Rev. Dr. Barbara Morgan

“I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Dr. Morgan is an ordained Elder and has served as associate pastor of St. Mark, the largest predominately African American United Methodist Church in the Chicago metro area. Prior to joining St. Mark’s ministerial team, she served for several years as the senior pastor of New Gresham and Greenstone United Methodist Churches in Chicago.
Dr. Morgan graduated valedictorian from Lucy Flower High School in Chicago. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Roosevelt University, a Masters in Development of Human Resources from National Louis University, and a Masters of Divinity from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. She completed her Doctorate in Ministry at the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, where she was a James Stein Scholar. Her course of study pertained to women in ministry and liberation theology.
Dr. Morgan is an Advisory Board Member of Kairos Outside Prison Ministry and is a member of SOUL (South-siders Organized for Unity and Liberation). She has served as chaplain at Northwestern Hospital and the Mather Foundation in Evanston. Her mission ministry has included trips to Israel, Greece, and South Africa, where she sought dialogue and liberation for the marginalized and oppressed.
Dr. Morgan’s theology is that we serve a God of the oppressed, that suffering knows no class, cultural, or geographical boundaries, that wherever you find suffering, you will find the Lord Jesus Christ.

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The history of Sherman Methodist’s fellowship in Evanston Township, IL traces its roots back to a small group meeting in the home of Mrs. Lula B. Sherman in 1922 and has continued through the decades as an ongoing community existing in several locations before coming to rest on the corner of Ridge and Noyes in 2002.

Making a Beginning…

According to oral histories, there were at least two attempts to form a Methodist Episcopal church for “Negroes” in Evanston. The first attempt was made in 1901 by J.B. Redmond, Sr. A second attempt was made in 1921 through Laura B. Lang. Though both efforts may have been short-lived, at least 35 members were meeting regularly by 1922. The group met at the home of Mrs. Lula B. Sherman at 1730 Dodge Avenue.

Emerson&DeweyDuring the first two decades of their fellowship, the group met in several different locations: a structure at Emerson and Dewey ca. 1928, the Emerson Street YMCA ca. 1933 and then at 2004 Emerson Street ca. 1935. After that time, the group had to disband but later reorganized into what became Sherman Methodist Church, named after Mrs. Lula B. Sherman and incorporated as such on December 16, 1940.


Growth and Change

1044 Elmwood

During the early 1960s, Sherman purchased a new building at 1044 Elmwood Avenue and later changed its name to Sherman United Methodist Church with the merger of the denominations of the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren Churches in 1968. In 2002, the property located at 2214 Ridge Avenue was transferred to Sherman by the Northern Illinois Annual Conference.


 Sherman UMC Today

293873_416510015070889_480241141_nSherman has the honor of being the first and only place of worship named for a woman and an African-American as well as being the only historically predominantly African-American United Methodist Congregation on the North Shore.

As a community we are not only proud of our heritage but looking forward to a future defined by unity in diversity.

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Shorefront Legacy Center

Sherman is now honored to host the Shorefront Legacy Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to recording the historical achievements of the Black community in the Northern suburbs of Chicago.

1406778610In response to the lack of documentation, founder Morris (Dino) Robinson began a research initiative in 1995. Early research led to a series of articles, small exhibits, and conversations with community members, resulting in the rediscovery of a local Black history dating back more than 150 years. Before these activities, no written documentation of depth had been produced, researched, or thoroughly archived for public use. The work of Mr. Robinson and other committed residents evolved to become Shorefront.

Shorefront was first introduced to the public in 1999 in the form of an informal quarterly newsletter and several small exhibits. In response to positive feedback and a need for this subject- specific information, Shorefront established itself as a nonprofit on June 6, 2002, and installed its first, sixteen-member board of directors. The first board members consisted of those who had been involved and supportive of the earlier research efforts since 1996.

9549540In 2009, Shorefront opened the Shorefront Legacy Center. The accessible center houses over 80 linear feet of archival material (and growing!), a library and a gallery. The center has been host to several topical forums, conferences on genealogy, video screenings and discussion, author book readings and youth programs.
(c) Shorefront
Learn more at

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