Warehouse Praise Band and Keynote Address by the Rev. Dr. F. Douglas Powe, Jr. on "Leading, Sustaining and Discrupting Change."
10:10 am - 10:55 pm     Session 1 Workshops
11:05 am - 11:50 am      Session 2 Workshops
:00 pm - 12:45 pm    A Conversation with Bishop Gregory V. Palmer  

Workshops (click here to see full descriptions)

Title                                                                                                                            Presenter
Getting the Discussion Started                                                                Rev. Kirk Peterson, Rev. Lisa Kerwin with panelists Rev. Paula Stewart, Rev. Betty Jo Sommerville, Rev. Kate Smith, Rev. Vicki Robinson
Emerging Paradigms for Justice-focused Ministry                       Ms. Reba Collins, Dr. Mike Davis
Courageous Conversations                                                                       Rev. Dr. Scott Hughes
Immigration Justice: For Real!                                                                   Rev. David Meredith, Ms. Lucy Chapeta, Ms. Nicole DeGreg, Ms. Sandra Ramirez
Creating Goodness: Moving Students Towards Advocacy        Rev. Carl Gladstone, Rev. Benji Sayre
S/PPRC - More Than Keeping Everyone Happy                              Rev. Dr. Todd Anderson, Rev. Dr. Suzanne Allen
Increasing Your Cultural Competency                                                  Rev. April Casperson
Resources for Engaging Young People in Social Justice             Rev. Benji Sayre, Rev. Brent Dearnell
More Than Just a "Nice Sermon"                                                             Rev. Meshach Kanyion, Rev. Dr. Suzanne Allen


There is a fee of $10 to participate in this training.  A gift packet will be mailed to you prior to the event.


Through Whova, you will register for the event by clicking the button below. Once registered you will be prompted to download the Whova app. There you will see workshop sessions with speaker bios and photos. The day will begin in worship with the praise band from the Warehouse, a satellite of Hyde Park Community UMC.  Dr. Doug Powe will present his keynote address. After a short break you choose which workshop you want to attend. There is no limit on the number of attendees in each one. You can even move to a different session if you want!  A short break will follow and then you choose your second workshop. We'll all come back together again at the end of the day to hear personal reflections from Bishop Palmer, moderated by Rev. Dr. Todd Anderson and with a time for Q & A.  Please note, the last day to register is Wednesday, January 27, 2021.

Register now on Whova