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Dr. James Shopshire interview part 1, 2018-06-14

Identifier: dcpl_dcohc_008_05_1

Scope and Contents

Dr. James M. Shopshire discuss his childhood in Georgia, including witnessing to the Ku Klux Klan and the steps that African Americans of the took in order to deal with segregation and violence; all the way to his accomplishments at Wesley Theological Seminary broadening the scope and access to Urban Ministry for adult students of all backgrounds, and the significant strategic and administrative presence he has held in the United Methodist Church. Mr. Shopshire also discusses his current observations of the negative impacts of gentrification on the District of Columbia; the need for dealing with every aspect of such a problem; the role of the Church; and the personal call to action he believes mandatory for those of the Methodist faith.


  • Other: 2018-06-14


Language of Materials



From the Collection: 1.13 Terabytes


Dr. James M. Shopshire is a native of Atlanta, Georgia where he received his undergraduate education at Clark College (1963), now Clark Atlanta University, and the Bachelor of Divinity degree at Gammon Theological Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center (1966). Following five years of pastoral service in Des Moines, Iowa, he earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois (1975). In addition to pastoral service with Burns United Methodist Church in the Iowa Conference, where he assisted in the formation and development of the Inner City Cooperative Parish of Des Moines, and founded The Center for the Study and Application of Black Theology, Dr. Shopshire has served pastoral appointments in Atlanta, Georgia and Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Shopshire served on the faculty of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta as Assistant Professor of Sociology of Religion from 1975-1980, including two years as Chairperson in the field of Church and Society. In 1980 he came to Wesley Theological Seminary. During the years 1980- 1985 he served as Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Sociology of Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He directed the Wesley Institute of Urban Ministry and was the first Academic Coordinator of the Urban Ministries Track. During his tenure at Wesley Seminary Dr. Shopshire developed and taught a series of courses focused on Sociology of the Black Religious Experience. He is a board member of The African American Methodist Heritage Center, a Board member of Asbury Dwellings, low to moderate income seniors housing of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Washington, DC, and is a member of the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church( 2017-2020.) Dr.Shopshire retired from full-time teaching and mentoring at Wesley Seminary in 2014. Presently he is Professor emeritus of Sociology of Religion and Urban Ministry at Wesley Theological Seminary. Dr. Shopshire is married to the Rev. Dr. Ramonia Lee. He is the father of three adult children, James, Jr., Anika Johnson (Danin), Ekerin Carpenter (Gary) and ten grandchildren.

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

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