The Rev. Dr. William E. Flippin, Jr.

Denomination: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Organization: Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The Rev. Dr. William Edward Flippin, Jr., is Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Evangelical Mission for the ELCA Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, based in Philadelphia.

Before coming to this role in 2019, he was senior pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Atlanta. He was born in Nashville, TN. His formative years and training were developed and nurtured in Atlanta. He is a 1998 graduate of Morehouse College where he majored in History and minored in Religion. In 1999, Bill was selected to travel to Cote d' Ivoire, West Africa as a Mickey Leland Intern for World Hunger and Peace. This experience was momentous that William realized the hunger within would be shaped in Seminary training/studies. He is a 2002 graduate of the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse School of Religion receiving the M.Div., where he concentrated in Church History/Reformation Studies. He furthered his education at Emory University, Candler School of Theology receiving the Masters of Theology (Th.M.) in 2003 an additional Th.M. (2005) from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He received his Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) in Transformational Leadership from Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland OH. His dissertation project developed a new ecclesiological model for Lutherans and Baptists based on John chapter 3 and spirit baptism.

William has been featured on the History Channel on the Reformation. He has been a contributor to the African American Lectionary as a Cultural Commentator. He is also a regular contributor blogger for the Huffington Post (Black Voices and Religion), guest columnist for the Living Lutheran with publications for Augsburg Press.  He has served as Ambassador for Children International and is now an Associate for specializing in Church Growth/Church Planting/Grassroots and community organizing. He serves on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Church Council, the legislative body of the four million member organization, and was the ELCA representative for ecumenical relations for the United Methodist Church (2013-2017). In April 2016, William received the "Prophetic Voice" Award with Faith in Public Life Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers and Laity at Morehouse College. He serves on the Lutheran World Federation Church Council and is co-chair for Advocacy and Public Voice for seventy-five million Lutherans worldwide. He also serves on the Alumni Board for Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and Executive Director/CEO for E3-Ecumenicism, Evangelism, and Entrepreneurship.

William has earlier served the following churches: Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church, Atlanta, Ga. (2000-2003); Progressive Community Church, Chicago, Ill (2004-2006); Messiah-St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church, Chicago, Ill (2005); St. Stephen and St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church both in Decatur, Ga. (2006-8); St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, Columbus, Ga. initially as Associate Pastor and as Senior Pastor, completing his tenure March of 2013. He was the first African American pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, a multicultural congregation in southwest Atlanta. He served his community as the Third Vice President of the Georgia NAACP receiving the J. L. Barnes Award in 2015 for Outstanding Contributions to the Movement of the Georgia NAACP.

He is married to Kedra Phillips-Flippin, a native of Atlanta and nurse care manager, who is an advocate and specialist for rural health care who loves the Lord. They are the proud parents of one daughter, Shamel Emani. William's mantra is found in Matthew 20:26 "the greatest among shall be your servant". He is committed to serving this present age and being truly a shepherd-servant leader.


Day1 Weekly Programs by The Rev. Dr. William E. Flippin, Jr.

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Counterfeit Clergy

Tuesday July 16, 2024
In his sermon on Jeremiah 23, the Rev. William Flippin Jr. tells us that Jesus’ words regarding sheep and their shepherds are both challenging and comforting. People without a shepherd, without the Lord Jesus Christ, are lost and bewildered, never finding the way to true life. But there is hope.

The Remedy: Look, Lift Up, and Live

Tuesday March 05, 2024
Throughout the Christian journey, looking to God’s Son in one thing required. But the good news is that God provided a remedy, a ram in the bush if you will, and is still providing remedies for the curse that plagued us. Just as the snake-bitten people aren’t able to save themselves and were dying rapidly. Therefore, God had to provide a way for them to be saved. When they confessed their sins and requested Moses to intercede, God provided a unique remedy: They had to make a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Whoever looked at the bronze snake would be healed and saved.

William Flippin Jr.: A Rock and a Hard Place

Tuesday September 22, 2020
In his sermon on Exodus 17, Dr. William E. Flippin Jr. asks, how can we receive refreshment during a dry place? It’s found in the solution of God’s command to Moses: strike the rock and water will come out of it that the people may drink. Our rock is the Lord.

Coram Deo

Tuesday October 28, 2014
Pastor Bill Flippin says there is one link in our life that can always be shortened and strengthened--that’s our relationship with God, where there is no degree of separation. And the saints of God can show us the way to find this relationship, this 'Coram Deo,' being in the presence of God.

The Day God Ran

Tuesday March 05, 2013
In his message for the 4th Sunday in Lent, the Rev. William Flippin Jr. offers a fresh perspective on the parable of the prodigal son, showing us a God who loves us so much he runs to meet us.

Blessed Assurances

Tuesday June 14, 2011
As the church observes Trinity Sunday, the Rev. William E. Flippin Jr. explores the riches of Romans 5:1-5, and helps us find assurance of our eternal relationship with God through Christ.

When Christ Shows Up

Tuesday June 07, 2011
On Pentecost Sunday, the church celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Rev. William E. Flippin Jr. guides us into experiencing God's peace, power and purpose through the Spirit within.

Articles by The Rev. Dr. William E. Flippin, Jr.

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Bill Flippin Jr.: Matthew 2:13-23: Significance of Jesus' early years

Tuesday January 10, 2017
Threat to the life of a child intended for some important destiny is a common enough feature of ancient narratives. In the book of Exodus a familiar story of destiny is found in the threat to life of the infant Moses.

The Rev. William Flippin Jr.: The Terror of Advent

Friday November 27, 2015
We begin the Advent Season this coming Sunday and a new liturgical year and it is hard for me to have holiday cheer. The Macy's Christmas Tree has been lit, egg nog are beginning to fill up in grocery stores, the sounds bells whistles of Christmas are upon us in light of the deadliest attack from ISIS in Paris, France since World War II that killed 129 people. This act of terrorism has made us question the warm and fuzzy feeling we should have during this prelude to Christmas.

William Flippin Jr.: Numbers 11:24-30: Prophecy On the Margins

Friday August 21, 2015
Through the beginning of time in society, workplace and what we know as the institutional church, there are those who are on the 'inside' and those who are on the outside. Prophecy on the Margins informs us that prophetic revelation, a spiritual harvest can occur in the most unlikely place and person.

William Flippin Jr.: Acts 9:36-43: Roman or Catholic?

Tuesday March 24, 2015
The first-century church was full of catholics. Not Roman Catholics, but catholics -- people devoted to good works and acts of charity. There are over 50 million Roman Catholics in the United States alone which is an impressive number despite the Protestant impetus that shaped and defined our country. But there are many more non-Roman Catholic Christians who nevertheless fall into one of two categories: Roman or catholic. You are one, or you are the other.

Bill Flippin Jr.: Paul's Cruciform Discourse in 2 Corinthians

Saturday February 21, 2015
No letter stresses cruciformity as the norm in existence in Christ more than found in 2 Corinthians. The emphasis is found in the suffering and comfort, affliction and consolation which Paul basis this letter.

William Flippin Jr.: Martin Luther and the Libraries: The Shaping of Sola Scriptura

Thursday October 30, 2014
We celebrate the German Reformer Martin Luther, who welcomed those moments when learning could be given to the masses in developing free thought from Sola Scriptura and the development of the priesthood of all believers.

William Flippin Jr.: Was Jesus a Grassroots Community Organizer?

Sunday September 14, 2014
I believe that Jesus was very deliberate in his portrayal as a community organizer by being aware of the social forces he set in motion in defining the concepts of discipleship, community and love.

William Flippin Jr.: Power in Collective Parish Development: Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7

Thursday September 04, 2014
The prophet calls us to get involved in the welfare of the city, for the city's welfare is ours. There's no way around it. There's no escaping this connection. Our hometown should have no better citizens than we!

William Flippin Jr.: A Love Fundamentalist: Mark 2:23-3:6

Saturday June 21, 2014
Most of us are fundamentalists about fundamentalism. We think we are either fundamentally against it or fundamentally for it. But contrary to what some of us may think, 'fundamentalism' isn't the private domain of one group of people. 'Fundamentalists' can be found in all walks of life.

William Flippin Jr.: Luke 1:39-45(46-55): The Other Side of the Tray

Wednesday December 18, 2013
Waitresses. They're hauling heavy trays. Crashing into co-workers. Being poked and grabbed and yelled at. Having to smile and be nice to rude customers. Receiving lousy tips. It can be a brutal way to make a buck. Welcome to life on the other side of the tray.

William Flippin Jr.: Was Jesus Homeless?

Friday December 13, 2013
Last week, I was walking down the streets of Atlanta and almost tripped over a homeless man living literally on the streets. It was not at all surprising that in the hustle and bustle of the movers and shakers of this international city he was overlooked but that I wondered for a moment in light of my almost breaking my neck "What if Jesus was homeless?"

Pastor William Flippin Jr.: Psalm 15: God's Tent Rules

Thursday September 05, 2013
Tents: a training ground for right living. I am still very excited that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America adopted the social statement of The Church and Criminal Justice: Hearing the Cries. The statement was adopted at the 2013 Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh by a vote of 882 to 25 on August 16th, 2013.

Pastor Bill Flippin: Faith's Two Prison Positions

Friday August 23, 2013
Last week the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America witnessed many significant moments in its churchwide assembly held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The delegates of this assembly elected its first female presiding bishop, who will be the spiritual shepherd of 4 million Lutherans (ELCA) Notwithstanding to this; the highlight of the assembly was our overwhelming endorsement of the social statement concerning criminal justice.

The Rev. Bill Flippin Jr.: Saved by a Superman (Mark 5:21-43)

Thursday June 27, 2013
As a child, Superman I-IV, especially II were some of my favorite movies ever. It was the first movie that allowed me to dream and wish that I could be like Christopher Reeves and jump large buildings in a single bound. Some 25 years later as a minister, I can't help to see in the new recently release Superman movie obvious religious correlations related to the life of Jesus Christ.

Bill Flippin: Onward Christian Hell-Busters (Matthew 10:40-42)

Sunday May 26, 2013
Why haven't you been to hell? We aren't called to live in hell. We are called to live in heaven. But as Dante found out, you can't get to heaven without going through hell first.

Bill Flippin: Naked Young Man and the Easter Angel in the Gospel of Mark - Mark 14:51-52

Sunday March 31, 2013
The view of disciples abandoning Jesus at his loneliest hour is affirmed in all the Gospels. However, I believe, in looking closely at some Greek words, that Mark's intention as a Gospel writer, showing that this man dressed in a white robe had a secret message -- a prevalent theme in Mark of the rebirth of humanity that was naked in sin.

Bill Flippin: Thoughts for Ash Wednesday: The Dirt on David

Tuesday February 12, 2013
David is one of my favorite characters in the Bible and a statue in Florence of him gives us perfect insight into the character of David, a man after God's own heart, who got dirtied by pride and sin. Only confession and repentance could clean him up and restore him to the greatness of the man who was a giant-killer.

The Rev. William Flippin Jr.: God, You Are My Preservation: Thoughts on the Presidential Election

Tuesday November 06, 2012
Today we are engaged in the election of Mitt Romney or reelection of our current President, Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. This election has been the most tense and anticipated since I begin watching Presidential elections in 1988. It is a clear divide among American voters and the Presidential candidates.

The Rev. Bill Flippin: They Disagree, Divide, and Double

Monday August 20, 2012
Despite the realities of dwindling numbers of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Spirit of God is on the move.

The Rev. Bill Flippin: Olympic Peace

Friday July 27, 2012
When people come together in London from different races, cultures and nationalities, peace is not going to be found in a spectacular opening ceremony. When people of differing ages, sexes, educational levels, professions and political orientations gather in a church sanctuary, unity is not created by a well-planned service of worship.

The Rev. Bill Flippin: All Will Be Judged, By God's Law or Theirs

Monday July 09, 2012
From a jail in Birmingham, Ala., Martin Luther King Jr. discussed civil disobedience, noting that "there are two kinds of laws: just and unjust" and that there is a "natural law" to which we are subject. He was right: We shouldn't say we know right and wrong only because "the Bible says so."

The Rev. William Flippin Jr.: Structural Marginality in the Parable of the Sheep and Goats (Matt. 25:31-46)

Sunday July 01, 2012
In the Gospel of Matthew there are instances where one sees structural marginalization for those who are considered "outsiders." In the other Gospels, Jesus is very much present in the community as an advocate of social change.

William Flippin Jr.: Whose House Are You Building: The Message of Haggai

Tuesday June 19, 2012
For Haggai, the bottom line for a place of worship was not about how it was constructed or how it looked, but who was there. Whether it's a tent, a temple or a truck, the key architectural criterion for sacred space is that it is a place where God's "spirit abides among you"

William Flippin, Jr.: Witness for the Execution

Friday June 15, 2012
In our recent Synod Assembly held in Atlanta, our body passed a resolution regarding the abolition of the Death Penalty. In this we have resolved as a collective body to encourage and seek dialogue within our given contexts in presenting a unified voice of opposition to the death penalty, seeking legislative and judicial change.

The Rev. William Flippin, Jr.: Learn Your Bible ABCs

Monday May 14, 2012
It is time we took seriously our Christbody responsibility to "learn the ABCs" -- learn "About the Bible in Church." Unless we read it, study it, learn what's in it and feel comfortable with it in our hands and on our tongues, we cannot truly love the Word of God.

The Rev. William Flippin: When Offers You a Job

Thursday April 19, 2012
Career-conscious Christians, listen up! Is Jesus calling us to re-evaluate how we are spending our time, our lives and our careers? Is he challenging us to break down and bust up the barrier between office and vocation, between what we do for a living and what we do to serve God?

The Rev. William Flippin Jr.: No Kosher Jesus

Monday April 09, 2012
Alternative versions of Christianity seem to emerge in every generation, but every variation eventually bumps up against the traditional view of Jesus' nature and is assigned an unorthodox alternative not so much by the decisions of councils but by the depth and strength of the traditional biblical view itself. So what's the big deal?

The Rev. William Flippin Jr.: "Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner" Not Enough

Monday April 02, 2012
I am very disappointed in the church particularly that has used in Christian circles around the country "hate the sin, love the sinner" perspective as a 'Christian approach to homosexuality. We must share God's grace at work in our spiritual lives and in our communities of faith.

The Rev. William Flippin Jr.: The Resignation of Eve

Thursday March 22, 2012
There is a natural, and deliberate movement by women of the church to challenge the system of sexism and collectively demand that their gifts not be ignored any longer.

BlackVoices Preach! William Flippin Jr. on Jesus' "Occupy Temple" Protests

Monday March 12, 2012
In this week's BlackVoices Preach installment, Rev. William Flippin Jr. writes about Jesus' "Occupy Temple" protests in a Lenten sermon.

BlackVoices Preach! Rev. William Flippin Jr.: Celebrate the Feast of Absalom Jones

Monday February 13, 2012
In this week's BlackVoices Preach! the Rev. William Flippin Jr. writes, "Absalom Jones' spirit of independence is an example to all those of African descent in liturgical traditions. Our Christian experience commits us to the view that there is no greater source of strength in the struggle of justice, equality and human dignity than faith in Jesus Christ."

Rev. William Flippin Jr.: Antioch: A Multicultural Church

Sunday January 29, 2012
I am always fascinated by the place where Christians were first given their name. This place, although sometimes overlooked in obscurity, was known as Antioch.

The Rev. William Flippin Jr.: When Does Worship Happen?

Thursday January 26, 2012
Worship happens wherever God is radically present, and the result is unplanned, unrehearsed, and uncontrollable.

Video by The Rev. Dr. William E. Flippin, Jr.

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Day1 Book Launch Party Video

Saturday December 12, 2020
Day1 presents a video Book Launch Party for the new book, "Bread Enough for All: A Day1 Guide to Life," published by Church Publishing, Inc. Join Day1 host Peter Wallace and seven outstanding preachers/church leaders who share their sermon excerpts from the book and engage in conversation and Q&A: Joanna M. Adams, Anna Carter Florence, William Flippin Jr., Juan Carlos Huertas, Micah Jackson, Charley Reeb, and Ozzie Smith Jr.

Bill Flippin Jr.: Door Wars

Monday October 20, 2014
Pastor Bill Flippin Jr. believes the church can learn something from Detroit's truck door wars, and begin opening new doors for all. Watch this powerful Day1 Reflection.

The Rev. William Flippin, Jr. - Day1 Conversations With Peter Wallace

Friday June 17, 2011
This week Day1 host Peter Wallace sits down with the Rev. William Flippin Jr. to discuss his ministries, ranging from helping the poor in Liberia to ministering to U.S. troops at Fort Benning, GA, how he and all of his brothers came to the ministry, the diversity at St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church in Columbus, GA, where he serves, and much more. Join us for a conversation of faith and hope only from Day1.