My name is Jacqueline M. Davis-Gines, Ph.D. I just completed my first year at Gammon Theological Seminary here at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC). I have enjoyed my journey, thus far. It has been enlightening and challenging. It has challenged my beliefs, thoughts, and values. Each class has created a snow ball effect. As I go from class to class, my ball of knowledge grows larger, more comprehensive, and more intensive, as I roll along. It is systematically tearing down my misconceptions, misinterpretations, and misnomers. I never conceived the possibilities this education offers me. I am enlightened, inspired and empowered daily at Gammon and the ITC. This is my first opportunity to attend a predominately black institution, which teaches from an Africentric perspective, using inclusive language. This alone has been one of the most eye-opening experiences I have known.
Walking on this campus changed my life. I have been built up in places I did not know were torn down. I have encountered and acknowledged issues I did not know existed. In my first year, I have received a lifetime of education and correction. One of the most compelling aspects of this education is the family-type environment created in every classroom. As students, colleagues, children of God and descendants of Africa, we truly support and love one another. We offer daily affirmation and constant encouragement. We eat together, laugh together and often cry together as each person transcends and emerges from their Sheol and embraces their personal breakthrough.
We are taught by world renown, influential, published theologians who are relevant and relatable. Each professor has a genuine love for the students and takes a personal interest in the success of each one. This is the first time I have had day to day contact and interaction with a Bishop in the United Methodist Church System. Having a Bishop in residence here at Gammon is a unique and inspiring experience. But, having Bishop James King is a blessing from God and a special, beautiful gift to every person he encounters. Bishop King has a way of making you want to be better. He is a giant among men; but, humble, kind and the most loving person I have ever met. To know him is to love him. Bishop King is anointed of the Lord. His anointing is so strong it lingers in the room, like a fine oil; and we, his students are given the privilege to bask in it.
Gammon Theological Seminary is not only a place of learning, it is an individualized experience. It is a personal encounter with the Supreme G-d and with the god in you. It is owning a rich, productive, creative, and exalted heritage stolen from enslaved people. It is an opportunity to loose your shackles; so you might be freed from the Slaveholders religion. It is also an invitation to join the ranks of great theologians offering a liberating and more historically accurate theology to the people of G-d.
Students of Gammon!