Reverend Ray Hammond

Program 20 • 29 mins


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Free Podcast Available

On this Episode of Humankind with David Freudberg, you’ll meet Reverend Ray Hammond, an emergency room physician turned minister, who now leads an urban church and speaks of the need to come together and reach out to heal inner city youth threatened by poverty and violence. Hammond, a gifted child from Philadelphia, graduated from Harvard Medical School at the age of 23. After establishing a career in medicine, he felt called to become a minister in 1992. He is Pastor at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, where he tries to play a positive role in the lives of young people. Hammond discusses why he left medicine and how his experience of healing people opened his eyes to the underlying emotional and spiritual problems that oftentimes cause people in the community to be sick. The question for Hammond is essential: how do we heal our young people and our communities? For the answer he stresses the three R’s: renewal, reconnect, and responsibility. You need to have hope and show that you care, by establishing and maintaining contact with young people, and show that you are willing to learn from them, and at the same time to do your part to support the community. A thought-provoking look at healing, community, and coming together on Humankind.


  • What motivated an emergency room physician to leave his practice to become a minister?
  • Why do young people in the inner city feel the need to carry weapons, and what are the underlying problems that lead to violence among urban youth?
  • How can one reach out to troubled at-risk youths in their community, and what is necessary to become a positive role model for them?
  • What can we do to heal the divisions that often occur inside a community?

It’s the rare person who heals all by themselves. It’s usually a community process.”

—Reverend Ray Hammond


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