June 19, 2022

Parking Lot Series #1 | Episode 37

This episode we focus on the change in direction of some churches to now take on the issues of Mental Health and Emotional Wellness in their congregations.

Parking Lot Series focuses on topics raised during the Community Trainings that warrant attenti


This episode we focus on the change in direction of some churches to now take on the issues of Mental Health and Emotional Wellness in their congregations. 

We also discuss why there are so few churches willing to have these types of dialogues and challenges faced by those who attempt to introduce these types of services within the church.

Parking Lot Series focuses on topics raised during the Community Trainings that warrant attention outside the in person training.

Rev. Garland Davis Higgins is an author of Teen Girls, My Soul Speaks, as well as the Executive Pastor/Director of Christian Education at Antioch AME Church in Stone Mountain, GA. 

Dr. Scott Thumma is a Professor of Sociology of Religion and Director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research at Hartford International University.

Scott L. Thumma-Online Articles and Writings
http://hirr.hartsem.edu/about/thumma_writings.htm

Rev. Garland Higgins
https://www.linkedin.com/in/garland-higgins-a748a116b/

Scott Thumma Profile Photo

Scott Thumma

Professor, Director of Hartford Institute for Religion Research

Scott Thumma is Professor of Sociology of Religion and director of Hartford Institute for Religion Research, Hartford International University. He has published numerous articles, research reports, and chapters in addition to 3 books, The Other 80 Percent, Beyond Megachurch Myths, and Gay Religion. Scott has written on megachurches, gay religious life, nondenominationalism, Internet technology in churches, and the changing religious landscape. He is Principal Investigator for 5-year Lilly Endowment grant studying the impact of the pandemic on churches, a Thriving in Ministry grant, and the Faith Communities Today project. Additionally, he has conducted 7 studies of megachurches and 3 studies of nondenominational churches.

Garland Higgins Profile Photo

Garland Higgins

Rev

Rev. Garland Davis Higgins is an author and civic leader whose passion rests on loving God and God’s people particularly those counted as “the least of these” (Mt 25:31-46). As a native of Hartford, Connecticut, Rev Higgins honed her passion for building relationships as a student in the Windsor Public Schools. She continued her higher education at Howard University (BA), Regent University (MA), and Yale University School of Divinity (M.Div). In 2013, she relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. Currently, she is a candidate for the Doctorate in Ministry in May 2023 from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur. Her dissertation project title is “The Mystery of Black Folks Mourning in Slavery: The Historic Denial of Grief and Its Effects on African Americans in the Church Today”.

For the past 22 years, she has dedicated her life to ordained ministry. As an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Rev. Higgins currently serves as the Executive Pastor/Director of Christian Education at Antioch AME Church in Stone Mountain, GA. She writes Bible Study, Sunday School, and Vacation Bible School curriculums which she shares with other churches.

Rev. Higgins’ civic leadership shines most notably through her membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., her non-profit organization God’s Glorious Girls, Inc., along with her previous work with the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the American Red Cross. She served as Chaplain for the WNBA Connecticut Sun and Deputy Chaplain for the Connecticut House of Representatives. Some of her previous commitments were Pastor of Bethel Mission AME Church in Hartford, CT; Served for 7 years as the Coordinator for New England Conference Women in Ministry; Board Member of Wilson/Gray YMCA in Hartford, CT; and, Board Member of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She is the author of a book for teen girls, My Soul Speaks: Inspirations from Life’s Experiences; and co-author of Bishop Morris Brown: The Invisible Man of the A.M.E. Church along with retired Connectional Officer, Dr. Thomas L. Bess.

She has a passion for social justice issues, in particular mass incarceration, wrongful convictions, abolishing the death penalty, and racial injustice. She serves on the Social Action Commission for Antioch AME Church and the Atlanta East District. She volunteers for Equal Justice Initiative in efforts to challenge racial injustice by sharing, retweeting, and regramming their social media posts.

She also has other interests that she gives of her time. She is an Independent Sales Director for Mary Kay which serves as another opportunity for ministry in her quest to enrich women’s lives; and, offers writing/editing services through her business, The Write Story, by coaching those who would like to write a book or other publications. Her website for The Write Story is IamGarlandDanielle.com

Most importantly, she is the proud mother of an adult daughter, Perri Higgins, who is a graduate of Hampton University and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated; and, adoptive mother to her adult niece, Khalina Davis, who has two sons - Ayden and Zander. She loves God and God’s people and has a heart for ministry.