Michelle Higgins is a Black voice in the PCA to whom everyone ought to be paying attention.
She is the Director of Music and Outreach at South City Church in St. Louis, where her father, Mike, is the Lead Pastor. She holds the M.Div. degree from Covenant Theological Seminary where her father is a Dean.
In December 2015 she caused quite a stir in the evangelical world as one of the speakers at the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Urbana Missions Conference. The Urbana brochure introduced her in this way:
A native of St. Louis, Michelle Higgins is actively engaged in the #BlackLivesMatter movement through participation in civil disobedience, leadership development, logistics, and administrative support in both sacred and secular spaces.
...She is a proud supporter of local activism groups MCU (Metropolitan Congregations United), MORE (Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment) and OBS (the Organization for Black Struggle), through which she has learned a great deal about collaboration and solidarity. She is also the director of Faith for Justice, a Christian advocacy group. She serves as an organizer for the Leadership Development Resource Weekend (LDR Weekend), an annual gathering founded to address the core concerns of dignity, identity, and significance for people of color.After Urbana I wrote twice about her Ms. Higgins: This Does Not End Well for the PCA and Why This Doesn't End Well for the PCA.
Last April she spoke for the Religion Department at Ashland University, a Christian school which thus describes its "Spirituality and Faith": "Affirms Christian values as a core element of the University's institutional identity, emphasizing faith in God, moral integrity and respect for the diversity of values and faith of each person in a community of learning." The Religion Department introduced Ms. Higgins to the University Community: "The Ashland University's Religion Department is hosting musician and activist Michelle Higgins on April 20-21. She will have a full schedule preaching, teaching and conducting workshops with Ashland students (emphasis added)."
In January of 2016 a interview with Ms. Higgins by the Religion News Service was published in the Washington Post. The interview was introduced as follows:
Higgins has been making waves. A leader in the BlackLivesMatter movement, she recently addressed a gathering of 16,000 evangelical students at an InterVarsity conference in St. Louis, during which she urged them to support the movement.In the interview she was asked what Black Lives Matter is:
Her activism has drawn criticism, with some labeling her “Michelle the Marxist,” and others criticizing her for questioning the assumptions of the anti-abortion movement.
First and probably most publicly at this point, it is a political ideology. Blacklivesmatter.com is the official recognized political ideology founded by three women of color who are uplifting and affirming that multiple black lives have been ignored and abhorred by our system, and these different types of black lives must be affirmed in whole, holistically...
Black Lives Matter is also a decentralized movement...The decentralized movement of Black Lives Matter allows local pastors or local groups to use the phrase to mean all black people are despised systemically in such a way that our country does not hesitate to refuse them proper health care, quality education or fairness in the face of potential arrest...Ms. Higgins was asked to explain her Urbana criticism of the evangelical sanctity-of-life position: