- September 18, 2019
To help in exploring and understanding the Native American story as it relates to and informs faith and liberty in America, Rev. Dr. John Norwood has been appointed as an affiliated scholar of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center.
The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center explores the relationship between faith and freedom in America from its founding through today. The Center, which is expected to open in fall 2020, will welcome visitors of all faiths and none, promising each visitor a unique and meaningful experience for personal exploration and discovery.
Rev. Dr. Norwood joins a distinguished scholarly team for the center including top historians, religious experts and legal scholars from different religions and countries who will shape the narrative experience while ensuring full historical accuracy.
Dr. Norwood serves as the senior pastor of the Ujima Village Christian Church of Ewing, New Jersey. He has also served the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation as an elected Tribal Councilman, the first Principal Justice of the Tribal Supreme Court, minister to the tribal Christian Prayer Circle Fellowship Ministry and the founder of “1st Light Mission” Christian tribal outreach. He is the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape delegate to the National Congress of American Indians and General Secretary of the Alliance of Colonial Era Tribes.
Dr. Norwood will play a pivotal role in guiding the center’s exhibits and programing relating to the Native American story. He has a post-doctoral researcher with the Department of Ecclesiology at North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa. He earned academic degrees from Howard University (B.A. in Philosophy, 1986), Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div. with a Thesis in Church and Society, 1989), and North-West University (Ph.D. in Missiology, 2015).
His publications and research papers include: We are Still Here – The Tribal Saga of New Jersey’s Nanticoke and Lenape Indians (Native New Jersey Publications, 2007); The Historical Impact and Current Challenges of Christian Ministry Among the Aboriginal People of the Delaware Bay Region (North-West University, 2015); Contextualized Worship Among the Nanticoke-Lenape American Indians (“In die Skriflig,” 2017). He has lectured at various academic institutions on Theology, American Indian history, culture and current concerns, and testified before the United States Congress.
Dr. Norwood has been featured in several documentaries including: The Seven Ages of Britain (2010); Philadelphia: The Great Experiment (2014); Promised Land (2016); and, The King’s Highway (2016).
Speaking about his appointment, Dr. Norwood said “As a pastor, I have witnessed the Bible transform lives, bind up the broken hearted, set captives free, and call people to faithfulness. Sharing its eternal truth and defending the value of its continuing influence is at the core of the mission of the American Bible Society and the Faith and Liberty Center. As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I am honored to share in that mission.”
The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center is a $60 million attraction expected to draw 250,000 visitors annually. The immersive experience is being designed by the award-winning firm Local Projects, which recently spearheaded the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and ranks as one of the most innovative in the nation.
“We are privileged to have Dr. Norwood on the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center team as an affiliated scholar,” said Faith and Liberty Discovery Center Director Patrick Murdock. “His background, knowledge, and experience as a Native American widens our perspective, enhances interpretative exhibit and program elements of the Center while enriching the humanity of us all.”
About the Faith & Liberty Discovery Center
The Faith & Liberty Discovery Center explores the relationship between faith and freedom in America from its founding through today, illuminating the influence of the Bible on individuals in key historical and personal moments. Among America’s essential founding documents, the Bible is a significant cultural force that has inspired, influenced, and informed American ideals of liberty that continue to shape our national identity as a free people. Learn more at fldcenterstage.wpengine.com.