February 3, 2011
AMHERST, Mass.—Preeminent preacher the Rev. Otis Moss III, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, will lead the annual multifaith service in celebration of the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. The event, which is free and open to the public, will include music performed by Amherst students, readings from Dr. King’s writings, an address by Moss and a collection for the Amherst Survival Center as part of the college’s Campus Challenge initiative.
Moss is part of a new generation of ministers committed to preaching prophetically that the message of love and justice are inseparable companions, forming the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is highly influenced by the works of Zora Neale Hurston, August Wilson, Howard Thurman, jazz and hip-hop music. The work and legacy of Dr. King and the pastoral ministry of his father, Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., of Cleveland, Ohio, have also been primary mentors for his spiritual formation.
Moss is an ordained minister in the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the United Church of Christ, carrying dual standing in both denominations. He is a life member of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, board member of the Christian Century magazine and chaplain of the Children’s Defense Fund’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Child Advocacy Conference. An accomplished author, his published books include Redemption in a Red Light District and The Gospel Re-Mix; How to Reach the Hip-Hop Generation in 2006. His sermons articles and poetry have appeared in publications such as Power in the Pulpit II: America’s Most Effective Preachers, Joy To The World: Sermons From America’s Pulpit, Sound The Trumpet: Messages of Hope for Black Men, The Audacity of Faith: Christian Leaders Reflect on the Election of Barack Obama, Sojourners Magazine and The African American Pulpit Journal.
A popular speaker on college campuses and at conferences and churches around the world, Moss is a native of Cleveland, an honors graduate of Morehouse College and a graduate of Yale Divinity School. He is married to his college sweetheart, the former Monica Brown of Orlando, Fla., a Spelman College and Columbia University graduate. They are the proud parents of two creative and humorous children, Elijah Wynton and Makayla Elon.