Professor of religion; Methodist clergyman.  Born– May 19, 1938, Gadsden, Ala. Parents–Frank Bural and Malinda Williams McClain. Married– Jo Ann Mattos. Children– Two. Education– A.B., Clark College, 1960; M. Divinity, Boston University School of Theology, 1962; D. Ministry, Boston University, 1977. Employed as minister, Haven United Methodist Church, Anniston, Ala., 1962-1964; pastor, Union United Methodist Church, Boston, Mass., 1968-1978; senior pastor, Tindley Temple United Methodist Church, Philadelphia, 2001-2003. Executive director, Urban Training Center, Boston, 1966-1979; executive director, Multi-Ethnic Center for Ministry, Drew University, 1978; Professor of Homiletics and Worship, Wesley Theological Seminary, 1980-2013.  Chairman, New England Black Methodists for Church Renewal, 1968-1971; member, NAACP, Society for Study of Black Religion, Academy of Homiletics, American Academy of Religion.  Consultant, Lily Foundation, Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church.  Active as lecturer, preacher, and consultant;  author of articles in professional and religious journals. Received honorary D.D. , Clark University, 1991. Awarded emeritus status on his retirement at Wesley Theological Seminary, 2013. Received the Roger Deschner Award from the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music, 2013; selected as Outstanding Alumnus of Boston University School of Theology, 2015.



Marquis who’s who online


Black People in the Methodist Church; Whither Thou Goest? Cambridge, Mass.; Schenkman Publishing Co., 1984.

Come Sunday:  The Liturgy of Zion.  Nashville:  Abingdon Press, 1990.

The Soul of Black Worship. Madison, N.J.; Multi-Ethnic Center for Ministry, Drew University, 1980.

Strangers at Home. Madison, N.J.; Multi-Ethnic Center for Ministry, Wesley House, Drew University, [between 1978 and 1981].

Traveling Light; Christian Perspectives on Pilgrimage and Pluralism. New York; Friendship Press, 1981.


African-American Worship:  New Eyes for Seeing. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 1998.

Heritage and Hope:  The African-American Presence in United Methodism.  Nashville:  Abingdon Press, 1991.


Songs of Zion. Abingdon Press, 1981.