Facts regarding David C. Penn, Ph.D., Senior Minister



Dr. David C. Penn, the son of Robert and Alice Edmonia Kennedy Penn (both of whom are deceased) is the Senior Ministering Evangelist of the Robbins Church of Christ in Robbins, Illinois. Dr. Penn was ordained to the ministry by the late Samuel L. Jordan and has served the Robbins congregation with distinction since October 1984.

Dr. David C. Penn is a former student of the Nashville Christian Institute (NCI) in Nashville, Tennessee, during the tenure of the renowned Marshall Keeble. He is also the nephew of the late Levi Kennedy, Jr., who baptized him into the body of Christ at the Michigan Avenue Church of Christ (now Sheldon Heights Church of Christ) in Chicago, Illinois.                          

Dr. Penn began preaching the gospel at the age of fourteen. He has conducted evangelistic meetings, revival meetings, seminars and workshops, from the Pacific Coast of California, to the Eastern shores of Baltimore, Maryland.  Furthermore, he is a frequent keynote speaker on both National and Regional Lectureships hosted by African American Churches of Christ.

Dr. Penn is Secretary for the Churches of Christ National Lectureship Executive and Advisory Committees; past Chairman of the Churches of Christ Midwest Lectureship; and present Chairman of Academic Affairs for the School of Religious Studies in Little Rock, Arkansas.  He is a co-founder and past Chairman of the Midwest Youth Conference among Churches of Christ; co-founder of the National Crusade for Christ; founder of the Windy City Lectureship among Chicago Churches of Christ; and founder of the Institute of Biblical Studies. Dr. Penn has labored with congregations in Chicago, Illinois; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Cincinnati, Ohio. He attributes his early development as a public speaker to the late Sister Eudora Whitfield of the Michigan Avenue Church of Christ. It was Eudora Whitfield who appointed him to represent the Churches of Christ in Chicago at National Youth Conferences throughout the country. Due to her encouragement and assistance, Dr. Penn became a featured National Youth Conference speaker in the cities of Cleveland, Ohio; Memphis, Tennessee; Nashville, Tennessee; Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; and Los Angeles, California.

Dr. David C. Penn is a graduate of Rochester College; City University (Seattle, Washington); Abilene Christian University; Saint Xavier University; California Coast University; International Seminary; Northwestern Theological Seminary; University of Massachusetts (Dartmouth); and the University of Nebraska (Kearney). His academic portfolio includes a Bachelor of Arts; Master of Education (Curriculum and Instruction); Master of Arts (Educational Administration); Certificate in Civics and Democracy (Harvard University); Master of Religious Education; Graduate Certificate in History; Graduate Certificate in Educational Policy; Superintendent of Schools Certification; a Doctorate in Education; and a Doctorate of Philosophy.

Dr. Penn has performed international graduate study at the University of South Africa in Pretoria, South Africa. He is currently completing the Educational Specialist Program at the University of Missouri with an emphasis in Educational Administration and School Leadership. In the month of July 2010, a Doctorate of Divinity Honoris Causa was conferred upon him by Saint Timothy Theological Institute and in August 2011, Dr. Penn was provisionally accepted into the Doctoral Program of South African Theological Seminary in Rivonia, South Africa.

The first Masters thesis of Dr. David C. Penn was entitled “An Analysis of Perceptions Held by Administrators and Students In One Chicago Public High School Regarding Strategies Used to Prevent High School Students From Dropping Out.” His second Masters thesis was entitled “Why Some Students Who Attend A High School In An Urban Center In the Midwest Choose to Leave School Before Obtaining a High School Diploma.” A third research thesis presented by Dr. Penn to Rochester College was entitled “The Ministry of Discipleship.”

His first unpublished Doctoral dissertation was entitled “A Comparative Analysis and Study of Successful At-Risk Programs for Both At-Risk and Potential High School Dropouts.” His second unpublished dissertation was entitled “An Exposition of Ephesians Chapter 4:11-13 to Determine the Author’s Meaning of Perfecting the Saints for the Work of the Ministry.”

In addition to local congregational ministry, Dr. David C. Penn is licensed in the states of Illinois and Tennessee as a “No Child Left Behind” Social Science educator and administrator. His Secondary and Middle School endorsements include World History, United States History, and African American History. He presently serves as a public Middle School administrator in the South suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, and Professor of Education at Westwood College in Calumet City, Illinois. In the year 2005, Dr. Penn was chosen by Mrs. Phyllis Henry, Chairlady of the Illinois Council for the Social Studies, to serve as a keynote presenter at the Illinois Council for the Social Studies Fall State Conference in Lisle, Illinois.

Dr. Penn is a member of the Phi Delta Kappa [University of Washington Chapter] and Delta Epsilon Tau Honor Societies; Phi Beta Delta [Zeta Kappa Chapter of City University in Seattle, WA]; Kappa Delta Pi [Sigma Theta Chapter of Saint Xavier University in Chicago, IL]; and Phi Alpha Theta [Pi Nu Chapter of the University of Nebraska in Kearney, NE]. He is also a member of the Nancy Lyman Roelkner Scholarship Committee of the American Historical Society in Washington, DC; National Alliance of Black School Educators; National Council for the Social Studies; Illinois Council for the Social Studies; Association for the Study of African American Life and History; Illinois Principals Association; National Association of Elementary School Principals; African Studies Association; and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Dr. David C. Penn is certified by the National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA) and the National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (NACBT) as a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor and Temperament Therapist.

In the year 1981, Dr. Penn had the unique privilege of traveling with Dr. J. S. Winston to Cane Ridge and Lexington, Kentucky, researching the history of the Restoration Movement among the Churches of Christ, the Disciples of Christ, and the Christian Church. Dr. Penn and Dr. Winston had the opportunity to stand in the pulpit of the Cane Ridge meeting house where the Barton W. Stone and Alexander Campbell revival movement began in 1801. This unifying movement is considered to be the first multi-religious gathering indigenous to American soil.

In the year 2005, Dr. Penn authored his first book My Soul Looks Back and Wonders… How I Got Over. His second book The Power of His Penetrating Presence published in 2006, is a compilation of sermons presented by various Ministers at the Churches of Christ 62nd Annual National Lectureship held in Chicago, Illinois.

In February 2011, Dr. Penn was invited to serve as keynote speaker for the Fifth Annual African American Ministers’ “Gallery of Stars International Historical Preservation Banquet” held in New York City, New York. The objective of this program which takes place each year during Black History Month is to acknowledge African American Ministers of the Church of Christ both past and present, for their undying dedication to the prophetic proclamation of the Scripture.

Dr. David C. Penn is married to the former Brenda J. Martin, a native Mississippian whose parents Clyde, Sr., and Doretha Martin are members of the Chatham-Avalon Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois. David and Brenda Penn have two adult daughters who are also professionals in their respective vocations. Dortricia Penn-Dorsey is a Professor of Criminal Justice and former Illinois Assistant States Attorney (now in private practice). Danielle Penn-Willingham is a Secondary Language Arts instructor and aspiring administrator at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Flossmoor, Illinois. In spite of his enormous educational achievements, the real pride and joy of Dr. David C. Penn are his two lovely granddaughters; Rian Danielle Willingham and Kendall Dior Dorsey.

Among the distinguished publications in the fields of academia and religion, Dr. Penn is listed in the 19th and 20th Marquis Edition of “Who’s Who In the Midwest” (Wilmette, IL); “Who’s Who In Society" (Springfield, IL); “American Counseling Association” (Alexandria, VA); “Social Science Education Consortium, Inc.” (Boulder, CO); “Black Preaching Network” and “Two Thousand Notable Americans” (Washington, DC). As an accomplished educator, author, theologian, public school administrator, and historiographer, Dr. Penn has written articles for the Chicago Defender, Chicago Sun Times, and Cincinnati Herald newspapers. He has also written articles for the Revivalist Magazine, the Christian Echo, and the African American Pulpit.



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