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Rev. Lainie Dowell

Black Liberation Theology’s Unsung Whistleblower

By —— Bio and Archives--July 6, 2010

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imageNow that Rev. Jeremiah Wright has resurfaced, it won’t be long before Rev. Lainie Dowell is back knocking on his hate-spewing door.

A five-fold Baptist minister whose crusade against Black Liberation Theology goes back decades, the reverend had Jeremiah Wright in her sights long before the behind-the-times mainstream media came screeching up to the plate.

As far as is known, the self-identified “half African Black, half Cherokee” who came up the hard way through Black Baptist politics, was the first to blow the whistle on Oprah and Obama using the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago for “personal gain”.  “Winfrey had the sense to get out early, leaving Wright furious,” she says.

The practitioners of BLT, including the President of the United States, only talk about their audacity, the firebrand minister from Maryland actually uses hers.

“As I recall, it was during the 1990s when I wrote to Oprah Winfrey about the problem in the Black Baptist Church in America and the NAACP and I asked her to investigate.  I never received a response from Winfrey’s show which is produced in Chicago, Illinois,” Rev. Dowell wrote. (RFFM.Org, May 7, 2008).

In 1985, Rev. Dowell was a preacher at the First Baptist Church of Guilford (FBCG) in Columbia, MD.  The Pastor at the time was Rev. John L. Wright (no relation to the infamous Jeremiah Wright), but both were black Baptist ministers promoting the same Black Liberation Theology.

At this stage in her career Winfrey was a noted celebrity in Baltimore, MD, at Channel 13, on a television show called, People Are Talking, with Richard Scherr.  In those days   Winfrey was a resident of Columbia, MD.

In 1986, just before Oprah announced she was leaving Maryland to go to Chicago, she was invited to speak at an evening service at the church where Rev. Dowell was a preacher.

“I never saw anything like it,” Rev. Dowell recalls.  “When Oprah arrived, she was escorted down the center aisle of our church.  She had on dark sunglasses and the feathers from her sweater were blowing around her face, as she strutted down the aisle.  She was escorted to the pulpit and delivered a message (not a sermon) pretty much in the way she acted in the movies with the “cullod” accent.  I don’t know how I could have forgotten that, but it just came back to me during a recent Greta Van Susteren interview of Allison Samuels, a Newsweek reporter.  Samuels recently wrote a feature for Newsweek which detailed why Winfrey left the Trinity United Church of Christ.  Of late, the Chicago church has dominated news coverage because of its fiery leader, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his relationship with Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama.

“I guess my question is—How could Oprah Winfrey have been a member of Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright’s Church since 1984, when she was living in Maryland and appearing daily on a local television show?”

imageThis is vintage Rev. Lainie Dowell, letting the cat out of the bag even though the risk is that the cat may come out spitting and snarling.

While Winfrey had all the advantages of bringing in the sheaves, boob-tube style, Rev.  Dowell is the unsung hero and a sort of rebel for all hopeless causes.

A quintessential whistleblower herself, The Lady of the Cloth went on to blow her whistle, being among the first to call on Obama every time he dropped the race card.  Don’t ever drop the race card around Rev. Dowell, lest she pick it up and confront you with it.

That the mainstream media give her the snub hasn’t stopped her in her well-trodden tracks.

There are plenty of junkyard dogs on the Reverend’s home turf, but the junkyard dogs won’t ever stop her from her hobby of trying to rescue underdogs.

She was the first woman licensed to preach by the late Rev. John L. Wright in 1985.  The First Baptist Church of Guilford, at that time had celebrated an 87-year-old history, and is the proud founder of the “Firebrands-of-the-Lord Christian Clergywomen” online.

Advocates of BLT may have power and money, this reverend’s ammunition comes from “not (being) ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, continuing through life “Fearless of any man, woman or child”  and a confirmed “Free-thinker in Jesus”, her “Lord and Personal Savior”.

The Daughters of Eve Website describe Rev. Dowell as “a modern-day sojourner, Rosa, Harriett, because she has continued the fight on the front lines without the support and voice of many Christian preachers (male or female).  She has continued fostering credibility for the black woman clergy in the church and all clergywomen around the world.

“She is a David (even though very much a woman).  Injustice in the church is 
Goliath (male or female).  “Giants do die! Mountains do move and get out of her way.  People do come down off of their self appointed thrones in their little kingdoms.  God alone is Sovereign.”

A mother and grandmother and godmother to the overwhelmed, the reverend is a self-taught piano player and a self-taught artist of pastels,  who has written and composed an unpublished Christian Musical Play.

There are those who may find Rev. Dowell strong medicine in the “Column Department”.  In fact in her latest she defends Michael Steele, and the late Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) as “the last living U.S. Statesman”.

Youthful both in countenance and approach, her enemies can’t expect to be rid of the in-yer’-face Lainie any time soon.

She’s a drop of Tabasco in a bland chicken pot pie.

Indeed, when it comes to Jesus, if fire and brimstone could be caricatured in a single form, it would look a lot like Rev. Lainie Dowell.

Judi McLeod -- Bio and Archives | Comments

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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh,, Drudge Report,

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