Emmy award-winning journalist Orlando Bailey hosts a community conversation on gun violence prevention

All across America in recent years, gun violence has disproportionately affected Black communities. Detroit’s neighborhoods and communities are no different. Gun violence has robbed Detroit’s communities of too many people. When community members unite together, however, they have the power to make change.
American Black Journal’s “Black Church in Detroit” initiative invites you to join a live, virtual conversation on the painful but urgently necessary topic of gun violence, including how the church plays a vital role in gun violence prevention efforts in our communities and how you can be an important part of those efforts too.
Hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist and “American Black Journal” contributor Orlando Bailey, members of American Black Journal’s Black Church in Detroit Advisory Committee and other esteemed panelists will talk about the role that the church can play in gun violence prevention efforts, as well as grief ministries and other community support.
This virtual event will feature highlights from the recent “Black Church in Detroit” episode on gun violence prevention efforts, which aired on Detroit Public Television’s American Black Journal. Panelists will have an interactive discussion around various highlights and aspects of this crucial issue.
Add your voice to the conversation by watching the livestream below or joining us LIVE on Facebook or YouTube. Ask panelists your questions, and get answers at this live event. Plus, share your concerns, ideas and personal stories.

Watch Livestream:

This Community Conversation Features:

Orlando Bailey, Engagement Director, BridgeDetroit | Host

Orlando Bailey Orlando Bailey is a lifelong Detroiter. He launched his professional career at Eastside Community Network, where he most recently served as Chief Development Officer. Orlando is the co-host and producer of the podcast, Authentically Detroit. Orlando is also the host of Urban Consulate; a space where people gather to have critical conversations about cities. He has been a regular contributor to 105.9 KISS/FM on the “Mildred Gaddis Show” with his own segment titled “The Millennial Moment.”

Orlando has values rooted in his faith and in his belief that residents are experts in their lived experiences. He constantly advocates for the co-creation of projects, plans, and development efforts with existing residents and partners for sustainable and equitable neighborhoods. Orlando believes that the practical application of lived experience coupled with technical expertise could be advantageous to Detroiters if properly facilitated.

Orlando has been the recipient of the Marshall Memorial Fellowship of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Knight Foundation Fellowship in their Emerging City Champions program with 880 Cities in Toronto. Orlando was also the recipient of the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award from Eastern Michigan University. Orlando serves as Chairman of the Board for One Detroit Credit Union and serves on other boards and committees throughout southeastern Michigan. Orlando received a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Eastern Michigan University.

Biography provided by BridgeDetroit. 

Bishop Charles Ellis III, Greater Grace Temple | Panelist

bishop charles ellis Bishop Charles H. Ellis III is celebrating 21 years as the Senior Pastor of Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, Michigan. He pastors nearly 6,000 and is known as a leader “with a heart for people.” It was in 2002 that Bishop Ellis and his ministry celebrated the Grand Opening of their new $36 million worship facility. Their vision had come to pass! This state-of-the-art masterpiece includes a 4,000-seat auditorium, and an elegant banquet hall and conference center. Under Bishop Ellis’ leadership Greater Grace Temple now has over 300 ministries including the following, which extend beyond its religious mandate:

  • Over 100 Housing Units for seniors and families
  • David Ellis Academy and David Ellis Academy West Charter Schools (Grades PreK- 8)
  • Montessori Day Care Center
  • Print Shop
  • Television & Recording Studios
  • Travel Agency
  • Funeral Home

Most of these outreaches are headquartered at the church’s 20-acre complex known as the “City of David.” These ministries positively impact the Detroit community where he is a respected leader. Here are some of his honors and board appointments:

  • Board member of the Detroit Zoological Society
  • Board member of the Detroit Medical Center (consisting of over 13 hospitals)
  • Founder and President of the GGT Non-profit Housing Corporation
  • Founder and President of The Master’s Commission (a non-profit charity)

In July 2010, the 1.3 million-member Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (P.A.W.) elected Bishop Ellis to the office of Presiding Bishop, making him the 10th elected person to the highest position in the world’s oldest Apostolic organization. Bishop Ellis also specifically presides over the Diocese of South Carolina in which he personally oversees nearly 45 PAW churches. Bishop Ellis brings the message of God’s love to a potential 50 million viewers across the nation on “The Word Network” and other television and radio outlets.

Under his visionary leadership, Greater Grace Temple in 2007 purchased the 120-acre New Rogell Golf Course in Detroit across from the church, making it at that time the only African-American owned and operated 18-hole golf facility in the state of Michigan. This property is now poised for a multi-million dollar development consisting of recreation, housing, and veterans interests.

Bishop Ellis is a Business Administration graduate of Wayne State University with a major in Accounting. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Aenon Bible College. He is married to the lovely Crisette Michelle and is the proud father of three children: Kiera, Charles IV, and Kirsten (who made her transition in 1994).

Biography provided by Greater Grace Temple. 

Pastor Barry Randolph, Church of the Messiah | Panelist

Pastor Barry RandolphPastor Barry Randolph has been the priest of the Church of the Messiah Detroit for 19 years. Under his leadership, the church has grown from 40 members to over 200 currently. The congregation is mixed raced with 60% of the congregation being African American males under the age of 30. The church has 200 units of housing, a business incubation center, a medical clinic, employment office, and is the internet provider to the neighborhood. In 2019, Randolph was named Michiganian of the year by the Detroit News, and was Detroit’s first-ever human rights leader of the year that same year.

Biography provided by Pastor Barry Randolph.

Rev. Cindy Rudolph, Pastor, Oak Grove AME Church | Panelist

Cindy Rudolph With a passion to proclaim and a heart for ministry, Rev. Cindy Rudolph has been serving the people of God since 2000. Rev. Rudolph is committed to offering life-transforming ministry for people from all walks of life. She considers herself especially blessed to serve as the Senior Pastor of Oak Grove AME Church in Detroit, Michigan. As the first female pastor in the over one-hundred-year history of Oak Grove, Rev. Rudolph has increased the Church’s impact in the areas of outreach, youth and young adult programming and technology.

 Pastor Rudolph previously served at Smith Chapel AME Church in Inkster, Michigan, where she started a Wednesday service (followed by a free lunch), led extensive renovation and repair initiatives, established several new ministries, and grew the church tremendously. Rev. Rudolph also served as Senior Pastor at Mt. Zoar AME Church in Conowingo, Maryland and Bethel AME Church in Reading, Pennsylvania, respectively. During her tenure, she launched new ministries, expanded outreach, established children’s programs, and significantly reduced debt.

A native of Guyana, South America, Rev. Rudolph spent most of her life in Newark, NJ, where she would later serve as a Minister to Youth at St. James AME Church, under the tutelage of Rev. Dr. William D. Watley. She also served at Mt. Calvary AME Church, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Ann Lightner-Fuller. Rev. Rudolph is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick New Jersey, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. After working in mass media and corporate venues, Rev. Rudolph answered God’s calling on her life by enrolling in seminary at Drew University in Madison, NJ. After studying at both Drew and The Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Rev. Rudolph received a Master of Divinity degree from Drew, graduating with Magna Cum Laude honors.

 A prolific writer, Pastor Rudolph authored and self-published The Changing Table, A Guide to Healing and Transformation.  She has earned many accolades and distinctions, including the Rev. Florence Spearing Randolph award for a pioneering spirit, the Mary Watson Stewart award for preaching and numerous civic commendations. Rev. Rudolph was ordained by the African Methodist Episcopal Church in April 2002.

Rev. Rudolph is married to Dr. Lawrence Rudolph, and they are the proud parents of an eight-year-old daughter, McKenna. Rev. Rudolph comes from a large family; she has five brothers and hundreds of extended family members. She loves the Lord and travels the world proclaiming God’s Word. It is her hope to inspire people to reach their highest potential in God.

Biography provided by Oak Grove AME Church.

Rev. Quantez Pressley, Lead Pastor, Third New Hope Baptist Church | Panelist

Rev. Quantez PressleyQuanTez Pressley has spent the majority of his life serving others as community organizer, public servant, and ordained minister. He graduated with honors from Renaissance High School in 2004, where he held numerous positions including President of the City-Wide Student Council, Youth Governor of the YMCA’s Michigan Youth in Government Program, and Presiding Officer for the Conference on National Affairs. In his senior year, QuanTez made history as the first student ever appointed to serve on the Detroit Public School Board of Education at the age of 17.  

Upon graduating from Renaissance, QuanTez earned his B.A. degree in Religion and minor in Political Science from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. While at Morehouse, QuanTez worked as Chief of Staff for the Student Government Association, functioned as a student advisor to College President the Rev. Dr. Robert Franklin, served as a member of the Martin L. King, Jr. International Chapel Assistants Program, and sang baritone in the world-renowned Morehouse College Glee Club and Morehouse College Quartet.

In 2009, after graduating from MorehouseQuanTez returned home to Detroit where he began working for City Connect Detroit, a nonprofit organization managing the city’s summer youth employment program. Not soon thereafter, QuanTez transitioned to the governmental sector, working for the City of Detroit, where he would ultimately become the Chief of Staff to the Detroit City Council President in 2011. After working for the City for three years, QuanTez would accept a position at the State, where he served as the State Director of Community Schools – overseeing the operation of over 200 Community Schools State-wide.  In 2012, because of his exceptional work and community serviceQuanTez was named one of Michigan Chronicle’s 40 under 40 honorees.

In 2015, QuanTez would leave the governmental sector to attend Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (Columbia University), in pursuit of his call to full-time ministry. As a seminarian, QuanTez was awarded the Union Scholarship, served as a Poverty Fellow for the Kairos Center, and received the Hudnut Preaching Prize in 2017, an award given to the student who has shown the best preparation in preaching ministryIn May of 2018, QuanTez earned his Masters of Divinity Degree in Christian Social Ethics from Union Theological Seminary.  

Beginning, January 1, 2020, QuanTez Pressley began his tenure as the Lead Pastor of the Third New Hope Baptist Church in Detroit, MI. He has accepted multiple invitations to preach, teach and lecture for churches and religious organizations across the State including, the Michigan Progressive Baptist Convention, the Michigan District Baptist Association, the Baptist, Missionary, and Educational State Convention, the Congress of Christian Education, as well as the Council of Baptist Pastor of Detroit and Vicinity, where he is a member.

Moreover, a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., QuanTez has served as an advisor to several elected officials, political candidates, and community leaders. QuanTez, the fourth of five children born to Larry and Doris Pressley, enjoys a blossoming marriage with his beautiful wife, Mrs. Aishah Pressley, health advocate and owner of Vitality, LLC.

Biography provided by Third New Hope Baptist Church. 

Learn more about “The Black Church in Detroit”:

The Black Church in Detroit series is produced by Detroit Public Television in partnership with the Ecumenical Theological Seminary and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and it is informed with input and guidance from a range of church and civic leaders representing the diversity of theology and thought in the city.
Episodes of The Black Church in Detroit air on the last Tuesday of every month at 7:30 pm ET on Detroit Public TV’s “American Black Journal,” with an encore broadcast on Sundays at 9:30 am ET.

Learn more about “American Black Journal”:

Detroit Public TV’s “American Black Journal” is a weekly talk show featuring African American perspectives on topics around arts, culture, and community issues important to the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan and the nation.

Throughout our history, African Americans have struggled in the face of racism and systemic inequality and recent events remind us that those issues are still very present with us today. Since 1968 we have provided a crucial voice to add context and urgency to those issues here in our own community. We are proud to bring you American Black Journal every week, and we are just as proud to add American Black Journal’s voice to the idea that Black Lives Matter.

“American Black Journal,” originally titled CPT (Colored People’s Time), went on the air in 1968 during a time of social and racial turmoil following the 1967 riots in Detroit. The purpose was to increase the availability and accessibility of media relating to African American experiences in order to encourage greater involvement from Detroit citizens in working to resolve community problems.

The show has aired consistently since 1968, documenting more than 50 years of Detroit history from African American perspectives. The collection includes interviews, round-table discussions, field-produced features and artistic performances featuring African Americans, many of who are among the nation’s most recognized figures, and provides the visual and audio context of key debates and discussions surrounding African American history, culture, and politics.

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