An usher board poem tells the story of the role of the usher in the church. Some usher board poems are long and detailed, while others simply explain the duties of the usher. They typically celebrate the duties of the usher in black churches.
Usher board poems emphasize how essential the usher is to a church.
"Your Usher" by Raymond A. Foss and "The Dignity of Ushers" by Al Maginnes are examples of poems dedicated to ushers. "Your Usher" not only explains the simple usher duty of seating members of the congregation, but it also describes how ushers should connect with their church members. In contrast, "The Dignity of Ushers," is more detailed and speaks about ushering as a dignified role that should be respected and admired.
The usher board was originally established for lay church members who did not have a set role in the congregation, according to The African American Lectionary. Today, ushers are recognized, along with other auxiliary roles, such as trustees and deacons, as necessary members of a church's mission. In Leslie Parrot's book, "Serving as a Church Usher," Parrot lays out the reasons why an usher board is considered the fourth ministry in a local church.