Leading Clergy in Transforming Baltimore
Cynthia Moore-Koikoi serves as Baltimore Metropolitan District Superintendent for the Baltimore Washington Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. She earned her Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2007.
After working 10 years as a school psychologist the Rev. Cynthia Moore-Koikoi surrendered to what she called her “irresistible call.” She took evening classes at Wesley, while serving part-time as a pastor, while still working fulltime in the school systems. This seven-year process shaped her and equipped her for being a district superintendent—a ministry serving God by empowering pastors and laity to transform their communities.
As district superintendent, Moore-Koikoi helped clergy and laity engage with their communities by initiating prayer walks and dialogues with area officials about improving neighborhoods.
During the unrest in the Sandtown area of Baltimore in April 2015, Moore-Koikoi did even more to minister to her 67 district pastors. She says:
We have six churches in that area, including one three blocks from the CVS that burned. In the early days of the unrest, I visited my pastors and held daily conference calls to make sure we were responding fully to the community’s rapidly changing needs.
Now we’re looking at how we can do systemic changes. Mike McCurry, professor of public theology at Wesley, came and talked with all of the district clergy. The Rev. Dr. Doug Powe, the James C. Logan Professor of Evangelism and professor of urban ministry, taught 10 churches best practices for serving their communities.
Wesley taught me the importance of building relationships when engaging the community. Wesley has become an invaluable resource in our work to bridge the gap between what God wants for our communities and the state of the city as it is today.
Wesley Theological Seminary website, Washington, DC
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Ministerial Education Fund is at the heart of preparing people for making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The 13 United Methodist seminaries help students to discover their calling through the challenging curriculum. The fund enables the church to increase financial support for recruiting and educating ordained and diaconal ministers and to equip annual conferences to meet increased demands. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment at 100 percent.