Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference Elects New Co-Chair




Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc.

With Vision... By Faith... Through Action






Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference Elects

New Co-Chair



PRESS RELEASE                                                               

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        

The Board of Trustees of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc, (SDPC) elected the Honorable Rev. Wendell Griffen to the position of Co-chair, succeeding the Rev. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III, who was recently appointed to be the president and CEO of Rainbow/PUSH.

Dr. Haynes, a co-founder of SDPC, served as a co-chair of the organization from its inception 20 years ago.

Griffen, a retired Arkansas jurist with a quarter century of experience as a state court appellate and trial judge, is also the pastor of New Millennium Church of Little Rock, Arkansas, and the CEO of Griffen Strategic Consulting, PLLC. He has been a member of the SDPC Board of Trustees since 2014.

A native Arkansan reared near the rural southwest Arkansas community of Delight (Pike County), Griffen attended racially segregated public schools until the fall of 1965. After graduating from Delight High School in 1968, he attended the University of Arkansas, graduating in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Distinguished Military Graduate Distinction. He graduated in 1979 from the University of Arkansas School of Law, where he was associate editor of the Arkansas Law Review.

He was a partner in the law firm of Wright, Lindsey, and Jennings, and was appointed to be Chairman of the Arkansas Worker’s Compensation Commission in 1985 by then-governor Bill Clinton. He was later appointed to the Arkansas Court of Appeals by Governor Jim Guy Tucker, a position he held until 2008.

A prolific writer, he is the author of three online blogs and a book, The Fierce Urgency of Prophetic Hope, published by Judson Press (2017). A new book, Politics, Parables, and Prophetic Faith, published by Good Faith Media and co-authored with South African Liberation theologian Allan Boesak is due to be released in late 2023.

Rev. Dr. Iva Carruthers, general secretary of SDPC, said, “We are blessed to have Judge Griffen as our new co-chair. He has been a stellar member of the board, coming with ideas and strategies to help us move forward, especially during this post-Covid pandemic phase of our existence when many non-profits are having to plot new courses of action to deal with a changing landscape. He is more than qualified to handle the new and emerging challenges of these times.”

Dr. Haynes, who will remain on the board, also voiced his support. “This job is not easy, but I believe the Board made a wise choice in electing Judge Griffen to this position. He has a love for social justice and the tenacity to do the difficult things that are often needed to make a stubborn system listen. SDPC, with Judge Griffen and co-chair Bishop Leah Daughtry, is in good hands.”

Bishop Leah Daughtry, who has served as co-chair with Haynes since 2020 agreed that Griffen brings a lot to the table to do the work SDPC is charged to do. “We are blessed to have him,” she said. “I look forward to working with him as we all work to maintain and increase the contributions and the impact SDPC makes upon faith leaders and congregations across the country in the quest for justice.”

Griffen’s tenure as Co-chair begins immediately.

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For information, call,

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith

(614) 216-8725

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