Bishop Frederick Calhoun James, retired, the 93rd Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church celebrates his ninety-six (96th) birthday on Saturday, April 7, 2018his ninety-six (96th) birthday on Saturday, April 7, 2018
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.
As a champion for civil rights, he became a community and state social and political action leader. In 1960, he was elected Consultant/Director of Social Action of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In this position, he formed a close relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1963, he became President of the Effective Sumter Movement of Sumter, South Carolina, a historic chapter in civil rights. In 1967, as pastor of Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church, Rev. James led the sponsorship of the first 221(d)Rent Supplement Housing Project in South Carolina. In 1969, he initiated the first 221(h)Home Ownership Project in the state. He was South Carolina’s first African American Congressional District member of the Department of Alcohol and Drug Abuse and the Department of Social Services. From 1987 to 1992 he was a member of the Columbia Housing Authority and served as vice chair. He also served as Vice President of the S. C. Christian Action Council.
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.
Birthday Greetings can be sent to:
Bishop Frederick Calhoun James
3700 Forest Drive #420
Columbia, SC 29204
(803) 787-8201 – Phone
(803) 787-8215 – FAX
General Officer John Thomas III, Editor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Christian Recorder, inducted into Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Alumni Hall of Fame Class of 2018
In 1989, Honda joined with the College Bowl Company to establish the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) in support of the unique mission of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). HCASC is as much a personal development and learning activity as it is a game of quick recall. Over 180,000 students have participated in the competition
In 2004, the HCASC Alumni Hall of Fame was established, to acknowledge former players who have succeeded in their chosen career and life paths, and to facilitate their becoming mentors for the current generation of HCASC players.
These former players represent the excellence that comes from studying hard, networking, applying oneself and most of all, from pursuing a life goal with all your intellect, heart and soul. This honor is not about the players' gameplay skills, it honors those who make significant contributions after their game playing days.
John Thomas III played for Morehouse College in 2001, 2002 and 2004. The school was the national champion all three years. He was awarded the All-Star scorer award in 2001 and 2004 and the Ernie Jones Sportsperson Award in 2004.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 29th HCASC held in Torrance, California from April 6-9.
Congratulatory responses can be emailed to:
The Reverend O. Thomas Austin, Sr. Retired Itinerant Elder and Mrs. Verdene K. Austin Celebrated 60th Wedding Anniversary
The Reverend O. Thomas Austin, Sr. Retired Itinerant Elder, 10th Episcopal District and Mrs. Verdene K. Austin, WMS Life Member and Retired Supervisor of Business and Office Education Dallas Independent School District, celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary, April 12, 2018.
A lavish surprise Anniversary Celebration was held for Rev. and Mrs. Austin on Sunday, April 15, 2018 at Smith Chapel A. M. E. Church, Dallas, Texas, Dr. C. Dennis Williams, pastor. The celebration culminating with the cutting of the cakes by the 60-year husband and wife team. One cake beautifully decorated with Happy 60th Wedding Anniversary and the second matching cake with Mark 10-7-9.
- Their 60 Year Marital journey -
With the encouragement of Dr. & Mrs. G.H. J. Thibodeaux in 1957, O. Thomas Austin, Sr. drove to Waco from Louisiana on Thanksgiving Day 1957 to meet Verdene Kirven. They met, courted, and made history in April of 1958 when they were wed at Paul Quinn College.
Bishop H. Thomas Primm transferred O. Thomas Austin from Rankin Chapel A.M.E. Church (8th Episcopal District) to the 10th Episcopal District where he pastored St. James A.M.E. Church in Denton. Verdene left her position as Secretary to President of Paul Quinn College (Waco), and became a mathematics teacher in the Ft. Worth School District.
Together they’ve served their communities through teaching and service.
Rev. O. Thomas Austin, Sr. led, built (Johnson Chapel- Ft. Worth), and relocated (St. James- Dallas) various churches in the 10th District. From November of 1958 to October 2004, he dedicated his ministry to developing financial stability, leadership structures, and building church as family through service. He often dedicated his time and service to the community. He volunteered his time and talents to help the individuals in his community with home and yard maintenance, financial guidance, and pastoral counseling and care.
After leaving her position, as secretary to President, Dr. John H. Adams, at Paul Quin College, Verdene served as a teacher in Fort Worth. From there she taught in and retired supervisor of Career and Technology Education in Dallas ISD. She has served as First Lady, President of the Ministers’ Spouses, Widows and Widowers Organization (10th Episcopal District under 4 separate Bishops & Supervisors), Conference YPD Director, Episcopal First and Second Vice President, Women's Missionary Society, and A Life Member of the Women's Missionary Society.
They have supported one another’s ministries and offered God’s love to one another and those they served.
Through their union one son, Oltha Thomas Austin, Jr. was born; three grandchildren, Ashley Austin-Hill (Derek), Oltha Thomas Austin, III, and Aaron Austin.
Through their service they have gained family, friends, and loved ones. Some whom they call son or daughter, others whom they call sister or brother. Their 60 years have been brightened in the love they have given and gained.
Congratulatory expressions can be emailed to:
Rev. & Mrs. O. Thomas Austin