The Witness

Guiding Hand of God on the RAANetwork


Jemar took a deep breath and pressed “enter”, and with the stroke of a key the Reformed African American Network became official. That was October 2011, and three years later our network has grown to include thousands of people around the country and the world.

October 2014 marks the third anniversary of the RAANetwork. Our mission has remained the same—“to address the core concerns of African Americans biblically.” But nearly every other aspect of the ministry has changed and evolved in some way.

As you’ll see from the timeline below we’ve had several significant events in the life of RAAN that mark turning points in our network. The idea began in Chattanooga, TN with a very small gathering of African American students from Reformed seminaries. We laughed. We discussed theology. We sighed with relief. “Finally, I (Jemar) know there are other people out there like me.” On the drive back from that weekend, Jemar was inspired with the idea for a virtual community of Reformed African Americans and other like-minded people who would encourage one another and help flesh out Reformed theology in different cultural contexts.


Then Jemar told Phillip the vision and he took it to another level. Phillip was so instrumental in those early days that he earned the title of Co-Founder and Vice President—a role he continues to this day. Through Twitter and Facebook Phillip spread the word and made strategic connections with others in ministry.

We reached another milestone when we officially launched our own website——and we could finally start producing our own content in the form of blog posts. Rapid growth followed. We attended The Gospel Coalition conference in 2013 and hosted a “Meet & Greet” where John Piper, Voddie Baucham, Shai Linne and others attended. Phillip met Jasmine and they were married the next year.

In January of 2014, we launched Pass the Mic as the official podcast of the Reformed African American Network and we started interviewing preachers, professional athletes, scholars, hip hop artists, and every day theologians. We hosted our first series of workshops at a conference when the organizers of Legacy invited us to speak on “The Imago Dei and the African American Experience”. Along the way we have gathered a phenomenal team to help us produce podcasts, edit posts, create graphics, write content, and advise us on the ministry.

As we reflect on all that God has done these past three years thanks are not enough to express our gratitude to everyone who has helped us in a variety of ways. We also thank all our readers and listeners. We love the RAANetwork fam, and all the hours of effort are made sweet with the slightest words of encouragement from you. Thank you for reading, commenting, listening, and supporting this work.

Most of all we thank God through Jesus Christ for the ways that the Holy Spirit has led us on this journey. We have made mistakes, strained relationships, and exhausted ourselves. Yet God has remained faithful. He has given us a platform we could never have imagined and we can only bow our heads in thankfulness.

We look forward to many more blessings as God’s hand continues to guide this ministry. Please join us in praying for the RAANetwork, and thank you for three great years. We look forward to many, many more.

With Gratitude,

Jemar Tisby & Phillip Holmes

9 thoughts on “Guiding Hand of God on the RAANetwork

  1. Phillip Holmes


    Glad to know you’re still reading. Always thankful for your words brother. Thanks for dropping us a line and helping us celebrate our anniversary.

    Grace to you

  2. Phillip Holmes


    Always good to hear from you brother. We love you and thankful for your daily support of the network.

    Grace to you

  3. Phillip Holmes


    Thanks for your words of encouragement! It means a lot to hear from readers like yourself. I echo Jemar. We know how you feel. And although whether other Blacks believe this isn’t ultimate, it sure is encouraging to know that other “kinsmen according to the flesh” are embracing these great truths. We aim to see this more and more.

    Grace and Peace to you,

  4. Jemar

    Renee, I completely understand your experience (expect the homeschooling mother part 🙂 I, too, was excited about Reformed teachings but looking for a community to which I could relate on a cultural level as well. I am thankful that RAAN has proven helpful to you, and hope you will endeavor to spread the word to anyone who needs the RAANetwork. Thank you.

  5. Jemar

    Thank you, Avery! We appreciate your comments and hope you will find our resources ever more biblical and helpful.

  6. Jemar

    Thanks, George. You’ve been a supporter from very early on. It is Christians like you who have contributed to our longevity in the tenuous days of an early start-up.

  7. Renee

    3 years ago I was thrilled to find the A home schooling mother, who had been learning reformed theology for the last couple of years, thinking am I crazy, is this sound, ( by no means a scholar or seminary student) and lastly where are other African Americans who hold to this line of teaching….. and then to see that some of the leaders were tied to my home Jackson, MS . What a blessing. Pray that you guys will continue to, 1)Share the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2) encourage and build up the body of Christ.

    Again, Praise God for how he has used this site.

  8. Avery Brown

    Extremely thankful for this particular movement! God’s grace to you all for the next 3 years, and MANY more years to come!

  9. george canady

    Just a comment from someone who dose not comment much anymore. I am grateful to have this resource. I grew and am growing up some in my biblically ethnic thinking through some of the content I read here. Thank you guys for taking the heat to do this until it is seen as the God send that it is.

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