SPECIAL EDITION: Empowerment Temple Pastor Dr. Robert R. A. Turner
Rev. Dr. Robert Richard Allen Turner is a millennial who is passionate about his calling to serve this “present age” by speaking truth to power, and by following the Word as printed in Isaiah 61 to “preach good tidings to the poor…heal the brokenhearted…proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” Currently, Dr. Turner is the pastor of Historic Vernon A.M.E. Church, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which has the only edifice which survived the 1921 Race Massacre on Greenwood. Additionally, Dr. Turner is now the Academic Dean for Jackson Theological Seminary, in Little Rock Arkansas. He sits on the National African American Reparations Commission, Board of Trustees for the American Village, and the Advisory Board of the Blackburn Institute of the University of Alabama and the chairperson of the board for the Turner Ministry Association 501(c)3.
Dr. Turner has been featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes and Evening News, ABC, BBC, MSNBC (Chuck Todd, and Andrea Mitchell’s show) CNN, Good Morning America3 (twice), NPR Here and Now (twice) and the Euronews, Washington Post (as an op-ed writer and interviewee), LA Times, and New York Times, along with Politico, and several other national and international publications and news outlets.
A cum laude graduate from the Honors Program at the University of Alabama, he majored in Political Science with a minor in Spanish. Rev. Turner was the first Black Chief of Staff for the Student Government Association at the University of Alabama and was honored as the 2004 University of Alabama Most Outstanding Male Student. In addition, he was featured on CNN concerning the University of Alabama’s Faculty Senate Apology for slavery that took place on their campus. Moreover, Rev. Dr. Turner helped lead a movement, which caused the University of Alabama to recognize the presence of two slaves, Jack and Boysie, who were buried on the college campus.
Rev. Turner graduated with honors from the Interdenominational Theological Center’s Turner Seminary in Atlanta, GA, with a Masters in Divinity. He later received his Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. In his dissertation, Rev. Turner coined the phrase, “Prophetic Civic Engagement,” and highlighted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a shining example of this concept. He is a 1999 graduate of Alabama Boys State, a 2013 graduate of Leadership Mobile, an ordained clergyman, and a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
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