African American pastor Dr. Carl Manuel will continue to lead Burkhead UMC

Dr. Carl Manuel

African American pastor Dr. Carl Manuel will continue to lead Burkhead UMC
July 03
01:45 2019

Burkhead United Methodist Church, 5250 Silas Creek Parkway, will be led by Dr. Carl Manuel for another year. Manuel is the first African American preacher in the history of the church and will be heading into his third year in that capacity.

Manuel has made the most of his time here in Winston-Salem. He is vice chairman of the education committee of the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity, as well as being a constant supporter for equal education in the city.

Manuel’s goal was to make a difference in the city, especially in the area of education, so to be reaffirmed at the church was a blessing.

“I was excited about it and glad to return as the pastor here at Burkhead,” said Manuel about returning for another year. “This will allow me to do more here at the church and especially in the community, in regard to education with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School system.”

Education is important for Manuel because he feels it’s only fair that every child has the same educational opportunities as the next.

“Our young people are not getting equal services in our schools, especially low-income youth and communities and I think it’s wrong,” he said. “I think that every child and every student in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School system, needs to have equal support.”

Being the first African American pastor at Burkhead, Manuel says the all-white congregation has treated him very well. He says they continue to back him with any idea he brings up.

“I show love and respect to each member and I make sure I represent as one of God’s shepherds,” he said. “The most important thing for me is serving every member of the church. I want them to realize through my actions that I am a pastor that cares for them, has love for them, and is here to support them.

Manuel says the time has “flown by so quickly” since he first arrived here in Winston-Salem. “It feels like I just got here yesterday,” he said.

In the Methodist church, pastoral appointments are yearly, so Manuel could be moved at any time. He said pastors normally stay at a location for about four or five years, but that is not always the case. His hopes are to stay with Burkhead for several more years.

While here, one of Manuel’s goals is to bring in a younger crowd to the congregation. He realizes the current members are getting older and yearns to attract younger members.

“I have put together a long-range planning committee, which we are looking to develop some activities and ministries that will get the attention of millennials, so they will come in and join the church,” he continued.  

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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