One of my greatest joys is witnessing a transformed life. My first experience of this joy was when the Lord saved me from my own sin and transformed me into a recipient of grace. I went from hating God, rejoicing in evil, and struggling with suicidal levels of depression to loving God and his redeemed people. For the past 15 years, I have been a Christian and have served local churches in various capacities. Several years ago, I had a very simple plan regarding my seminary education. I would continue studies in historical theology, become a scholar, and devote my days to pastoring a church and writing books on church history. I entered seminary on the undergraduate level where I pursued a degree in Biblical Counseling. My degree and pursuit of Biblical Counseling would drastically alter the course of my life and ministry.
It wasn’t long after obtaining my degree that the Lord began to send people to me who needed soul care. In God’s providence, I wasn’t met with “easy” counseling cases. I was a lay leader at my church, and my first official counseling case was birthed out of an email from a wife under my care who reached out to my wife and me in desperation as her marriage was falling apart. I met with this young seminary couple, and over the course of months, their marriage was transformed. My next several counseling cases included marriages on the verge of divorce, sexual abuse, and severe and deep depression. God blessed my counseling, and after seeing and being a part of transforming lives, I knew what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. I am still pursuing my call to pastoral ministry, and I will be finishing an advanced M.Div with a concentration in Historical Theology (Patristics) later this year. However, counseling and soul care have become a deep passion of my heart, and it is a ministry I have devoted my life to.
Around 2 years ago, I began to share my teachings and writings online. I started a podcast called the “Coram Deo Podcast”, and I began writing about racial reconciliation. Around this time, though I was still doing other forms of counseling, I began to receive more and more minority counselees who specifically needed help working through trauma they encountered while serving in majority white churches. After a multitude of trauma patients who needed soul care related to racial issues, and after assessing my own trauma along the same lines, it became clear to me that both I and my counselees suffered from “racial trauma”. Racial trauma was not something I learned about in my counseling degree program and it was not something that was talked about among the minority community groups I belonged to as a multi-ethnic African American. I searched and searched for data about racial trauma and I came up empty. It was at that point, that I began to tap into my historical theology background and begin to reflect on the African American experience in America in a fresh new way. I studied the history of the black experience and the reality of racialization in America and I walked away with the building blocks for a new counseling need that was foreign to the Biblical Counseling community I was apart of, racial trauma counseling. Though still lacking significantly, secular psychology was light years ahead in a field that was not even on the church’s radar. Though uncategorized, the black church tradition had a rich history of ministering the word to racial trauma victims. In light of this history, I knew that the Biblical Counseling movement had a lot to offer in the area of racial trauma care, but I knew it would take the work of saints who were tied to the black church tradition to formulate philosophy and methodology. Over the past year, I have devoted a large portion of my time and ministry in developing and practicing racial trauma counseling.