Bishop Frederick Calhoun James, Retired, the Ninety-Third Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church celebrates his Ninety-Eighth Birthday, Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Ecumenical theologian, advocate for fair and decent housing, proponent of civil rights, political leader and public servant are only a few of the characteristics of Bishop Frederick Calhoun James.
Bishop Frederick Calhoun James was born on April 7, 1922 in Prosperity, South Carolina, the son of Edward and Rosa Lee James. He graduated from Drayton Street High School, Newberry, South Carolina, and earned his B.A. degree in History/English from Allen University (1943), and his Master of Divinity degree from Howard University School of Religion (1947). He also studied at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He married Theressa Gregg, December 30, 1944.
In 1972, he was elected to the AME Bishopric and was assigned as the Presiding Bishop of the AME Church in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, and Mozambique. Headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa, he established schools, a publishing house, churches, and other institutions. Bishop James later was assigned bishop in Arkansas and Oklahoma (1976). He formed a lifelong friendship with then Attorney Bill Clinton. In 1984, he was assigned to the 7th Episcopal District, State of South Carolina. In each of these positions, he built housing projects, strengthened schools and led two colleges to full accreditation; Shorter College, N. Little Rock, Arkansas in 1981 and Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina in 1992. In 1992, Bishop James was assigned Ecumenical Bishop and Chaplaincy Endorsement Officer of the African Methodist Episcopal Church International. In 1993, he was given major fiscal and reconciliation duties as Bishop of the Second Episcopal District (Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and North Carolina) of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and he stabilized the District. In 1994, he was selected by President Clinton as an official member of the delegation to attend the inauguration of South African President Nelson Mandela, and in 1998 he was again chosen to accompany President and Mrs. Clinton on an official visit to South Africa.
Bishop James is a former member of the White House Advisory Board on Historical Black Colleges and Universities, the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Board on Religious Freedom, and National Vice President of the Interfaith Alliance. A life member of the NAACP, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and a 33-degree Mason, he was inducted into the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame (1991) and the Columbia Housing Authority Wall of Fame (1994). In January of 2003, Bishop James was awarded the state’s highest honor, The Order of the Palmetto, for his significant contributions to South Carolina
He retired from active duty in 1996 and he and Dr. Theressa Gregg James, Episcopal Supervisor, retired, returned to live at their home in Columbia, South Carolina.
Bishop Frederick Calhoun James’ motto: “Leadership, Life, Lift and Light; the way forward is Faith in the Lord Christ Jesus Forever.”
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*General Officer's Family Congratulatory Announcement-Chaplain Captain Dianna Nicole Watkins-Dickerson earned Ph.D Degree
Chaplain Captain Dianna Nicole Watkins-Dickerson earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Communication and Film at University of Memphis after successfully defending her dissertation on April 6, 2020. She wrote a seminal study titled “’Daring to be Herself’: Womanist Rhetorical Theory and Black Women’s Presidential Campaign Announcement Speeches.” Dr. Watkins-Dickerson, who earned the B.A. from Spelman College and the M.Div. from Vanderbilt University, is a chaplain in the United States Air Force and a member of the ministerial staff at St. James AME Church in Memphis, Tennessee. She is married to Dr. Dennis C. Dickerson, Jr., Ed.D., a Latin teacher at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, and they are the parents of Dennis C. Dickerson III. She is the daughter of Ms. Jerrie Watkins and the daughter-in-law of Mrs. Mary A. E. Dickerson and Retired General Officer Dennis C. Dickerson, Sr., Ph.D.
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*Faith in a Time of Fear | Louisiana Public Broadcasting
Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr. Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana was interviewed regarding local and connectional Church response to the Coronavirus. He is an adjunct Instructor at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and The Chair of The Board of Examiners, Eighth Episcopal District
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