• The Labor of Faith: Gender and Power in Black Apostolic Pentecostalism

    Pages: 232
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $89.95 - In Stock
  • Paperback: $24.95 - In Stock
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • Prologue  ix
    Acknowledgments  xv
    Introduction  1
    1. The Instruments of Faith  17
    2. Church Building  45
    3. Church Sustaining  79
    4. Women's Work  104
    5. Harvesting Souls for Christ  125
    6. The Beauty of Holiness  152
    Conclusion  170
    Notes  173
    Bibliography  197
    Notes  207
  • "An excellent source for educators and students looking to deepen their understanding of black women’s religious power and expression."


  • "An excellent source for educators and students looking to deepen their understanding of black women’s religious power and expression."

  • "Anthropologist and Africana Studies scholar Judith Casselberry’s The Labor of Faith is a rich interdisciplinary and ethnographic study that integrates spiritual, material, social, and structural spheres of twenty-first-century metropolitan New York Black Apostolic women’s work. Casselberry highlights the role of Black women’s religious labor in defining and sustaining personal faith, building churches and faith communities, and navigating intraracial and intergender power relations. An engaging study that expands the field of Pentecostal studies and a must-read." — Emilie M. Townes, author of, Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil

    "Judith Casselberry's masterful The Labor of Faith is an important contribution to the study of American religion and African American religious culture in particular. Casselberry's attention to the concept of 'labor' helps reshape our well-worn attention to agency in the study of faith-filled women. The beauty of her narrative voice brings alive in striking detail the lives of the women of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ." — Marla F. Frederick, author of, Colored Television: American Religion Gone Global

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).


    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    In The Labor of Faith Judith Casselberry examines the material and spiritual labor of the women of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc., which is based in Harlem and one of the oldest and largest historically Black Pentecostal denominations in the United States. This male-headed church only functions through the work of the church's women, who, despite making up three-quarters of its adult membership, hold no formal positions of power. Casselberry shows how the women negotiate this contradiction by using their work to produce and claim a spiritual authority that provides them with a particular form of power. She also emphasizes how their work in the church is as significant, labor intensive, and critical to their personhood, family, and community as their careers, home and family work, and community service are. Focusing on the circumstances of producing a holy black female personhood, Casselberry reveals the ways twenty-first-century women's spiritual power operates and resonates with meaning in Pentecostal, female-majority, male-led churches.

    About The Author(s)

    Judith Casselberry is Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Bowdoin College. A vocalist and guitarist, Casselberry was a member of the award-winning reggae duo Casselberry-DuPreé and currently performs internationally with Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely.
Explore More

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.

Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu