Writing in Luminous Darkness

A Conversation with Pastor Wesley Morris

Being a good pastor and writer means bringing one’s whole self to the page, to the sanctuary, and to the community. For Wesley Morris, it also means embracing a “luminous darkness” – a phrase coined by mystic Howard Thurman – as a place of transformation.

In this conversation, Wesley describes his experiences as a chaplain at Harlem Hospital and as a student at Union Theological Seminary, where he studied under Black liberation theologian Dr. James H. Cone and wrote a Master’s thesis titled: “A Dark Faith.” He also discusses his time at the 2014 Writing to Change the World  Collegeville Institute workshop led by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, where participants shared vulnerable writing with one another. Wesley believes that writing can build bridges across our divides, allowing love to travel from one world to another. This kind of writing can shift a conversation and even, possibly, change the world.


Wesley Morris is Senior Pastor of Faith Community Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and Union Theological Seminary (NYC). He is also a dedicated coach, facilitator, speaker, writer, and community organizer who has worked for more than a decade with the Beloved Community Center, home of the nation’s first “Community Truth and Reconciliation Process.” Follow Wesley on social media on Twitter.