In tribute to his devoted ministry and exemplary work toward creating social and racial justice, Pastor Kelly Chatman was honored with the Race, Church, Change Award at Luther Seminary on Nov. 1. The Race, Church, Change Award recognizes individuals who have significantly impacted society through multicultural ministry, race relations and reconciliation. Luther Seminary annually presents the award to a person who has heroically served in his or her community with the hope that such recognition will inspire others to similar ministry or improve the world around them.
Chatman has helped congregations,seminary students and his community deal with the realities of racism and community building in a positive way. Through outreach work in his community, Chatman led Redeemer Lutheran Church in Minneapolis’ Hawthorne neighborhood to be a “Church for the Community.” He also developed a Peace Palace, which is a building close to his congregation where young people in the community can go after school and be mentored by adults in their school work and Christian faith development.
Chatman has been a facilitator for cross-cultural experiences for Luther Seminary students for the past four years. He is a model pastor for seminary students in urban settings, teaching them about the challenges that his inner-city church faces. Additionally, Chatman has worked with contextual leadership students at Luther over the past six years. In this role, he helps students see and practice effective urban ministry in a multicultural context. Chatman’s spouse, Dr. Cheryl Chatman, serves on the Luther Seminary Board of Directors.