Dr. Kenyatta Gilbert continues to “raise the bar” for homileticians, pastors and those who take seriously the awesome, frightening, crucial and critical task of speaking a prophetic word from God to the people of God.  Gilbert combines his academic skill, his theological and exegetical expertise with the compassionate heart of a pastor whose soul dwells in the presence of God; and with that combination, produces a text which will bless those who preach weekly from a pulpit and those who preach daily with their lives.  Exodus Preaching is an easy read and a must read for those who serve the church.  Gilbert’s style of writing in this volume gives one the sense of reading a “how-to” textbook in the field of Practical Theology; and in the language of social media, he has not only raised the bar; he is the bar!

Jeremiah Wright, Jr., Senior Pastor Emeritus, Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL


I am completely and utterly impressed with the scholarship of Kenyatta Gilbert. This present work, Exodus Preaching, meets and exceeds the high bar established by his previous books. He is the preeminent homiletical mind and voice of a generation that must be read and heard by anyone that values and regards high quality preaching.

Frank A. Thomas, Director of PhD Program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana


Kenyatta Gilbert offers a probe of biblical texts that brings freshness, urgency, and specificity to his exposition. His freshness is in his free-ranging perspective that keeps one eye on an interface with hip-hop. His urgency is that he lets the text have contact with the deep issues of injustice we now face. His specificity is evident his engagement with the important witnesses concerning racism that now requires our full bodily investment for the sake of Exodus emancipation from the heavy contemporary hand of Pharaoh. Kenyatta’s approach will be empowering and enlivening for many interpreter, preachers, and readers as it is for this reader.

Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary


Kenyatta Gilbert deftly infuses new life into the African American prophetic preaching tradition in Exodus Preaching.  The detailed sermon preparation to sermon proclamation “crafting strategies” are essential to the teaching and practice of transformative preaching. Gilbert’s careful analysis of varied sermonic content and contexts exemplified by “a new generation of  African American preachers” provides both  generational preaching connective tissue and possibilities for construction of new and more viable forms of justice and hope filled proclamation. Exodus Preaching is an essential resource for anyone seeking to faithfully raise a prophetic voice in times like these.

Teresa L. Fry Brown, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Dr Kenyatta Gilbert invites any preacher seeking to have integrity to the “justice witness” of scripture, to meet him in the most rewarding and challenging boot camp for thinking “all things sermon”, particularly; when faithfulness to the prophetic tradition is the pursuit. If spirituality is a lifetime of conversions, I have been AGAIN converted!!
William H. Curtis, Senior Pastor, Mt. Ararat Baptist Church

“Kenyatta R. Gilbert offers readers a definitive analysis of the prophetic wisdom, witness, and worth of Black Preaching during the mass exodus of African Americans who moved off of sharecropping plantations and out of the South, beginning in 1910. In A Pursued Justice, Dr. Gilbert makes a forceful argument, backed up by insightful homiletical discourse, about the sacred rhetoric that sustained Black Christians who left the familiar and signed up for a ‘justice ticket’ in search of jobs and freedom.”

Katie G. Cannon, Annie Scales Rogers Professor of Christian Ethics, Union Presbyterian Seminary


“For far too long, the genius of Black preaching has been relegated to the delivery and performance of sermons alone. Gilbert skillfully shows us that prophetic preaching is not just what a preacher says but also what a preacher does in struggling communities to concretize and incarnate the social indictments of prophetic rhetoric.”

Gary V. Simpson, Senior Pastor, The Concord Baptist Church of Christ, Brooklyn, NY


“this is an informative and at times inspirational book which in places is adorned with some of the rhetorical beauty which Gilbert attributes to others.”

Stuart Blythe, Baptistic Theologies


“In both form and content, A Pursued Justice is a breakthrough work of practical theology and rhetorical analysis. If audience reception follows quality of content, it deservedly will enjoy multiple rounds of printing and critical acclaim.”

Rev. Andrew Wilkes, Sojourners


“With historical and biblical analytic precision, Gilbert sounds a clarion call for a return to prophetic Black preaching. While the primary audience for A Pursued Justice is the Black pulpit, its applicability to the pew and beyond is undeniable.”

J. B. Blue, Homiletic


“With this revealing account of sermonic oratory by women and men in African American Protestantism, Gilbert has advanced understanding of social justice preaching and the sundry challenges against which it has emerged.”



“An eloquent, learned, and concise introduction to the social and homiletical phenomenon of the Great Migration.”

Richard Lischer, The Christian Century


“Gilbert’s book will be useful for seminary study and for pastors who engage in lifelong learning. In addition to Gilbert’s interesting thesis and analysis of preaching in context, the book contains numerous sermon texts for reading and study.”

Mikael Broadway, Horizons



“This book immerses readers in a sophisticated, multivoiced soundtrack. Kenyatta Gilbert persuasively calls for ministers to preach in three voices—prophet, priest, and sage. He also amplifies keynotes from other disciplines such as practical theology, cultural studies, and pedagogy. As the Bible says, ‘Faith comes by hearing.’ After hearing this book, your faith in preaching will be renewed.”

Brad R. Braxton, Distinguished Visiting Scholar, McCormick Theological Seminary


“Kenyatta Gilbert gives us in these pages both a remarkably broad historical view of the development of black preaching in North America and an incisive diagnosis of the challenges that preachers within and beyond the African-American church must meet today. Reaching into the crucible of African-American history and the preaching it evoked, Gilbert crafts a ‘trivocal’ approach to preaching that incorporates three distinctive accents of the black pulpit: the prophetic, sagely, and priestly voices. One can hardly imagine a better introduction—historical and theological, contextually alert andpractical—to the deep wisdom to be discovered, or rediscovered, in African-American preaching traditions. Any preacher, novice or veteran, will turn from these pages toward the pulpit to speak timely justice, relevant wisdom, and sustaining hope.”

Sally A. Brown, Elizabeth M. Engle Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship,
Princeton Theological Seminary


“Finally, something really fresh on African American preaching! Especially relevant for today is Gilbert’s discussion on the seven personas of African American preachers. This will definitely be one of the preaching books discussed by homileticians in 2011 and 2012.”

Martha Simmons, Co-Editor, Preaching With Sacred Fire: African American Sermonsfrom 1750 to the Present, Creator,The African American Lectionary


“For the seminarian, pastor, and academic this deeply moving appeal for more faithful preaching in America could not have been more timely.  Kenyatta Gilbert demonstrates why he is one of the brightest and most creative homiletical minds of his generation.”

DeForest Blake “Buster” Soaries, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, Author of dFree: Breaking Free from Financial Slavery


“Dr. Kenyatta Gilbert has given us an analytical and critical tool for preaching in the twenty-first century. This book is excellent for classroom, private study and continuing education. We are in Dr.Gilbert’s debt for this brilliant teaching instrument for clergy and laity. He will help a new generation to gain and retain a profound appreciation for the creative powers and prophetic drumbeat of the African American pulpit.”

Otis Moss, Jr., Senior Pastor Emeritus, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, Cleveland, OH


“In The Journey and Promise of African American Preaching Kenyatta Gilbert has offered a scholarly, personal, thought-provoking and practical guide to the best practices in black preaching. The working preacher will find this model both a challenge and resource for promoting balance between the prophet, priest, and sage.”

Leslie D. Callahan, Senior Pastor, St. Paul Baptist Church, Philadelphia, PA


“Kenyatta Gilbert has made an invaluable contribution to homiletic scholarship and literature. Rich in tradition and wisdom, The Journey and Promise of African American Preaching captures the genius of the African-American pulpit. This work will be read widely and with great appreciation for years to come. ”

Richard Lischer, Duke Divinity School, Author of The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word That Moved America


“Dr. Kenyatta Gilbert’s book, The Journey and Promise of African American Preaching, has afforded us a scholarly and wholesome look over the ways in which our forbears have come on the journey of faith and hope.  It is valuable for use by clergy and laity.  He bids us to lift every voice and proclaim with wisdom,prophetic confrontation and priestly listening, his ‘trivocal’ method of preaching, a way in which it can resound in the pulpit, the parish, and the podium.”

Dr. Evans E. Crawford, Jr., Dean Emeritus, Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, Howard University, Prof., Social Ethics and Preaching, retired Howard University School of Divinity