As Black History Month draws to a close, it’s not too late to point out that Beliefnet has continued its practice of naming “The Most Influential Black Spiritual Leaders.” The Dallas Morning News’ religion blog noticed that the names of two Texas megachurch pastors were missing: Bishop T.D. Jakes of Dallas and Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, leader of Houston’s Windsor Village United Methodist Church. But it added that Beliefnet said the list was “by no means comprehensive.”
Those making the cut this year:
– Rev. A.R. Bernard, leader of the 28,000-member Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
– Rabbi Capers C. Funnye, leader of an Ethiopian congregation in Chicago
– Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, N.Y.
– Archbishop Peter Akinola, the Anglican leader of Nigeria and a leader in the opposition to gay ordination in the Anglican Communion
– Vanderbilt University professor and author Renita Weems
– Rev. Jeremiah Wright, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago and pastor to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama
– Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, who was the first black president of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops
– Bishop Charles Blake of Los Angeles, presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ
– Imam Zaid Shakir, author and lecturer at the Zaytuna Institute in Berkeley, Calif.
– Motivational speaker Myles Munroe, pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries in Nassau, Bahamas
– Rev. Claudette Copeland, co-pastor of New Creation Christian Fellowship of San Antonio