Episode 202: Pastor Shawn Anglim Talks Community Lighthouses

In this week’s episode, Pastor Shawn Anglim, a clergy leader with Together New Orleans, talks about the origin and status of the Community Lighthouse project. Led by Together New Orleans, the initiative aims to provide commercial-scale solar power and back-up battery capacity to 86 congregations and community institutions throughout the city. Each Community Lighthouse will maintain power when the grid fails and provide a variety of services, such as cooling centers, charging stations and food distribution. So far, Together New Orleans opened the first 11 as part of its pilot of 16 lighthouses.


Shawn Moses Anglim is the pastor of First Grace UMC, which was created by the merger of an historically Black church and an historically white church in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. First Grace is part of the Community Lighthouse pilot initiative created by Together New Orleans.

During Anglim’s tenure, First Grace established the First Grace Community Alliance, which operates a residence for unhoused women, trans women and children, and a free legal clinic for immigrant children. Anglim also led the group Clergy for a United City, which called for the removal of Confederate Monuments. First Grace also served as a “sanctuary church” for asylum seekers.

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Anglim leads Marvelous Light Retreats for clergy and lay persons and leads two monthly gatherings: one for young clergy and another for community leaders.

Anglim has served as a member of the Times Picayune editorial advisory board, and as a member of the New Orleans Tricentennial Prosperity Index Steering Committee. In 2022, he received the National Urban League Gumbo Coalition Community Award for “proactive coalition building for progressive, social and economic change” in the city of New Orleans. Most recently, he has agreed to serve as a “spiritual advisor” for an incarcerated person on Louisiana’s Death Row.

Anglim first interned at Washington Square UMC in New York City for three years. After moving to Louisiana, he was assigned to reboot the LSU Wesley Foundation, where students helped launch Kids Hope USA and initiated a GED tutoring ministry at Jetson Juvenile Correctional Institute. In 2004, he was named Campus Minister of the Year by the UMC Foundation for Higher Education and Campus Ministry.

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Anglim and his wife, Anne Daniell, were founders of Morris Jeff Community School. He is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Drew Theological School and Miami University, where he was an Evans Scholar.

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