Ministry Leaders: Minister Justin Reed
Minister of Christian Education
Lead Teacher, New Members Class
Join Minister Reed for Bible Study on Wednesday nights.
Justin Michael Reed is a 2010 graduate of Stanford University. At Stanford he was an Academic All American for the Track and Field Team while majoring in African/African American Studies and minoring in Religious Studies. His Honors Thesis, “Theological Perspectives on Ethnic Assimilation: The Exegetical Purpose of the Samson Narrative as it Pertains to Ethnicity,” investigates the biblical author’s polemic against the Israelite practice of ethnic assimilation through exogamy in Judges 13-16. In other words, he wrote a really long paper about how cultural mixing is a key theme in the Samson story. The extensive research done for this thesis and other academic papers related to the story of Samson was also applied to the production of his graphic novel, Samson: Blessed Savior of Israel (published by Createspace in 2010). The Remastered Edition (published in 2012) is available for sale online at amazon.com.
Currently, he is a student in Harvard Divinity’s Master of Theological Studies Program with a focus on the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. The Bible is the central text for so many people in different faith traditions and he feels blessed to have the opportunity to study something that is so important to people’s beliefs. Given this opportunity, his goal has been to take the same information that he comes across in academic papers, books, and the classroom, and to make these ideas accessible and exciting to people that don’t have the time or resources that he does. The Samson graphic novel is one attempt toward this goal, but he has also engaged in two other media for this same purpose. In 2007 he began a clothing line, “Image of God: Clothed in the Spirit” (www.image-of-God.com), which features individually hand-painted articles of clothing that each bear a biblical verse. To date he has produced more than 250 unique articles of clothing. In addition, a few Facebook notes from 2010 turned into a series of short stories he calls B.E.N. (Biblical Exegesis Narratives, short stories that teach you something about the Bible). Thus far, three of these BEN have been published in Stanford’s quarterly religious magazine, Vox Clara.
Currently he is working on his next graphic novel, which will be an adaptation combining the parable of Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 and the raising of Lazarus in John 11. Through this project he hopes to address perspectives on God and human suffering as well as the resurrection of Jesus and other resuscitation stories in the Gospels.