Highly regarded book by Christian activist William A. Jones Jr. republished by daughter

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/20/21)—“God in the Ghetto” is now available in a new updated and expanded edition.

The classic edition of the book by the late, great William “Bill” Augustus Jones—an influential voice during the Civil Rights Movement—featured essays on urban ministry and sermons on social justice. The new edition—“God in the Ghetto: A Prophetic Word Revisited”—includes several never-before-published sermons from the preaching giant.

It also features new essays reflecting on the legacy and influence of Jones and his work from notable leaders, including James Forbes, Frederick Haynes, Otis Moss III, J. Alfred Smith Sr., Al Sharpton and Jacqueline Thompson.

The book’s content is sociological in context and framing, theological in foundation and principle, and practical in application, appealing to a diverse reading audience. It introduces and reintroduces the teachings of Jones to generations desirous of a greater understanding of how God and the church have been intertwined in racial oppression, and how today’s preacher can respond.

“In ‘God and the Ghetto,’ Jones’ prophetic vision gathers near apocalyptic intensity as he unleashes holy venom on those who deny democracy and justice to God’s darker devotees,” says Michael Eric Dyson, professor in the College of Arts and Science and in the Divinity School at Vanderbilt University, Nashville. “Jones envisions the poor enjoying favored nation status with God and not citizens of imperial powers. The ghetto becomes a metaphor for all of those locked out of society’s economic and moral resources.”

Forty-three years since “God in the Ghetto” was published, “problems of injustice and health issues continue to plague the world and the United States of America,” says Angela D. Sims, Ph.D., president, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. “There has been an insurrection act at the United States Capitol and a health crisis that disproportionately affects non-white people. Now, ‘God in the Ghetto: A Prophetic Word Revisited’ is an invitation to the church in general and the Black church specifically to speak truthfully about white supremacy and white nationalist religion’s insidious nature. Is the church, the Black church, and are you collectively and individually speaking truth for justice regarding injustice’s thoughts, actions and words?”

This new edition is edited by Jones’ daughter, Jennifer Jones Austin, Esq., a fourth-generation leader of faith and social justice who fights for equity. As CEO of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, she has led and secured monumental changes in social policy to strengthen and empower the disenfranchised and marginalized.

She co-hosts the award-winning radio show “Open Line” on WBLS, and guest hosts weekly the nationally syndicated radio program “Keep’n It Real with Rev. Al Sharpton.” She is a returning guest and contributor on the “Karen Hunter Show” and the cable show “Brooklyn Savvy.” She is author of “Consider It Pure Joy” (The Church Online LLC, 2018).

Founded in 1824, Judson Press is a publishing ministry of American Baptist Home Mission Societies, American Baptist Churches USA. It is committed to producing Christ-centered leadership resources for the transformation of individuals, congregations, communities, and cultures. 

American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission  worldwide.