Methodist pastor, community leader named associate chaplain

Luther B. Felder II, pastor/director of The Wesley Foundation at the University of Texas at Arlington and a recognized community leader, has been named associate chaplain at Emory.

Felder, who began his duties at Emory earlier this month, will be working with students and student groups and will be coordinating and expanding educational and community outreach opportunities for students. "He brings a fresh and solid understanding of campus ministry and outreach, and we are thrilled to have him here. I think he will be a real asset to Emory's involvement in the Atlanta community," said Susan Henry-Crowe, University chaplain.

Felder is an ordained elder and member of the Central Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He began his ministry in the Detroit Conference and served as pastor of East Grand Boulevard United Methodist Church and Faith Bethany United Methodist Church, both in Detroit. In 1984, he moved to Arlington, Texas, where he served as pastor of Grace United Methodist until 1993, when he became campus minister at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Both the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram have run full-length feature articles in recent weeks mourning Felder's departure from Texas and citing his community leadership and reputation as a peacemaker. "Dr. Felder is one of a handful of prominent African Americans who moved to the city in the early 1980s and worked to change the social, political and racial landscape here," said Valerie Fields of the Dallas Morning News. Star-Telegram writer Matthew Brady noted that "Through the years, when issues involving race relations cropped up, Felder's voice could be heard."

A native of Houston, Felder received his undergraduate degree from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, a master of divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School, and doctor of ministry degree from Southern Methodist University.

In Atlanta Felder will join his wife, Cynthia Wilson-Felder, who serves as diaconal minister of music at Ben Hill United Methodist Church and is completing doctoral studies in sacred music at Emory. They have two daughters, Chiantia, a senior in college, and Llewon, a high school sophomore.

-- Elaine Justice

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