IMANI COMMUNITY CHURCH

We have faith to change the world.

ABOUT US

The Imani Community Church (ICC) is a progressive African American congregation called and empowered by the Holy Spirit to serve families, communities and the world. The word "Imani" is Swahili meaning "faith" and is a reflection of our belief that as an African American church we must have faith in ourselves, faith in our community, faith in our leaders and especially faith in our God. ICC was founded on December 1, 1996 as congregation that has deep roots both in the land of our African ancestors as well as within the continued struggle for the liberation of African Americans.


OUR PASTORAL TEAM

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Rev. Dr. George C. L. Cummings, Senior Pastor

Rev. George C.L. Cummings, PhD is the founding pastor of the Imani Community Church (American Baptist Churches USA). His ministry has been characterized by his commitment to scholarly work in the area of theology and the African-American religious and cultural tradition, and a commitment to pastoral ministerial praxis as the appropriate context of theological reflection and scholarship.

Pastor Cummings has published two books: Cut Loose Your Stammering Tongue: Black Theology in the Slaves Narratives (1993, Orbis Books), with Dwight Hopkins, and A Common Journey: Black Theology USA and Latin American Liberation Theology (1995, Orbis Books). He is currently working on a third manuscript.

Since the founding of Imani in 1996 Pastor Cummings has empowered the church to expand its vision beyond its’ walls. He is the newly appointed Executive Regional Director of Oakland Community Organizations (OCO), a faith-based community organization dedicated to training leaders to bring about social change. Pastor Cummings also serves as a co-chair of the Ceasefire Steering Committee in Oakland where a partnership of the community, law enforcement and service providers has successfully collaborated to reduce gun violence and homicides.

  Rev. Ronné Wingate Sims,   Executive Minister   Rev. Ronné Wingate Sims serves as Imani's Executive Minister. She oversees many of the administrative functions of the church, supervises ministers in training and leads various projects. Prior to this role, Rev. Ronné spent several years working with children, youth and young adults in both non-profit educational and faith-based settings. She studied at Howard University and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at California State University, East Bay. She earned a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis on Youth, Family and Culture from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2015. While in seminary she was chosen as a Fellow at the Black Theology and Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary.  Rev. Ronné was licensed as a minister of the Gospel in 2011, and was ordained by the American Baptist Churches USA in 2016.  Rev. Ronné is currently a doctoral candidate in The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. Doctor of Ministry program in African Centered Religious Thought and Practice at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. Her doctoral project is entitled, “Embracing the Wisdom of the Ancestors: A Trauma Informed Afrocentric Model of Pastoral Care.” She anticipates graduation in May 2019.

Rev. Ronné Wingate Sims, Executive Minister

Rev. Ronné Wingate Sims serves as Imani's Executive Minister. She oversees many of the administrative functions of the church, supervises ministers in training and leads various projects. Prior to this role, Rev. Ronné spent several years working with children, youth and young adults in both non-profit educational and faith-based settings. She studied at Howard University and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at California State University, East Bay. She earned a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis on Youth, Family and Culture from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2015. While in seminary she was chosen as a Fellow at the Black Theology and Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Rev. Ronné was licensed as a minister of the Gospel in 2011, and was ordained by the American Baptist Churches USA in 2016.

Rev. Ronné is currently a doctoral candidate in The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. Doctor of Ministry program in African Centered Religious Thought and Practice at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. Her doctoral project is entitled, “Embracing the Wisdom of the Ancestors: A Trauma Informed Afrocentric Model of Pastoral Care.” She anticipates graduation in May 2019.

  Min. Terrance Kelly, Minister of Magnification   Min. Terrance serves as Minister of Magnification directing the Voices of Faith and overseeing Kids for Christ (children's choir) and Imani Ya Watume liturgical dance ministry. He has garnered extensive musical credentials in both gospel and jazz music.and is a world renowned director, composer, and arranger.  Min. Terrance serves as Artistic Director for The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir (OIGC). In 1995 he received an Emmy Award for his choral arrangement of OIGC’s KGO-TV public service announcement.  Min. Terrance has traveled as far as Australia and Israel to teach gospel music and, since 1982, has served as Gospel Choir Director for Jazz Camp West, hosted by Living Jazz. In addition to his other endeavors, he is a semi-regular member of the San Francisco Opera Chorus.  His father, the late Ed Kelly, was an esteemed jazz and gospel pianist. His mother, the late Faye Kelly, was a gospel choir director and pianist.

Min. Terrance Kelly, Minister of Magnification

Min. Terrance serves as Minister of Magnification directing the Voices of Faith and overseeing Kids for Christ (children's choir) and Imani Ya Watume liturgical dance ministry. He has garnered extensive musical credentials in both gospel and jazz music.and is a world renowned director, composer, and arranger.

Min. Terrance serves as Artistic Director for The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir (OIGC). In 1995 he received an Emmy Award for his choral arrangement of OIGC’s KGO-TV public service announcement.

Min. Terrance has traveled as far as Australia and Israel to teach gospel music and, since 1982, has served as Gospel Choir Director for Jazz Camp West, hosted by Living Jazz. In addition to his other endeavors, he is a semi-regular member of the San Francisco Opera Chorus.

His father, the late Ed Kelly, was an esteemed jazz and gospel pianist. His mother, the late Faye Kelly, was a gospel choir director and pianist.

    Rev. Gerald “Jamal” Hunter, Minister   Rev. Jamal has been involved with Imani from its earliest beginnings. He accepted the call to ministry in 2000 and later earned a Master of Divinity from the American Baptist Seminaries of the West.  Rev. Jamal oversees the Facilities Ministry and is the pastoral staff liaison to the Men’s Ministry. He teaches Sunday morning Bible Studies and Membership Development Classes.  Rev. Jamal was ordained by the American Baptist Churches USA in 2016.

Rev. Gerald “Jamal” Hunter, Minister

Rev. Jamal has been involved with Imani from its earliest beginnings. He accepted the call to ministry in 2000 and later earned a Master of Divinity from the American Baptist Seminaries of the West.

Rev. Jamal oversees the Facilities Ministry and is the pastoral staff liaison to the Men’s Ministry. He teaches Sunday morning Bible Studies and Membership Development Classes.

Rev. Jamal was ordained by the American Baptist Churches USA in 2016.

  Rev. Rob Newells, Minister   An Oakland native and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Rev. Rob is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in Communication Arts and Sciences and is pursuing a Master of Divinity degree and Certificate of Sexuality and Religion at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Rev. Rob was ordained in 2018.  Rev. Rob is a contributing author to the book  Struggling in Good Faith: LGBTQI Inclusion from 13 American Religious Perspectives  for which he penned the chapter on “The Black Church.”

Rev. Rob Newells, Minister

An Oakland native and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Rev. Rob is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in Communication Arts and Sciences and is pursuing a Master of Divinity degree and Certificate of Sexuality and Religion at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Rev. Rob was ordained in 2018.

Rev. Rob is a contributing author to the book Struggling in Good Faith: LGBTQI Inclusion from 13 American Religious Perspectives for which he penned the chapter on “The Black Church.”