The Center for the Study of African American Religious Life

Explore Initiative

Through promoting innovative scholarship, producing public programs, and collecting religious artifacts, the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life will expand the ways religion is acknowledged and explored by our nation’s research and cultural institutions.

Religion has served a central role in shaping African American history and culture, yet it receives little attention or study in our nation’s museums. The Center will provide a critical platform of resources and convening opportunities to a global community of faith and religious leaders, publics, and scholars.

Recovering the Bones: African American Material Religion and Religious Memory


On Friday, October 27th through Saturday, October 28th the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life will host a formal academic conference of 13 invited scholars with a focus on material religion within African American history and culture.

Please visit the conference page to learn more and register to join us.

Programs


The Center for the Study of African American Religious Life organizes public events that explore religion’s place in African American history and culture and the contemporary roles and needs of faith leaders, organizations, and African American communities.

Visit the Museum's calendar of events for a list of upcoming programs and follow our UStream channel to watch archives of our past programs.

Our Staff


Eric Williams, Ph.D. is the Curator of Religion in the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life. Williams is responsible for assisting with collections, programs, research, exhibits, publications, and other activities for the Center.  Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from the McCormick Theological Seminary, the Master of Divinity degree from Duke University and a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Religious Studies from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom.

Williams has taught history, religion and African American Studies at several institutions including: Western Theological Seminary; Ashland Theological Seminary (Detroit); Iowa State University; Grandview University; Boston College; and Harvard University. Williams’ current research examines the meaning of religion within African American history and culture, and the role and influences of African religions in the Atlantic world.


Teddy R. Reeves, M.Div. is the Museum Specialist of Religion in the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life. Reeves is responsible for conducting research, assisting in collecting artifacts, exhibits and planning public programs, and faith-based community outreach. Reeves comes to the Museum from Calvary Baptist Church, where he served as the Executive Pastor, and Princeton Theological Seminary, where he served as the Program Administrator for the Center for Black Church Studies, respectfully.

In addition, Reeves has served as a high school English teacher at two prestigious independent schools and, as a fundraising consultant for a large philanthropic firm. Reeves graduated from Hampton University with a bachelor’s in English, obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Administration and Supervision at Fordham University Graduate School of Education.


Kim Moir serves as Public Programing Specialist in the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life. He is responsible for coordinating and conducting public programs and outreach activities for the Center. Additionally, Moir will conduct research and gather information through technology, social media and online in order to make artifacts and histories available through digital technologies, web features, and digital storytelling. Moir comes to NMAAHC from Fairfax County Government where he served as a Media Technician.

In addition, Moir has worked as a videographer/editor for PBS – Baltimore, and is a nationally distributed producer, director, screenwriter and filmmaker who has produced hundreds of news and documentary feature stories as well as a feature film. Moir holds a B.A. in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University. 

Explore the Collection

Discover objects from our collection that help to expand the ways religion is acknowledged and explored.