Reverend Martha Simmons is an associate minister at Rush Memorial United Church of Christ in Atlanta, Georgia. For more than 27 years she has preached throughout America and in Africa, and served in a variety of ministerial capacities. For the past twenty years, her primary ministry has been the codification, preservation, and elevation of African American preaching for present and future generations. Through this work, she is providing homiletical models and approaches to ministry that promote excellence in African American preaching and ministry.
Reverend Simmons also has developed a reputation for being a mentor to young clergy (having assisted more than 25 young clergy in becoming senior pastors), and she is a life-coach to numerous Senior Pastors. Notable Projects that she has created include The Women of Color in Ministry Project (www.WomenofColorinMinistry.org); The African American Online Lectionary, which she also directs (www.TheAfricanAmericanLectionary.org); and for 13 years she has served as President and Executive Editor of The African American Pulpit Journal (informally known as TAAP).
Rev. Simmons has arisen as the spokesperson for the codification of African American preaching. Her writings, lectures, and workshops have made her a homiletics authority, and she has served as a guest instructor for numerous seminaries and divinity schools. Co-editor of These Sisters Can Say It, Vol. 2, she is the author of Doing the Deed: The Mechanics of Twenty-First Century Preaching, and is one of two general editors of Preaching with Sacred Fire: African American Sermons 1750 to the Present, an historic 960-page offering, the only Anthology of African American preaching. She also co-edited 9.11.01 African American Leaders Respond to An American Tragedy.
Rev. Simmons received a Bachelor of Science degree from Bradley University in Peoria, IL; a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University, Candler School of Theology; a JD from New College of California School of Law; and she has completed all classes for the Th.D. at Boston University. During her twenty-seven-plus years in ministry, she has received numerous awards and citations for her non-profit work with civic and social organizations, and was a 2013 Inductee of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel College of Ministers and Laity.