Rev. Otis Moss III to lead MC's February Meetings

Rev. Otis Moss III to lead MC's February Meetings

January 12, 2009
Contact: Karen B. Eldridge, Director of News and Public Information

The Rev. Otis Moss III, pastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, will be the speaker for Maryville College's 2009 February Meetings, scheduled for Feb. 24.

Moss, who heads the largest UCC church in the nation and whose parishioners once included president-elect Barack Obama and his family, will give two addresses – one at 1 p.m. and another at 7 p.m. – that will center on a theme entitled "Revive Us Again: Coming Together to Move Forward." The meetings will be held in the College's Alumni Gymnasium.

"Rev. Moss preaches the gospel with imagination, intelligence and deep faithfulness, and he is able to reach people across the spectrum of age and background, said the Rev. Anne D. McKee, campus minister at Maryville College and one of the organizers of February Meetings. "I believe that he will bring energy and perspective that will enrich and challenge us."

Held annually at the College since 1877, February Meetings have offered the College and local community an opportunity to come together to consider questions of faith and responsible living in the world. In years past, guest speakers and special music have been highlights of the condensed lecture series, which is open to all members of the College community, people in the area and visitors, including the College's Board of Church Visitors.

Moss is influential minister, scholar

The son of Otis Moss Jr., who once co-pastored Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church with the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., the Rev. Otis Moss III is considered to be one of the most influential ministers among African-Americans.

He received his bachelor's degree in religion and philosophy from Morehouse College, graduating with honors. At Morehouse, he was inducted as a Ford Foundation Scholar and named an NCAA All-American Track and Field student-athlete.

Awarded the FTE Benjamin Elijah Mays Scholarship in Religion and the Magee Fellowship, Moss graduated from Yale University with a master of divinity degree. He completed doctoral coursework at the University of Denver/Iliff School of Theology under the tutelage of African-American historian and theologian, Dr. Vincent Harding.

Before completing his Ph.D., Moss was called to pastor the historic Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga. – a church that experienced a growth in membership from 125 to more than 2,100 under his leadership.

Moss and his family moved to Chicago in 2006, after he accepted a call to Trinity, a church located in the heart of Chicago's impoverished Southside that is known for its community involvement and wide array of ministries that range from career development and college placement to drug and alcohol recovery to choral, instrumental and dance instruction.

A scholar of African-American culture, theology and youth development, Moss has had numerous essays and articles published. He is a member of the board of directors of The Christian Century, the nation's premier Protestant weekly magazine.

Moss has taught and lectured at numerous U.S. colleges and universities, including Yale, Harvard, Emory, Presbyterian, Dillard and Howard, and numerous churches and seminaries abroad.

He has been a featured preacher at the Hampton University Ministers' Conference and the Chautauqua Institute and a presenter at the Festival of Homiletics, the premier preaching conference in the nation, for several years.

His passion for youth and intergenerational ministry led him to create the Issachar Movement, a consulting group designed to bridge the generation gaps within churches and train a new generation of prophetic church leadership.

For more information about February Meetings, contact McKee at 865.981.8298 or

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,197.