Scandal in the black church: an ethical analysis of public moral failure and a vision for renewed black pastoral leadership
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In recent years, stories of unethical behavior in black church pastoral leadership have been increasingly prevalent. High profile scandals involving prominent black pastoral leadership goes beyond mistakes or poor judgment, these “famed” black church leaders compromise their individual church and the significance of their position in the church because of unethical behavior. Hence, society’s perception of what black church leadership changes because of high profile cases of unethical leadership. This thesis will investigate high profile scandals derived from the unethical behavior of pastoral leadership within the black church as it cast a negative perception that tarnishes the reputation of not only the black church but the institution of black church pastoral leadership. Initially, we will examine three prominent black church pastors whose unethical practices became high profile cases of scandal. Following the cases, we will identify how the threat of scandal can demolish the historical significance of the black church and black pastoral leadership and the actual role of the pastor. Next, the seeds of scandal create misguided power which ultimately disconnects leadership from their community. Finally, we will discover ways to excavate the seeds of scandal by using a model of ethical leadership and the depiction of a renewed black pastoral ethic developed through Accountability, Integrity, and Responsibility.