Michael W. Waters is founding pastor of Joy Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal Church in Dallas, Texas. As pastor, preacher, professor, author, motivational speaker, and community organizer, his words of hope and empowerment have inspired national and international audiences.
Featured in Ebony magazine as an emerging leader, Waters has shared his keen insights on such esteemed platforms as the NBC Nightly News, BBC's Newshour, and National Public Radio.
Waters holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Methodist University (SMU) and the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Perkins School of Theology.
His writings have appeared in such respected publications as The Huffington Post, The African American Pulpit, Feasting on the Gospels, and Becoming Fire: Spiritual Writings from Rising Generations.
He is married to attorney Yulise Reaves Waters, and they are the parents of three children.
"I am singing the praises of Dr. Michael Waters and Freestyle. From page 1 I was deeply stirred and drawn in by his prophetic yet compassionate voice. Dr. Waters reminds us that God is still at work and sovereignly carrying out his great plan for every generation. Waters is boldly leading the way into the hopeful future that God has promised."
-Babbie Mason, Award-winning singer, songwriter, and author of EMBRACED BY GOD
"Provocative and prophetic, Michael Waters provides a fresh perspective on many issues that impact our communities, families, and the future of our country. Through his political critique, you hear the voice of a street prophet. Through his analysis of hip-hop, you hear the voice of a cultural connoisseur. Through his reflections as a father, you hear the voice of a loving parent. FREESTYLE is inspiring, convicting, educating – and in the end, uplifting."
–Romal Tune, author of GOD'S GRAFFITI: INSPIRING STORIES FOR TEENS
"I am singing the praises of Dr. Michael Waters and FREESTYLE. From the first page I was deeply stirred and drawn in by his prophetic yet compassionate voice. Dr. Waters reminds us that God is still at work and sovereignly carrying out his great plan for every generation. Waters is boldly leading the way into the hopeful future that God has promised."
Award-winning singer, songwriter, and author of EMBRACED BY GOD
"FREESTYLE is a thoughtful snapshot into the life of one of our preachers looking at our 21st-century world through the lens of Christian hope. His musings are poignant, prophetic, and thought-provoking and will remind you of days gone by, the present, and what lingers on the horizon of tomorrow."
–Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie
Presiding Prelate, 10th Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Church
"Michael W. Waters is a gifted pastor, theologian, and community activist who is uniquely qualified to provide a relevant, insightful, and challenging commentary on some of the contemporary social and spiritual issues that confront the church and community. In this book we do not hear from a detached spectator but from one who is passionately involved in the confrontation, pointing the way forward with a word of hope and reconciliation."
–Zan W. Holmes Jr., pastor emeritus
St. Luke Community United Methodist Church, Dallas, Texas
"FREESTYLE is a must read. Dr. Waters' ability to synthesize intellectual insight, pastoral experience, and cultural insight is a rare gift. Song lyrics and scripture both find themselves interwoven in a tapestry of hope, faith, and joy. He has shaped a message that will bless both the suites and the streets."
–Rev. Tony Lee, founder and senior pastor
Community of Hope A.M.E. Church
Hillcrest Heights, Maryland
"Michael Waters has drawn on his considerable pastoral leadership to compose a clear, evocative, challenging, and persuasive statement on how to be a Christian global citizen in a fractious world. FREESTYLE provides the reader with impressive and intelligent reflection on national issues, faith, family, popular culture, social ethics, and spiritual growth."
–Harold J. Recinos, PhD
Professor of Church and Society
Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
“Rev. Waters draws you into pondering issues of justice, love family, and faith with captivating prose and wisdom. I love the movement of each section: Check One—blog—Check Two and Cypher. He is authentically born of hip-hop and wise beyond his years. This book communicates to all regardless of age, race, gender, or circumstance if they are willing to engage in FREESTYLE.”
–Evelyn L. Parker, PhD
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Perkins School of Theology