Bonus: Baseball Caps and Bowties

The Distillery Season 1

In this bonus episode, Gregory Ellison shares how baseball caps and bowties tell part of his story. A grandson of a sharecropper with a fourth-grade education, hats remind Ellison of his family history wherever he finds himself, whether protesting on a picket line, teaching in a grad school classroom, or preaching from a pulpit.

The Distillery is a podcast that explores the essential ingredients of book and research projects with experts in their field of study. Learn what motivates their work and why it matters for Christian theology and ministry.

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Gregory Ellison is the founder of Fearless Dialogues, a nonprofit grassroots initiative committed to creating spaces for unlikely partners to engage in hard, heartfelt conversations that see gifts in others, hear value in each others’ stories, and work for change and transformation in self and other. In three years, Fearless Dialogues has traveled to over twenty cities domestically and internationally and gathered nearly 7,000 unlikely partners at churches, corporations, community based organizations and schools. Ellison is a product of the Atlanta Public School System and a proud alumnus of Frederick Douglass High School. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Emory University, where he was inducted into the Emory College Hall of Fame; the first black male bestowed with that honor. Gregory received his M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees in Pastoral Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is currently an Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. An ordained Baptist minister, Greg has served on the ministerial staffs at both Methodist and Presbyterian churches. 

Ellison’s research focuses on caring with marginalized populations, pastoral care as social activism, and 20th and 21st century mysticism. He is the author of Cut Dead But Still Alive: Caring for African American Young Men, and has two books in progress with Westminster John Knox Press – Fearless Dialogues: The Civil Rights Movement of the 21st Century and Anchored in the Current: The Eternal Wisdom of Howard Thurman in a Changing World. Gregory cherishes most the strong convictions he holds toward family, fraternity brothers (of Kappa Alpha Psi) and friends. He is married to Antoinette Greenaway-Ellison and is the proud father of Elisha Alexander, Gregory III, and Anaya.

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Bethany Hoang, Class of 2004

“The rooting of justice in our spiritual formation in Christ requires careful thought and teaching. I was equipped to lead in this way through my time at PTS.”