RTN Theology #22- Praying Times: the Legacy of Ann Atwater w/Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

March 12, 2020
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After an intense couple of weeks, Bob and Chris get back together to reflect on the beginning of the Lenten season, the Coronavirus outbreak, and the Democratic Primaries. RTN Theology #22 features archival audio of author and organizer Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove from November 3, 2019 when he spoke at Oak Church. Part of an ongoing series of profiles of saints (holy ones, past and present), Jonathan shared about his mentor and spiritual mother, Ann Atwater. A Durham legend, Ann’s life and work known more widely from the book and movie about her life called Best of Enemies. Ann’s words and actions are a provocative witness towards healing and collaboration bourn from the gospel in divisive and polarized times. Her story shows how transformation is possible on the way to working for wholeness and help for society’s most vulnerable. Throughout the episode is featured music from Lincoln, NE soul singer Mona Reeves.


Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a celebrated spiritual writer and sought-after speaker. A native of North Carolina, he is a graduate of Eastern University and Duke Divinity School. He lives with his family at the Rutba House, a Christian community and house of hospitality, in Durham, North Carolina, where he directs School for ConversionWith Rev. Dr. William Barber, he organizes with the Poor People’s Campaign. In the last couple year’s he’s released a couple books with Intervarsity Press which touch on the themes of this episode: Revolution of Values (2019) and Reconstructing the Gospel (2018).

Ann Atwater was an American civil rights activist in Durham, North Carolina. She became an effective activist and leader when advocating for justice and is best known as one of the co-chairs of a charrette in 1971 with klansman CP Ellis (on which the book and movie, Best of Enemies is based) to reduce school violence and ensure peaceful school desegregation. Durham’s School for Conversion hosts the Ann Atwater Freedom Library.


Featured music: Mona Reeves is a soul singer from Lincoln, NE. She released an EP called It’s Just Me in the Summer of 2018 and is coming out with a new recording in 2020. She is a regular collaborator with brothers Philip and Paul Zach (featured on RTNT #16 with the Porter’s Gate Worship Project).


Episode theme music: Jesus Said by David Childers

Episode edited by Gary Fletcher.

Episode produced & hosted by Bob Crawford & Chris Breslin.

If you enjoyed this episode, you may also enjoy these similar RTN Theology episodes:

RTN Theology #9 w/Miguel de la Torre

RTN Theology #10 Bonhoeffer w/Stephen Haynes & José Humphreys

RTN Theology #12 w/C. Christopher Smith, Will Acuff, & the Kingdom Sessions

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