Book Detail

HELP! IT STILL HURTS by Dr. Cynthia Hinson Graham


Understanding the Emotional and Spiritual Impact of Pastoral Transition Experienced by Members of African-American Congregations

by Dr. Cynthia Hinson Graham

Pages: 218

Dimensions: 6.69 x 9.61

  • RELIGION - Christian Ministry - General
  • RELIGION - Christian Church - Administration
  • SOCIAL SCIENCE - Black Studies (Global)

Type : Paperback

ISBN : 9781628719529

Price : $20.49

When the relationship between the pastor and the congregation is good, the hope of the congregation is that the pastor never leaves from serving the church. The reality of the Scripture and life reveals that serving a church forever is not possible. Transition is an inevitable phenomenon.
Cynthia Hinson Graham remembers being sad as a child when her pastor did not return to church after his illness. She recalls, “The church never came together as a family to talk about what happened or how they felt.” Forty years later, the senior pastor at her church announced his retirement, but offered no guidance “for the church family to come together and process their reactions or responses to the impending transition.”
In this study, Hinson Graham examines how a congregation deals spiritually and emotionally with the loss of its long-time pastor, as well as how the exiting pastor should prepare for his or her departure. She focuses on five independent African-American churches, which are significant because they were led by a single senior pastor, rather than by a board of governance or denominational order.
During her research, Hinson Graham explored the answers to four core questions: What were the spiritual and emotional responses to the transition of a long-term pastor? How were congregants able to express these feelings? What mindsets were most common when faced with the transition? And what, if any, processes were followed to ease the transition for the church body?
The author acknowledges the logical concern with the reasons for the current pastor’s departure and the uncertainty concerning the incoming pastor, but these are before and after issues. The emotional and spiritual well-being of church members during the transition, however, is of concern here. In a clear and approachable voice, Hinson Graham cites extensive biblical precedents for managing such matters.
“With a vital and necessary focus on the multi-dimensional impact of Transition in the African American Church, Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hinson Graham’s treatise is a ‘must read’ for pastors, congregations, and church leaders!” ~Dr. Dorothy Adams Peck, Sixth International President, Women’s Missionary Society, the African Methodist Episcopal Church
“Enlightening, in-depth, thought-provoking source presenting the unique issues, feelings, and actions surrounding the transitions of pastors to and from African-American Churches; a must read for those who have gone through it and those who will.”  ~Ann Y. Tyler Ed.D.

Author Photo

Cynthia Hinson Graham, D. Min., minister, consultant, educator, and author has served in ministry for more than thirty years. Experiencing church membership since the age of five, personal transition to five churches, and the transition of four pastors has cultivated her passion to help churches to navigate the pastoral transition process spiritually, emotionally, and practically. She may be contacted at or P. O. Box 560187, Orlando, FL 32856-0187. View her website at 

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