Dr. Donna Coltrane Battle and Rev. Ben Adams will serve as keynote speakers for Pilgrimage 2021.

Dr. Donna Coltrane Battle

Donna Coletrane Battle is a spiritual practitioner, soul coach and educator focused on justice as it relates specifically to the intersection of race, gender, and spirituality.

Donna is a mother, wife, sister, and friend who also coaches leaders, pastors those without a pastor, partners to cultivate healing in relationships, and commits everyday to a life of being present, though not always successful!

She holds a BA in Public Relations from NC A&T State University, a MDiv from Duke University and a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from Eastern University.

Rev. Ben Adams

Rev. Ben Adams is the Pastor of First on Chatham, a worshiping community of First UMC Cary that meets in The Cary Theater. His passion for ministry includes teaching/preaching and discovering Christ in the most unexpected places and people.

Before going into ministry, Ben had a career in education helping to expand education opportunities for students along the margins. He taught high school in rural Northampton County, served as an admissions officer for Duke focusing on first-generation college students and students from Africa, and helped launch a school in East Durham.

During his time in Divinity School, Ben’s passion for cross-cultural experiences and interfaith dialogue, led him to study at the University of Cambridge for a year. While there, he interned at Great St. Mary’s, the University Church of Cambridge; and served a six-week internship with the Methodist Liaison’s Office in Jerusalem, living in Bethlehem and worked alongside Palestinian farmers and multifaith peace workers from around the world.

Ben grew up in Smithfield and was raised in the United Methodist Church. He was active in conference youth ministry, serving as Conference Youth President and as a delegate to General and Jurisdictional Conferences. He currently serves as the secretary for the General Commission on Religion and Race for the UMC.

Ben and his wife, Gabby, live in Chatham County.