Congratulatory Announcements

April 2021


Bishop Frederick Calhoun James, Retired, the Ninety-Third Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church celebrates his Ninety-Ninth Birthday Wednesday, April 7, 2021

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 (12 NOON)
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.”

Birthday Greetings can be emailed to:

Email: (Office Email) (Office Email)

Recent News Articles About Bishop James (Below)

July 23, 2020 Proclaimed as Bishop Frederick Calhoun James Day by City of Columbia

Columbia man's lifetime of civil rights work, ministry honored

Bishop James, 98, served on the White House and State Advisory boards, including being a dignitary at the signing of the Voting Rights Bill in1965.



*The Reverend Canon Paula E. Clark, the Cousin of Dr. Kenneth Hill, Retired General Officer is the first Black person and first Woman to be elected Bishop of the of Episcopal Diocese of Chicago

[Diocese of Chicago] The Rev. Paula E. Clark was elected on Dec. 12 to be the thirteenth bishop of the Diocese of Chicago. She will be the first Black person and the first woman to hold the position.

Clark, who currently serves as canon to the ordinary and chief of staff in the Diocese of Washington, was chosen unanimously on the fourth ballot in an election conducted on Zoom from a slate originally composed of four candidates. She received 229 clergy votes and 284 lay votes.

“We Episcopalians are strong people who can model for the rest of this country and the world what it looks like to walk the way of love,” Clark told the convention over Zoom. “God is calling us to a new day and a new way of being.”

Clark was baptized into The Episcopal Church at age 10 by Bishop John Walker, the first Black dean of Washington National Cathedral and first Black bishop of the Diocese of Washington. She received her undergraduate education at Brown University and earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Before entering the seminary, Clark served as public information officer for the District of Columbia mayor’s office and Board of Parole for nine years and spent five years as director of human resources and administration for an engineering and consulting firm in Washington.

In 2004, she received a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, and served at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Washington and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Beltsville, Maryland, before joining the staff of Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde. Her work for the diocese focused initially on clergy development and multicultural and justice issues.

The bishop-elect is married to Andrew McLean and describes herself as “the proud matriarch of our blended family of five adult children and seven grandchildren.”

Clark, who is scheduled to be consecrated on April 24, the Hill family will be in attendance, will succeed Bishop Jeffrey D. Lee, who  retired on Dec. 31 as bishop of a diocese that includes 122 congregations and more than 31,000 members in northern, central and southwestern Illinois. Under the canons of The Episcopal Church, the diocese’s standing committee has served as its ecclesiastical authority during the interim.


Congratulatory comments can be emailed via Dr. Kenneth Hill, Retired General Officer:



‘Social Justice Pastor’ Dr. Jonathan C. Augustine Is Inspiring Generations


From: Spectacular Magazine

Durham, NC – Americans have been in a constant fight for social justice for decades. This month, we have seen injustices committed against Asian-American women in this country, and the past four years there has been a steady rise of atrocities committed against the Black community as well. Amid all this, we need to remind ourselves of the people that strive to fight for social justice around the country. Rev. Dr. Jonathan C. Augustine, a senior pastor in Durham, is one of these people and is one of the most influential people when it comes to fighting for social justice.

Dr. Augustine (aka Pastor Jay) is currently the Senior Pastor at the St. Joseph AME Church in Durham. Originally from New Orleans, he also serves as national chaplain of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He has been a member of the fraternity for 30 years now, initiated in Howard University’s Beta Chapter. A former law professor, practicing attorney, and judge, Pastor Jay also served the country in the military as a U.S. Army infantry officer. Through all these platforms, he has dedicated his time and efforts to promote social justice and equality for minorities and marginalized groups.

At the core of his beliefs is one of equality and unity. Pastor Jay often says, “that which unites is far greater than that which divides,” and this message is often passed along through his sermons and teachings. He strongly believes that all humans have value, and this has pushed him in his pursuit of social justice and equality.

Pastor Jay is a former law professor, practicing attorney, and judge.

Pastor Jay received his undergraduate degree from the prestigious Howard University in Washington D.C. and following his graduation, he served in the military. After decorated military service, he earned his Juris Doctorate from Tulane University and served as a law clerk to Louisiana Supreme Court Chief (then Associate) Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson. He later earned his Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary, as a Beane Fellow and National Rainbow-PUSH Foundation Scholar, before completing a fellowship at Princeton Theological Seminary. Pastor Jay earned his Doctor of Ministry degree at Duke University in 2020.

As a practicing attorney, Pastor Jay worked on many cases, a lot of them having to do with social justice. He successfully represented a class of plaintiffs in Carter v. St. Helena Parish School Board, one of the oldest federal desegregation cases in the United States, having originally been filed by Thurgood Marshall, then-counsel for the NAACP.  Following this, he spent time teaching as an adjunct professor at Southern University Law Center and Jarvis Christian College. He served in the administration of Louisiana’s governor as executive counsel and director of legislative affairs for the Louisiana Workforce Commission. All this experience has heavily influenced his time as a senior pastor. He served as senior pastor at the historic St. James AME Church in New Orleans, the oldest predominantly Black, Protestant church in the city. In his role as senior pastor in both St. James and St. Joseph, he has often drawn from his experience to deliver his sermons. “Many of the things I preach about are things I have researched in the past,” he said, speaking about using his experiences in his preaching.

Today, Pastor Jay is deeply troubled about the state of the country. “I think right now we are at an interesting point in American history. I often compare it to the phrase, ‘there is nothing new under the sun.’ I think about the period after Reconstruction when the troops were taken out of the South. The Redemption period where white nationalization came about.” This is something that deeply worries him and is what fuels his desire to advocate social justice.

To ascertain social justice, Pastor Jay believes voting and education are extremely important to the Black community.

He believes that there are two aspects of society that are vital for every person, the power of the vote and the power of education. “I want the next generation to learn from

the past and continue to fight for social justice. Voting and education are extremely important. I hope that the future generation continues to fight for this.”

Today, as senior pastor at St. Joseph AME Church, Pastor Jay strives to promote the rights of minority and marginalized groups. Throughout February he dedicated his time to the social justice of the Black community and in March he has done the same for women around the country. He still publishes papers on social justice. His most recent paper was a biblical connection to immigration, following the many issues faced by immigrants in the U.S. It is, thus, easy to see that Pastor Jay continues to serve his community and the marginalized communities all around the country.

Pastor Jay is married to St. Joseph’s First Lady, Michelle Burks Augustine. They have two children.



Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr. Pastor of Bethel Baton Rouge Louisiana Won 4 First Place Finishes in Events in the Southern Masters Virtual Swimming Meet

Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr., Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana won 4 first place finishes in several events in the Southern Masters Virtual Swimming Meet. The competitors were timed at their local swimming site and the times were recorded. Dr. Kelly was the 7th Place overall point scorer in the male division. He swims for Crawfish Aquatics in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dr. Kelly practices at least 5 times per week. Presently, he also participating in a swim challenge of 200 miles, he has over 70 miles. Dr. Kelly is also adjunct faculty at Louisiana State University in graduate school and undergraduate school in African American Studies and Education. This is his first award in the Masters Swimming Program. He has already qualified for the National Senior Olympics to be held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, May 9-15, 2022 representing the state of Louisiana.
Swimming in a segregated swimming pool, Washington Heights at the encouragement of his parents. His gift for swimming earned him a place on the legendary Morehouse College swimming team under the famed Coach Dr. James Haines. Dr. Kelly swam for Morehouse for four years and was a member of The Black National Champion Morehouse Tigersharks. At the encouragement and direction of his doctor, he was advised to develop an exercise program. Kelly joined the Crawfish Masters Swimming program and is training for his second National Senior Olympics in May, 2022. 
In addition to swimming competition, Dr. Kelly is the founder and coordinator of The James Haines swimming Ministry of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church named after his mentor and Coach Dr. James Haines. This ministry teaches underserved persons to swim and educate them in water safety. Dr. Kelly teaches African American Studies and Education at Louisiana State University and also serves as advisor for Tankproof, an organization to help underserved youth learn to swim.
Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr., is a native of Jacksonville, Florida.  He was educated in Christian values by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Herman O. Kelly, Sr. and the public schools of Jacksonville.  Dr. Kelly later matriculated to Morehouse College, graduating with a B.A. degree.  He continued his education at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts, completing a M.Ed. degree and Boston University School of Theology, receiving his M.Div. degree.  Pastor Kelly completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at Memphis Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee.
In 1980 Herman O. Kelly, Jr. was licensed to preach in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  Dr. Kelly's ministerial journey began under the late Rev. M. L. Watts, and he was mentored by Dr. Donald L. Tucker.  Under this mentorship, Herman O. Kelly, Jr. was ordained an Itinerant Deacon in 1983 at the hand of the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen Hildebrand.  In 1985 he was ordained an Itinerant Elder at the hand of the Rt. Rev. Frank Curtis Cummings.
Pastor Kelly has served four churches:  Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, Newport, Rhode Island; St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church, Meridian, Mississippi; Friendship African Methodist Episcopal Church, Clarksdale, Mississippi; and Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  In addition to Pastoral Ministry,  Dr. Kelly served as Protestant Chaplain at Rhode Island College, Adjunct Instructor at Coahoma Community College and Meridian Community College.  Presently, Dr. Kelly serves as Adjunct Faculty at Louisiana State University in the College of Education and African and African American Studies and River Parishes Community College in the Religious Studies Department.  He is also the Chair of the Board of Examiners for the Eighth Episcopal District and Treasurer for the Louisiana Annual Conference.
He writes for the Advocate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for special events regarding Faith and African American concerns.  Dr. Kelly is a member of the Louisiana Interchurch Conference and Ecumenical Body of Clergy and Laity in the State of Louisiana.  His publications include, "Spiritual Formation for Youth as Young Laity in Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church for the 21st Century".
Dr. Kelly and the Bethel congregation organized the first HIV/AIDS Ministry in the African American community in East Baton Rouge Parish, and he also is responsible for organizing the Dr. James Haines Swimming Ministry at Bethel, named in honor of his former swimming coach at Morehouse College where he was a former "Tigershark" swim team.
Dr. Kelly was inducted into the Morehouse Board of Preacher’s King International Chapel in April 2012.
He is married to the former Linda Simon of Eunice, Louisiana, and they have two children, Herman Osby Kelly, III and Tiffany Marie Kelly.  Dr. Kelly is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Congratulatory responses can be emailed to:


On behalf of Social Action Commission Chair, Bishop Frank Madison Reid, III, and  Mrs. Jacquelyn DuPont-Walker, Director/ Consultant  Social Action Commission, we extend congratulations as you praise God for the Joy of these significant milestone reached.