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Waters, Michael W.

The Reverend Dr. Michael W. Waters is founding pastor of Joy Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Dallas, Texas. As a pastor, professor, author, activist, and social commentator, his words of hope and empowerment inspire national and international audiences.

Featured in EBONY Magazine among America’s emerging leaders, Waters’s keen insights have been engaged upon such esteemed platforms as ABC Nightline, BBC Newsnight, CBS This Morning, CSPAN, MSNBC, The NBC Nightly News, NPR, PBS Newshour, VICE on HBO, The Washington Post, and The Associated Press. He holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees with honors from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Named “Pastor of the Year” at the Center for Theological Activism’s Justice Awards, Waters is a Dallas Business Journal “40 under 40” honoree and a recipient of the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Council on American – Islamic Relation’s 2016 Community Leader of the Year Award. He is also a recipient of Southern Methodist University’s Distinguished Alumni Emerging Leader Award. He is author of the award-winning book Freestyle: Reflections on Faith, Family, Justice, and Pop Culture (Upper Room Books, 2014) and Stakes Is High: Race, Faith, and Hope for America (Chalice Press, 2017), winner of the prestigious 2018 National Wilbur Award in Non-Fiction. His 2019 forthcoming books include For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World (Westminster John Knox Press) and As Your Poets Have Spoken (Chalice Press).

Waters is married to Yulise Reaves Waters, Esq. They are the proud parents of three children.


Books by Michael W. Waters