Christian Church in Arizona Welcomes our 2016 Regional Assembly Guest Speakers

Rev. Julian DeShazier

The Rev. Julian DeShazier is senior minister of University Church in Chicago, Illinois (a United Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ congregation).  He is a Chicago native, and a graduate of Morehouse College and the University of Chicago Divinity School. Prior to joining University Church, Julian served as Teen Pastor at Covenant United Church of Christ, and has also worked extensively with the Coca-Cola Leadership Program and Fund for Theological Education.

For nearly a decade, the ministry of Julian “J.Kwest” DeShazier has been an exploration in the relationship between music and faith. As an artist, he has used his unique rhythm to tell stories of deep meaning, inside and out of the church. He is a 2007 Holy Hip Hop Award winner while sharing stages at every major gospel music festival. His song, “So Blessed,” was featured on the Grammy-nominated compilation Holy Hip Hop: Taking the Gospel to the Streets.

Sheila Spencer

Sheila Spencer is Assistant to the President and Director of Christian Education and Faith Formation with Disciples Home Missions.  Her ministry has included being a resource, leading workshops, writing, planning and implementation of leadership/ministry events for congregations and women.

She leads missionary journeys and encourages women to see life through a new set of eyes.  Sheila also provides leadership and training for the Leadership Apprentice (formerly Enablers) program: a leadership development ministry for women of color.

Sheila’s background includes experience as bilingual educator, teacher trainer and literacy coach.  Her education includes undergraduate and graduate degrees in Education.

Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon

Most recently Rev. Dr. Kinnamon served as the Spehar-Halligan Visiting Professor of Ecumenical Collaboration in Interreligious Dialogue with Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry through May of 2015.  Rev. Dr. Kinnamon is the immediate-past General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, has served as General Secretary of the Consultation on Church Union, and has served as Executive Secretary of the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Faith and Order.

Rev. Dr. Kinnamon has been a seminary professor for more than 25 years, serving as Dean of Lexington Theological Seminary from 1988-98. He has lectured and preached on ecumenical themes across the U.S. and in numerous countries.

Rev. Dr. Kinnamon’s Ph.D. is from the University of Chicago Divinity School (1980) in the field of Religion and Literature. He holds ordained ministerial standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has been active in the mission and ministries of that denomination and a frequent speaker at Disciples events.