Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Kenneth Ambrose

Second Advisor

Lynda A. Ewen

Third Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


This research examines the function of the black church in African American Society in general, and its function in the African American community in West Virginia in particular. Determining what the black church sees as its overall mission is my primary concern. Specifically, the research examines the relationship between themes that emerge from black pastor’s personal ministry philosophies, and themes that appear in priestly ministry and prophetic ministry. Determining whether the black church views its primary mission as (priestly) caring for the spiritual needs of its congregation, or (prophetic) calling for changes in societal structures that foster oppression and racism in the African American community is the purpose of this research. As part of the prophetic conceptualization, the research will also look for churches that implement social programs that address problems in their communities. The relationship between pastoral ministry philosophy and programmatic trust of the churches will also be explored.


African American churches – West Virginia – Sociological aspects.

Religion and sociology.