We are thrilled to announce the first round of speakers confirmed for our National Gathering in November! They’ll lead us as we explore what it means to develop a “theology of place.”

Peter Choi is Director of Academic Programs at Newbigin House of Studies and a pastor at City Church San Francisco. He has taught history of Christianity courses at Calvin Theological Seminary and the University of Notre Dame. Prior to that, he served for seven years as a campus minister and church planter in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A historian of eighteenth century North America, Peter’s areas of specialization include transatlantic revival religion, early evangelicalism, and world Christianity.

Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, PhD is a queer activist, latinx scholar, public theologian and ethicist based in Nashville, TN. They work in the hybrid spaces of the church, the academy, and movements for justice. They are also the founder of the Activist Theology Project, a collaborative project that uses media, art, advocacy, and story-telling as the primary forms of public theology and ethics.

Ray McKinnon is a graduate of John Wesley University and resides in Charlotte, NC. Ray has served in vocational ministry for the past nineteen years. He began his ministry career in 2000. He has served as a Youth Pastor, Associate Pastor, Celebrate Recovery Pastor, Missions Pastor, and he currently serves as the Senior Pastor at South Tryon Community United Methodist Church in Charlotte.

As part of this year’s gathering, we will get to know the city in a visit to the Levine Museum of the New South and dialogue with historians there. The Levine Museum’s mission is to engage a broad-based audience in the exploration and appreciation of the diverse history of the American South since the Civil War, with a focus on Charlotte and the surrounding Carolina Piedmont. The Museum’s vision is to connect the past to the future to realize the promises of a New South.

Dr. Willie Griffin is a civil rights scholar, educator and Charlotte native. He recently served as Assistant Professor of African American History at The Citadel. He holds a doctorate in U.S. history from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he produced a groundbreaking biography of Trezzvant W. Anderson, an unsung Charlotte native, journalist and remarkable national civil rights figure. Griffin also holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in history and African American studies from Morgan State University and Morehouse College respectively.