calendar July 9, 2019 in Communications

The Rev. Dr. William Flippin, Jr. Joins Office of the Bishop

The Rev. Dr. William Flippin, Jr. has been called as Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Evangelical Mission for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA. He will join the synod staff August 5.

Pastor Flippin currently serves as the first African-American pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, the largest multi-racial Lutheran congregation in Atlanta. In this call he organized collaboration among Lutheran, United Methodist, Episcopal and Baptist congregations through the Transformative Atlanta Parish. Inspired by the vision of holding things in common (Acts 2:44) the congregations, some white and some predominantly black, shared worship and conversation and are in the process of building a family life center together.

“Dr. Flippin has built beloved community, and he has a vision for organizing congregations to walk together to seek the welfare of the cities and towns in which we have been planted,” said Bishop Patricia A. Davenport. Pastor Flippin’s portfolio will include congregational vitality, redevelopment and new start congregations, working with rostered ministers in the Leadership for Faithful Innovation cohort, and walking alongside at-risk congregations.

The prophet Jeremiah’s call to God’s people to find their welfare by seeking the good of the culture and place where they have been exiled drives Pastor Flippin’s vision for moving the church forward.

“We must seek the welfare of towns where neighbors down the street may be Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, or Muslim. Seek the welfare of workplaces where colleagues may be agnostics or New Age seekers, folks who think of themselves as spiritual but indeed not religious. Seek the well-being of communities where activists may be trying to separate everything church from everything state or to inject some righteousness and religion into the laws of our secular society,” he said.

“In short, we are to seek the well-being of a diverse, confusing, and often conflicted culture. Engage it, says Jeremiah, don’t escape it. For in its welfare you will find your protection.”

Pastor Flippin is married to Kedra Phillips-Flippin of Atlanta. They are the parents of a daughter, Shamel Emani.

In addition to his service at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Pastor Flippin serves as a member of the Lutheran World Federation Church Council and Co-Chair for Advocacy/Public Voice. He served on the Southeastern Synod Committee on Outreach and Renewal, 2013-19.

He previously served St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church in Columbus, Georgia; St. Peter and St. Paul Lutheran Churches in Decatur, Georgia; Messiah-St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church, Chicago; Progressive Community Church, Chicago; and Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Pastor Flippin holds a doctorate in transformational leadership from Ashland Theological Seminary and is completing a doctorate in church history/Reformation studies at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LTSC). He earned his M.Div. at Morehouse School of Religion of the Interdenominational Theological Center. He holds masters’ degrees in theology from LTSC and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. He is a graduate of Morehouse College.