February 16, 2021

Faith Among Black Americans

Acknowledgments

This report is a collaborative effort based on the input and analysis of the following individuals. Find related reports online at pewresearch.org/religion.

Primary Researchers

Besheer Mohamed, Senior Researcher
Kiana Cox, Research Associate         

Research Team        

Alan Cooperman, Director of Religion Research
Gregory A. Smith, Associate Director of Research
Becka A. Alper, Senior Researcher
Elizabeth Podrebarac Sciupac, Senior Researcher
Claire Gecewicz, Research Associate
Justin Nortey, Research Assistant    

Methods Team         

Courtney Kennedy, Director of Survey Research
Andrew Mercer, Senior Research Methodologist
Nick Bertoni, Senior Panel Manager
Nick Hatley, Research Analyst
Arnold Lau, Research Analyst

Editorial and Graphic Design

Michael Lipka, Editorial Manager
Jeff Diamant, Senior Writer/Editor
Aleksandra Sandstrom, Senior Copy Editor
Bill Webster, Senior Information Graphics Designer

Communications and Web Publishing

Stacy Rosenberg, Associate Director, Digital
Travis Mitchell, Digital Producer
Anna Schiller, Senior Communications Manager
Kelsey Beveridge, Communications Associate

Others at Pew Research Center who contributed to this report include Claudia Deane, vice president of research; Mark Hugo Lopez, director of global migration and demography research; Neil G. Ruiz, associate director of global migration and demography research; Carroll Doherty, director of political research; Jocelyn Kiley, associate director of research; Juliana Menasce Horowitz, associate director of research; and Christine Tamir, research analyst. In addition, former Pew Research Center Senior Writer/Editor David Masci contributed to the clergy interviews and former Research Assistant Jynnah Radford contributed to the focus groups.

Pew Research Center is grateful to a panel of expert advisers who gave advice on all stages of this report: R. Khari Brown, associate professor of sociology at Wayne State University; Ryon J. Cobb, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Georgia; Yolanda Pierce, professor and dean at Howard University School of Divinity; Tia Noelle Pratt, president and director of research at TNPratt & Associates, LLC; Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, chairman of the Conference of National Black Churches; Josef Sorett, professor of religion and African American and African diaspora studies and chair of the religion department at Columbia University; and Eric Williams, curator of religion for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

In addition the Center would like to thank the following scholars for their feedback: Edward E. Curtis IV, religious studies professor and Millennium Chair of the Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Tracey Hucks, provost and dean of the faculty at Colgate University, who provided guidance on the questionnaire; Mandisa L. Thomas, founder and president of Black Nonbelievers Inc.; Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of African-American Studies and Sociology and director of the African American studies program at Colby College; and Richard N. Pitt, associate professor of sociology at University of California San Diego.

In addition, 30 Christian clergy shared observations on numerous issues involving religion and Black Americans in in-depth interviews. (Most of them are quoted in Chapter 9 of this report.) Those who were interviewed are Bishop Ronald Alexander of Divine Purpose Church in Arlington, Tennessee; the Rev. Dr. Selwyn Q. Bachus of Salem Baptist Church in Omaha, Nebraska; the Rev. Traci C. Blackmon, associate general minister of Justice & Local Church Ministries for the United Church of Christ; the Rev. Dr. Dray Bland, of Watson Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee; the Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown of Third Baptist Church of San Francisco in San Francisco, California; Dr. Patrick D. Clayborn of Bethel AME Church in Baltimore, Maryland; the Rev. Dr. Erika D. Crawford of Mount Zion AME Church in Dover, Delaware; the Rev. Desmond Drummer of Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in South Fulton, Georgia; the Rev. William N. Heard of Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church in Camden, New Jersey; Dr. Benjamin Hinton of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Gastonia, North Carolina; Pastor Dana Jackson of Black Bottom House of Prayer in Orlando, Florida; Bishop Reginald T. Jackson of the AME Church’s sixth episcopal district; Rev. Dr. Robert Jeffrey Sr., of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Seattle, Washington; the Rev. James A. Keeton Jr., of Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina; Pastor Damon Lynch Jr., of New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio; Dr. James C. Perkins of Greater Christ Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan; Dr. Clyde Posley Jr. of Antioch Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana; the Rev. Sandra Reed of St. Mark AME Zion Church in Newtown, Pennsylvania; Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson of Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, New York; Pastor Alan S. Robinson of Abundant Life Church of God in Christ in Atlanta, Georgia; the Rev. Dr. Vernon G. Robinson, presiding elder of the Batesville District of the South Mississippi Conference of the AME Zion Church; the Rev. Dr. Cheryl J. Sanders of Third Street Church of God in Washington, D.C.; the Rev. Dr. Laurel E. Scott of the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church; the Rev. Christine A. Smith of Restoration Ministries of Greater Cleveland, Inc., in Euclid, Ohio; the Rev. Simeon Spencer of Union Baptist Church in Trenton, New Jersey; Dr. Warren H. Stewart of First Institutional Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona; Bishop Talbert W. Swan II of Spring of Hope Church of God in Christ in Springfield, Massachusetts; the Rev. Phil Manuel Turner of Bethany Baptist Church in Syracuse, New York; the Rev. Harvey L. Vaughn III of Bethel AME Church in San Diego, California; Bishop Henry M. Williamson Sr. of the Christian Methodist Church’s first episcopal district.