• I find it disappointing that Pastor Charles Jenkins, II, was so tremendously slighted by this article. I would think it appropriate for Religion News Service to adequately research the backgrounds of all of the worship participants rather than suggest, even if indirectly, that Pastor Jenkins was invited merely as a fellow Chicagoan.

    For other “unknowns” you provided a link to bios or more information than just saying “We don’t know this person.” I would think it would be it your business to know or research to find out, again, as the Religion News Service. Jenkins is a celebrated preacher who leads a historic church which recently released an album nominated for some of the top awards this years Stellar Awards, the top award in the Gospel industry.

    I feel the same about the lack of information provided for Sapreet Kaur. A quick Google search revealed a unique background of service in Teach for America, which would have been a nice antidote to include.

    As one hoping to find a guide to today’s prayer service, I am rather disappointed by this effort, especially given the momentous nature of today’s event.


    Rev. Dr. Michael W. Waters
    Joy Tabernacle A.M.E. Church
    Dallas, Texas

  • Kevin Eckstrom

    Dr. Waters,

    You make a VERY fair point. Truth be told, I shared some of your thoughts as I was rushing to put that post together.

    Here’s what happened, by way of explanation (and not meant as an excuse). We received the list of speakers shortly before the service began, and I was rushing through it to put something up on our website as the service was getting started. It was a long list, and I wanted to get something up ASAP as a companion guide of sorts to the service.

    We’re trying to put more things like this up on the website, and I’ll admit it’s a bit of a work in progress. We don’t always get it totally on target, but we try.

    That said, I want to reassure you that we meant absolutely no disrespect to Pastor Jenkins or anyone else on the list. What we should have done, and will start doing, is amended the list with more details as soon as it was published.

    Thanks for keeping an eye on us.

    Kevin Eckstrom / editor-in-chief

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  • Thanks, Kevin. Just a quick correction – I am the second youngest president of the NCC (by a few months), though the youngest woman and the first Lutheran to serve in the post. We represent a broad spectrum of Protestant, Historic African American, Living Peace, and Orthodox churches in the US.