United Theological Seminary Prophetic Preaching and Praxis DMin Student: Portfolio for "Danny" Anthony Everett

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Contact information/email: daeverett1@united.edu ~phone: +1 (859) 293-5873~Twitter: @RevDAEverettLinks to an external site..~ Facebook: Reverend D. Anthony EverettLinks to an external site.

"Danny" Anthony Everett is the pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky.  As an advocate, preacher, pastor, public servant, lecturer, and Christian social activist, Everett has a passion for human rights, issues of social justice, and the intersectionality of those struggles.  Everett’s preferred gender pronouns are “he,” “him,” and “his.”

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The call to discipleship came to Everett in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, June 8, 1996.  Having been baptized in the Roman Catholic tradition but having no church affiliation since high school, a friend invited him to a wedding at St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church.  Upon entering the sanctuary of the church, Everett’s attention was drawn toward the stained-glass windows of civil and human rights leaders and Biblical characters who were depicted as people of color.  When he noticed the window of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X), he rationalized that if the church could accept Malcolm X, perhaps they could accept him.  The pastor of the church, now pastor emeritus Reverend Zan Wesley Holmes Jr., invited Everett to attend church the next day and he had not stopped attending since the wedding.

At St. Luke, Everett soon joined the male chorus, reestablished the Mandala Rites of Passage Program for teenage boys, and became involved with social justice ministry initiatives as well as Disciple Bible Study.  Bible study in small groups, sometimes held in his home, was the anchor that kept Everett’s justice work spiritually grounded.  As a member of St. Luke, he learned that the Bible and social justice go hand in glove.  The "Social Principles" and The Book of Resolutions became important sources alongside the Bible to guide Everett’s understanding as to what it means to be Methodist and Christian.

After meeting with Pastor Holmes to explore ministry options, Everett discerned his call to the ministry of ordained elder and successfully completed the educational requirements. As a ministerial candidate, he became a pastoral assistant serving in Sunday worship, participating in the mid-week Prayer and Praise Service, visiting the sick and shut-in while providing the Lord’s Supper, and participating in the jail ministry.

After serving at St. Luke and committing full-time to ministry, Everett served as Associate Pastor for Minorities at the SMU Wesley Foundation where he led discipleship, evangelism, and a mission trip abroad for undergraduate students.  Everett moved to Highland Hills UMC and then, to Hamilton Park UMC to serve as the youth pastor at both churches.  At Hamilton Park UMC, Everett founded the Hamilton Park Youth Development Corporation – a faith-based, non-profit 501 (c) 3 created to enable oppressed African-American youth to become agents of social change in the community.

Everett earned a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from Paul Quinn College, magna cum laude, and a Master of Divinity degree with Urban Ministry Certification from the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University where he serves as a member of the executive board.  As a student at Perkins, Everett was the president of the Black Seminarians Association and had been selected to be one of two Interfaith Worker Justice seminarian interns.

After graduating from Perkins, Everett was hired by the Kentucky Annual Conference to serve as an Associate Director for New Church and Congregational Development with a specific focus on revitalizing African American churches and ministries throughout the conference.  A ministry action plan was developed that included the startup of a new faith community – Nia Community of Faith.  Starting off as a parachute drop with a core group of five people, under Everett’s leadership within two years the attendance at Nia grew to an average of 53 people per week.  Nia became known as a community of faith focused intentionally on social justice and Everett created a nontraditional church atmosphere with spoken word events, a Bible study reviewing Michelle Alexander’s seminal book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness, workshops against the death penalty in conjunction with the General Board of Church & Society, advocacy in support of immigrant rights and the Dreamer’s Movement, and rallies against police brutality in the Trayvon Martin case.

Upon the retirement of its pastor of ten years, Everett was appointed to his current appointment, Wesley UMC, and many of the Nia Community of Faith participants joined him.  Wesley UMC was one of two churches in Kentucky that hosted the Concert Across America to End Gun Violence, a Facebook Live event organized by Everett locally with a full sanctuary and over 300,000 viewers.  In conjunction with the Fayette County Public Defender’s Office, Wesley UMC hosted a training and held Participatory Defense Sessions, a method of criminal defense with community activists serving in the role of helpers.  As pastor of Wesley UMC, Everett helped to organize the first Black Lives Matter Rally and March in Lexington.  Under Everett’s leadership, Wesley UMC volunteers, through Nia Urban Ministries Inc., another faith-based 501 (c) 3 founded by Everett, support The Winburn Academy Extended School Service addressing educational inequity for poor children and children of color at Winburn Middle School.

In the cause of social justice, Everett has been outspoken at Lexington City Council meetings, the Commonwealth of Kentucky legislative sessions, Kentucky Commission on Human Rights hearings, Fayette County School District meetings, meetings in the offices of Kentucky's congressional representatives including US Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, and meetings with Obama administration representatives at the White House.  Featured in the United Methodist Interpreter Magazine as a criminal justice clergyperson, Everett has advocated at the local, state, and national levels for sentencing and criminal justice reform legislation.  He has been a supporter of the Takeback Cheapside Movement that advocated for and successfully removed two Confederate statues receiving national notoriety at Cheapside Park in Lexington, the location of a former slave auction block.  An outspoken advocate for the rights of the LGBTQ community against discrimination, homophobia, and heteronormativity, Everett has been an ally/accomplice with Kentucky Reconciling Ministries, Bluegrass Black Pride, and Lexington Fairness, receiving the 2016 Ally Fairness Awards from the latter two organizations.  In conjunction with the University of Kentucky, Everett has provided a community screening of the film, An Act of Love. He has been a guest speaker at ecumenical and interreligious gatherings, rallies, and vigils.

Everett also serves on the Kentucky Equal Justice Center board, the Kentucky Council of Churches as a delegate from the Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church, and the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights to which he was appointed by former governor, the Honorable Steve Beshear, as an at-large Commissioner.  Currently vice chair of the commission, Everett serves as an administrative hearing officer, hearing cases on discrimination in Kentucky in the areas of housing, employment, and public accommodations.

Prior to ministry, Everett was an executive with EDS Corporation (now DXC Technology) for 19 years.  At EDS, he worked with a team of employees to establish the African-American employees resource group, an informal network for mentoring and coaching.  EDS selected Everett to serve as an Ambassador at the Pavilion at the InfoMart in Dallas, Texas.  He provided presentations on the convergence of communications and technology for a wide range of audiences including Prince Albert of Monaco and the Kubaka of Buganda.  Among his many accomplishments at EDS was the establishment of the School of Adaptive Computer Training in Atlanta, Georgia – a $1.29M assistive technology training center for people with special needs.  This project was a collaboration with the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation.

Currently, Everett is a Doctor of Ministry student at United Theological Seminary in the Prophetic Preaching and Praxis focus group.  A sought-after preacher and lecturer, he has made numerous presentations before church, civic, and collegiate bodies on topics of interest ranging from mass incarceration to civil rights and racial justice.

Everett enjoys traveling and has traveled throughout North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and to 35 of the 50 United States as well as two U.S. Territories - St. Thomas and Puerto Rico.  The countries he has visited include Mexico, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Panama, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and Honduras.  He has also visited the British overseas territory of Grand Cayman.

Born in Washington, D.C., Everett is married to the love of his life, Dr. Angelique Clay Everett, an internationally acclaimed soprano soloist for the American Spiritual Ensemble and Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Kentucky School of Music.  They reside in Lexington, Kentucky as an empty nest blended family with four adult children and one grandchild.

 

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