A third-generation warrior for civil and human rights, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III, has built his ministry  on community advancement and racial and social justice activism. As Senior Pastor of Trinity  United Church of Christ in Chicago, Ill., since 2008, Dr. Moss routinely preaches and practices a  Black theology that unapologetically calls attention to the problems of mass incarceration,  environmental justice, and economic inequality. 

Dr. Moss’ latest book project, Dancing in the Darkness: Spiritual Lessons for Thriving in Turbulent  Times, released in November 2022, has been lauded as a “life-affirming guide to the practical,  political, and spiritual challenges of our day.” Utilizing the scholarship of Dr. Martin Luther King,  Jr., and Howard Thurman, alongside biblical texts, a bevy of religious traditions, Black culture,  and his own personal experiences, Dr. Moss offer up a methodology on performing spiritual  resistance by uniting two pillars of his ministry: love and justice. 

Dr. Moss is part of a generation of ministers committed to preaching a prophetic message of  love and justice, which he believes are inseparable companions that form the foundation of the  Gospel of Jesus Christ. As part of his community engagement through Trinity United Church of  Christ, Dr. Moss is currently providing vision for an ongoing-multi-year social project in Chicago  called Imani Village. The goal of Imani Village is to develop and build a physical and social  community at 95th & Cottage Grove, gateway to Chicago’s Pullman Community. The project is  designed to provide all of the components a community would need to be whole, including a  medical health center, lodging for tourists, housing for multiple generations, multiple options  for fresh food and vegetables, and a sports and recreation center. 

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Moss is an honors graduate of Morehouse College who earned a  Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Chicago  Theological Seminary. He returned to Yale in 2014 to present the famed Lyman Beecher  lectures. The three-day event included an in-depth discourse on the subject of “The Blue Note  Gospel: Preaching the Prophetic Blues in a Post Soul World.” The lectures, which demonstrated  a homiletic blueprint for prophetic preaching in the 21st century, were the foundation of his  book, Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul World: Finding Hope in an Age of Despair

Dr. Moss has a passion for preaching, which led him back to the classroom. As a visiting lecturer  of homiletics at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology, Dr. Moss helped up-and-coming  preachers build and strengthen their own preaching ministries. In 2022, Dr. Moss was named a  professor of homiletics at McAfee, where he continues to teach the next generation of  preachers. 

In addition to being an author and educator, Dr. Moss is also founder and CEO of the  Unashamed Media Group, established in 2012. The production company is a faith based social  justice collective, dedicated to curating stories to inspire the heart and challenge structures that  hinder human flourishing. The Group’s award-winning production, Otis’ Dream, is a narrative  documentary short film, highlighting Otis Moss, Sr.’s 1946 attempt to vote in Troup County,  Ga. The film has not only been featured on Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday, The Joy Reid  Show and Roland Martin Unfiltered, but it is also the winner of eight film festival awards in the  United Kingdom and the United States. Festival awards include, best narrative short, best  documentary short, best musical score, best actor and audience favorite. Currently Unashamed 

Media is in pre-production for a feature length version of Otis’ Dream

With a unique gift to communicate across generations, Dr. Moss’ creative bible-based messages  have inspired young and old alike. His intergenerational preaching gift has made Dr. Moss a  popular speaker on college campuses, at conferences, and churches across the globe. He is  highly influenced by the works of Zora Neale Hurston, August Wilson, Howard Thurman, Jazz,  and Hip-Hop music. The work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the pastoral ministry  of his father, Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. of Cleveland, Ohio, have been primary mentors for his spiritual  formation. 

Over the years a number of awards and honors have been bestowed upon Dr. Moss. Two such  honors are: 

  • Baylor University’s Truett School Theology recognized Dr. Moss as one of the 12 most  effective preachers in the English-speaking world. 
  • Presbyterian College, Clinton, S.C., Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur Ga., and  Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, Ga., jointly awarded Dr. Moss the inaugural  Harrington Prize for young preachers. This distinction recognizes young ministers who  have shown evidence of distinguished examples of preaching, evangelism, community  service, and the promise of future contributions. 

Dr. Moss is the former pastor of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga., his first  pastorate, where the church grew from 125 members to over 2100 disciples during his tenure.  

His earlier publications include: Redemption in a Red Light District, and The Gospel According to  the Wiz: And Other Sermons from Cinema. He co-authored The Gospel Re-Mix; How to Reach  the Hip-Hop Generation with three other contributors, and Preach! The Power and Purpose  Behind Our Praise, with his father. His sermons, articles, and poetry have appeared in several  print and online publications, including Sojourners Magazine and The African American Pulpit  Journal. 

Dr. Moss is an ordained minister in the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the United  Church of Christ. In addition to his other ministerial duties, he also serves as chaplain of the  Children’s Defense Fund’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Child Advocacy Conference. 

He is married to his college sweetheart, the former Monica Brown of Orlando, Fla., a Spelman  College and Columbia University graduate. They are the proud parents of two creative and  humorous young adults, Elijah Wynton and Makayla Elon.