Congratulatory Announcements 

April 2022


An Episcopal Centenarian Birthday Salute 

 *Bishop Frederick Calhoun James Celebrates his One Hundredth Birthday, April Seventh, Two Thousand Twenty-Two

*Bishop Frederick Calhoun James the Ninety-Third Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; the oldest living Bishop in Methodism in the USA still lives holding “True to his Christian Social Action Legacy”

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, the Ninety-Third Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

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. He graduated from Bettis Junior College with an Associate of Arts Degree and earned his B.A. degree in History/English from Allen University (1943), and his Master of Divinity degree from the Howard University School of Religion (1947). He also studied at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He married Theressa Gregg on December 30, 1944.                              

As a champion for civil rights, Rev. James 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. He was the first African American to serve on the Board of Directors at NBSC (National Bank of South Carolina), now SYNOVUS, the first African American member of the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce and the first A. M. E. Bishop elected from a South Carolina A. M. E. Church pulpit. 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 the district was stabilized in many way






(Click on each link below to see photos.)

In 1972,  he 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.

*A glimpse of the work in Districts Fifteen and Eighteen: 


In 1976, Bishop James was assigned bishop in Arkansas and Oklahoma. He formed a lifelong friendship with then Attorney Bill Clinton.  He built housing projects, strengthened schools and led Shorter College in Little Rock to full accreditation in 1981.

*A glimpse of the work in the Twelfth District:

   The Twelfth_District.pdf

In 1984, he was assigned to the 7th Episcopal District, State of South Carolina. He  built housing projects and strengthened Allen University to full accreditation in 1992. 

*A glimpse of the work in the Seventh District:


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 the district was stabilized in many ways.

*A glimpse of the work in the Second District:


*A glimpse of the Second District tours to the 15th, 17th, 18th and 19th Districts:


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. 

The poem penned by Bishop Frederick Calhoun James, "Flying Home From The Nelson Mandela Inauguration" May 1994; aboard Air Force Two, and a portion of the delegation:

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 returned to live at their home in Columbia, South Carolina.

Episcopal Supervisor Retired, Dr. Theressa Gregg James transitioned Monday, January 25, 2021, in Columbia, South Carolina.  Dr. Theressa Gregg James and Bishop James had celebrated seventy-six years of wedded bliss on December 30, 2020.

Bishop James Honored and in the News:

 Voices of Rosenwald: Bishop Frederick C. James Dreams Big for Howard Junior High, Feb 21, 2013,  Voices of Rosenwald: Bishop Frederick C. James Dreams Big for Howard Junior High where he attended Howard Junior High School

Politics & Government – The State Newspaper APRIL 15, 2019
97-year-old Bishop rises from wheelchair to honor Ernest Hollings

News 19 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 in 1965.

South Carolina African American Heritage Commission Honors Bishop F. C. James -Jul 23, 2020


The Printed Words

"To God Be The Glory" by Rev. Dr. Mankekolo Mahlangu-Ngcobo, brilliant Author, Teacher, Preacher
"Forward In Faith" by Bishop Frederick Calhoun James
"African Methodism in South Carolina A Bicentennial Focus" by Bishop Frederick Calhoun James


Bishop James wishes for his Legacy to be“He majored in Righteousness in the Sight of God.”        

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to:



*Meet the psychologist drawing from the Black church to reshape mental health care

Thema Bryant PhD, an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church

Thema Bryant,  an ordained minister and daughter of Bishop John R. Bryant and Supervisor Rev. Cecelia W. Bryant, is taking over leadership of the American Psychological Association at a critical turning point for the field.

BALTIMORE — The day after the American Psychological Association’s newest leader pitched her vision for the organization to dozens of her colleagues in D.C., she walked into Maryland’s oldest Black church and stepped up to the wooden pulpit where her father and grandfather used to preach.

“Hallelujah,” Thema Bryant, 48, said, smiling as her voice boomed through the century-old sanctuary at the Bethel AME Church in West Baltimore. “It’s good to be home.”

Bryant, who was elected in December to lead the nation’s largest organization for psychologists, grew up in these pews. It was here she first met people who were hurting — from racism, gun violence, addiction — and saw how they could recover.

“You all raised me,” Bryant said, addressing the all-Black congregation for the first time since the pandemic started. “And let me tell you, I’ve not forgotten.”

A tenured professor at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, Bryant is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, an outspoken survivor of sexual assault, a daughter to two ministers and a sister to a popular Georgia pastor who recently went on a hunger strike for voting rights. She spent part of her teenage years in Liberia, where she witnessed the start of its first civil war.

Bryant represents a different future for psychology, her colleagues say, at a turning point for the field where both providers and recipients of care have long been disproportionately White.

President Biden recently pledged more mental health support for “Black and Brown communities” the pandemic, though a rash of high-profile suicides over the last year suggests the issue is deeper and more intransigent than officials anticipate. Even before the pandemic, rates of suicide were rising among Black adolescents faster than any other racial or ethnic group.  Demand for culturally sensitive and accessible mental health services has surged in the face of worsening depression among Black and Latino people, though according to the 2019 censuses data, fewer than one in five psychologists are people of color and fewer than one in 30 is Black.

Those pushing to remake the field see Bryant as a key figure with potential to make a tangible difference.

She has spent her career studying trauma recovery and was among the first psychologists to assert, about two decades ago, that racism can be traumatic.  She’s unapologetic about working outside staid conventions, whether that means breaking out in song while delivering keynote speeches, talking about her recovery from sexual assault on her podcast, or going on Instagram as “Dr. Thema” to discuss Black liberation with her 306,000 followers.

Thema Bryant was elected in 2021 to lead the American Psychological Association. A specialist in trauma recovery, Bryant has long called for the field of psychology to recognize and treat the trauma of racism and to be more inclusive toward people of color.

Bryant represents a different future for psychology, her colleagues say, at a turning point for the field where both providers and recipients of care have long been disproportionately White.

Now, she’s preparing to head up the 130,000-member APA, an influential organization that among other things, sets guidelines for psychological treatment and practice, promotes research, and provides expertise that shapes legislation and court decisions. Bryant, who will take over in 2023, says her goal is to bring “psychology to the people.”

She wants to host a conference in Washington that focuses on practical ways to cope with trauma, inviting laypeople — instead of just licensed psychologists — to speak and participate. She wants to craft codes on “decolonizing psychology,” showing mental health professionals how to use song, dance, and other forms of culture in their treatment. And she wants to produce a documentary highlighting psychologists of color and what they’re doing to expand access to care.

The people Bryant grew up around at Bethel were often skeptical of the medical establishment and almost never spoke openly about mental illness, she said. But they had their own ways of dealing with suffering. They’d find catharsis singing Gospel songs or dancing to soul and hip-hop. They’d grieve at healing circles or confide in her father, Pastor John Bryant. Her first exposure to mental health came mixed in with discussions on art, justice, and work — and now, as a clinical psychologist, she’s made this approach her trademark.

So, who does the field leave out if it dismisses religion? Who misses out if deep, rigorous mental health care is thought only to occur inside the four walls of a clinic?

“The things she says sometimes, I want to run for cover,” her father, John Bryant, said one recent afternoon. Retired in Baltimore with his wife, he sometimes feels his heart race, he said, when he watches his daughter talking about the trauma of white supremacy to an auditorium full of White people in Mississippi.

“Oh, but she always does it with a smile,” Cecelia Williams Bryant replied. “She speaks the truth with love."

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to


*Marvin Frank Curtis Zanders Juris Doctorate Candidate

The Dean, Faculty and Staff of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Law announce the hooding of Marvin Frank Curtis Zanders a Juris Doctorate Candidate at the annual Hooding Ceremony on Saturday, May Seventh, Two Thousand and Twenty-Two at 10 o’clock in the morning; Hyatt Grand Cypress , One Grand Cypress Boulevard , Orlando, Florida.


Larger view


The journey continues……..

Upon completion of the Florida Bar, Zanders will relocate to New York to acquire a Master of Law (LLM) degree in Taxation from the prestigious New York University.

Marvin Frank Curtis Zanders is the son of Bishop Marvin Clyde Zanders II, the 140th Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Mrs. Winifred Houston Zanders; Presiding Prelate and Supervisor of the Sixteenth Episcopal District; Guyana/Suriname, Virgin Islands, European, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Windward Islands.


Ways to Congratulate the Graduate:


Zelle –

By Mail: 4003 Eagle Landing Parkway

Orange Park, Florida 32065


Thank you for your love and support!

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to: (Bishop Marvin C. Zanders, II and Supervisor Winifred H. Zanders ).



*How a LSU professor is impacting those battling cancer through his passion for swimming

(From left to right) Senior vice president of principal gifts and CFRE Ann Marie Marmande helps present the Kuumba Community Service Award to Rev. Dr. Herman Kelly of Bethel Ame Church alongside vice provost for diversity and chief diversity officer Dr. Dereck J. Rovaris at the Clarence L. Barney, Jr. African American Cultural Center (AACC) Jazz Brunch on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in the LSU Club at Union Square.

LSU professor Herman Kelly, an African American Studies instructor and pastor, raised over $11, 000 last year for the Hematology and Oncology Clinic of Baton Rouge to financially support patients going through cancer treatment, including his late wife of 37 years, Linda. Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr., is the pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Kelly partnered with Coach Nan Fontenot of Crawfish Aquatics to host a swim fundraiser event, called “Swim for Life”. This year he is calling the event “Swim for Linda”. This is the name of the scholarship that “Swim for Life” created in his wife's honor. The scholarship is given to students who are cancer survivors themselves and Kelly has a say in who receives the scholarship.

Linda Kelly first battled breast cancer in 2014, and then went into remission in 2019. The cancer returned and while she was going through treatment, Kelly found his passion for swimming once again.

“I would go to the pool at 4 in the morning, and that was my therapy,” Kelly said.
In one of these early morning sessions, Kelly believes God spoke to him and gave him the idea to participate in “Swim for Life” events to raise money for cancer patients. Kelly was also told by one of Linda’s doctors that many people can’t afford these kinds of treatments and his main goal in participating in these events was to raise awareness around this issue.  

“God spoke to me and said, ‘I want you to raise money for oncology and those going through cancer treatment,’” Kelly said. 

Linda Kelly herself, against the advice of her husband, attended a “Swim for Life” event after one of her treatment sessions. Kelly said the fondest memory of his wife was when they would hang out together and she would cheer him on at his swimming competitions. He said she always pushed him to be the best person he could be.  

Swimming has been a passion of Kelly’s for most of his life but his wife’s recent battle with cancer has renewed his love for the sport. The sport of swimming has created a path for him to improve his own health as well.  

Kelly is preparing to go to Fort Lauderdale to represent Louisiana in the National Senior games. He swam competitively in college and high school. He has also won multiple state titles in senior swimming events in Louisiana.  

“Swimming has been a purpose through the pain I am going through. As I struggle with the loss of my wife, I have a purpose, and part of my purpose is swimming,” Kelly said. His wife passed away from breast cancer on August 7th, 2021. 

Kelly said, “She was my best friend, and I could talk to her about anything. She was a gift from God.”  

He created the “Swim for Linda” idea while his wife was battling cancer but hopes to continue helping other cancer patients with the financial burden that comes from expensive medical treatments.  

When Kelly struggles to find daily motivation, he remembers his wife, his faith, and the children they had together. He wants to establish a Linda Kelly Swimming Foundation in her memory and is in the process of doing just that.

Kelly recommends that other people who may have lost a loved one to cancer find a purpose for their grief and look for people who truly care about them.  

“My connection with the LSU community has given me a platform to do something good with my passion," Kelly said. "I am a students’ professor, and I am gifted that my students love me just as much as I love them. I always wanted to teach, and as a pastor of 24 years, I see this as an extension of my ministry.” 

This year’s fundraiser took place on Saturday, April 16th at Crawfish Aquatics in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Kelly hoped LSU swimmer Brooks Curry, an Olympian and National Champion, would make an appearance.  

Contributions for assisting Herman Kelly in raising money for cancer patients can be found below. 

“Find something in the community that you’re passionate about,” Kelly said. “I happen to be passionate about helping people who are less fortunate, children who don’t know how to swim, people who are going through cancer treatment. I want to help people going through this, because it's a lot of money, and they need support.”  

The LSU swimming community has rallied around Kelly’s passion for this event. They have participated in and raised money for the fundraiser in the past. His colleagues at LSU admire him for turning the pain from his grief into a constructive hobby and being a role model to everyone who is lucky enough to meet him. 

Responses can be emailed to: 
(Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr.)


On behalf of Social Action Commission Chair, Bishop E. Anne Henning Byfield, and  Mrs. Jacquelyn DuPont-Walker, Director/ Consultant  Social Action Commission, we extend congratulations as you praise God for the Joy of these significant milestones. 

Ora L. Easley,

International Administrator