Senior Fellow Spotlight: Bishop Van Gayton


Senior Fellow Spotlight 

“Like our namesake Bonhoeffer, Bishop Van Gayton is deeply passionate about his vocation. He doesn’t simply seek to understand the causes of human suffering, but to suffer with those who experience it. Van’s own life experience informs his approach to racism inside and outside of the church and his decades-long interracial marriage has yielded joy and pain amidst social and racial divides. For him, subjects like Critical Race Theory are personal. Van exemplifies a Bonhoefferian blend of intellectual and activist -able to analyze, explicate, and debate problems, and gifted in leading the way by applying his knowledge and experience in helping resolve human conflict.”

– TDBI President and Founder, Rev. Dr. Rob Schenck


Senior Fellow, Bishop Dr. Van Gayton, is known for being anything but shy and retiring. During his 45 years of ordained ministry, whether as a pastor, itinerate preacher, missionary diplomat, federal chaplain, high school administrator, or seminary dean, Dr. Gayton has been a bold and prophetic witness against injustice and an advocate for the marginalized.

A member of the International Conference of Bishops, Dr. Gayton is a senior research fellow at the Karson Institute at Baltimore’s Loyola University, a member of the Alliance for Black Pentecostal Scholarship, and is active in the Society of Pentecostal Studies. He identifies professionally as a post-colonial theologian.

As an academic, Dr. Gayton sits on the advisory board for the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and serves as Academic Dean for the Williams Bible Institute and Seminary, both in Jacksonville Florida, where he lives with his wife, Ellen.



The Good News For Racism

by Dr. Van Gayton 

This book reviews the history behind the current wall of separation between the Black and White Christian Church in America and examines God’s position on racial diversity by walking through the Biblical themes of Creation, the Fall, Redemption and the Consummation of all things. It encourages and facilitates redemptive dialog for racism and unity, so that the Church can model the love of God in the world. Gayton explores the redemptive good news of the Gospel story that takes us from liberation to reconciliation in Christ as equals in order to become the “one new man” Paul teaches about in Ephesians.



Schenck Talks Bonhoeffer

Listen to TDBI Founder and President, Rev. Dr. Rob Schenck, talk about race and the Church with Bishop Gayton!

Did you know that Christmas was Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s favorite celebration and time of year? Over the course of this Advent season, President and Founder of TDBI, Rev. Rob Schenck, will take us through selections from Bonhoeffer’s, God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas. We already have weeks 1 and 2 up on our Facebook page. Check them out!