Congratulatory Announcements 

April 2023

*Bishop Frederick Calhoun James the Ninety-Third Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Oldest Living Bishop in Methodism in the USA  still lives holding “True to his Christian Social Action Legacy.” Bishop James, One Hundred and First Birthday was April 7, 2023.

  " Episcopal Centenarian plus One - Bishop James 101st Birthday Party*

Click below to see the ABC Columbia News Coverage         



Bishop Frederick C. James was born on April 7, 1922, in Prosperity, South Carolina, to Rosa Lee Gray and Edward James. James received his A.A. degree in 1941 from Bettis Junior College, in Trenton, South Carolina, his B.A. degree in history and English in 1943 from Allen University, in Columbia, South Carolina, and his M.Div. degree in 1947 from the Howard University School of Divinity, in Washington, D.C. He also attended Dickerson Theological Seminary, in Columbia, South Carolina, and Union Theological Seminary, in New York, New York.

He became pastor of Friendship AME Church in 1945 and of Bishop Memorial AME Church in 1946, both in Columbia, South Carolina, and of Wayman AME Church, in Winnsboro, South Carolina, in 1947. In 1949, He became dean of Dickerson Theological Seminary, and, in 1950, pastor of Chappelle Memorial AME Church in Columbia. In 1953, James moved to Sumter, South Carolina, to assume the pastorship of Mt. Pisgah AME Church. In 1960, James was elected director of social action of the AME Church. In 1962, the Rev. James helped organize and chaired the Sumter Citizens Committee. In 1963, he became president of the Effective Sumter Movement. In 1972, he was elected the 93rd Bishop of the AME Church. He served the 18th and 15th Episcopal Districts from 1972 to 1976, the 12th from 1976 to 1984, the 7th from 1984 to 1992, and the 2nd from 1993 to 1996. James led Shorter College, in Little Rock, Arkansas, to full accreditation in 1981 and Allen University to full accreditation in 1992. That same year, he served as Ecumenical Bishop and Chaplaincy Endorsement Officer of the AME Church. Bishop James retired in 1996.

He has served as chair of Allen University and of the Howard Junior High School Center in Prosperity, South Carolina, and as a member of the Columbia Housing Authority. He was a member of the delegation to attend the inauguration of South African President Nelson Mandela in 1994. James is a former member of the White House Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and of the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Board on Religious Freedom and served as National Vice President of the Interfaith Alliance. Bishop James is a life member of the NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and is a 33 degree Mason. He also served on the board of directors at the National Bank of South Carolina and as a member of the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce.

Bishop James holds an honorary doctorate of humanities from Monrovia College, in Liberia. James received the Order of the Palmetto in 2003 and the Leon A. Love Lifetime Achievement Award from the South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation and Columbia SC 63: Our Story Matters in 2020. James has been inducted into the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame and the Columbia Housing Authority Wall of Fame

He lives in Columbia, South Carolina, where he resided with his late wife, Theressa Gregg James.


*Bishop Philip Robert Cousin Sr., The 96th Elected and Consecrated Bishop and Retired Senior Bishop of African Methodism, celebrated his 90th Birthday, Sunday, March 26, 2023

For Birthday Greetings and Expressions of Love, please send to:

Bishop Philip Robert Cousin, Sr
1322 Rosemary Drive
Bolingbrook, Illinois 60490 

Bishop Philip Robert Cousin, Sr., was born on March 26, 1933, in Pittston, Pennsylvania, to Mary Lena (Johns) Cousin and Reverend Sylvester Alvin Cousin. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in West Palm Beach, Florida, and went on to receive his B.A. degree in philosophy and English from Central State University, in Wilberforce, Ohio, in 1953, his Master of Divinity degree from the Boston University School of Theology, in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1956, and his Doctor of Ministry degree as an MLK Fellow in black church studies from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, in Rochester, New York, in 1975. He also studied at the Boston University School of Education (now Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development) and the Educational Administration Program at the University of Texas at Austin.

In 1956, He was assigned as pastor St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Danville, Virginia. In 1958, he was reassigned to Trinity AME Church in Norfolk, Virginia. He became president of Kittrell College, in Kittrell, North Carolina, in 1960, serving until 1965, when he became pastor of St. Joseph AME Church in Durham, North Carolina. In 1967, he established a curriculum for black church studies at Duke University Divinity School and began lecturing at Southeastern Theological Seminary, in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was consecrated the 96th bishop of the AME Church in 1976, serving the Ninth, Eleventh, First, and Fourth Episcopal Districts until his retirement, in 2008. In 1982, he was appointed first vice president of the National Council of Churches, becoming president the following year and serving until 1988, and reading the Protestant position paper at a 1987 meeting with Pope John Paul II. On November 4, 2008, he led the opening prayer for Barack Obama’s presidential election victory speech, in Chicago, Illinois. He also has pastored Allen Temple AME Church in Riviera Beach, Florida.

Bishop Cousin has served as a second lieutenant, infantry (reserves), in the U.S. Armed Services; a delegate to the 1968 Democratic National Convention, in Chicago, Illinois; a trustee of Lincoln Hospital, in Durham, North Carolina; chairman of the Durham Human Relations Commission; a member of the Durham County Board of Social Services and of the Durham County Board of Education; and a member of the nation

He has received honorary doctorates from Kittrell College and from Payne Theological Seminary, in Wilberforce, Ohio, among other institutions. He also has been the recipient of several honors and awards, including the Kellogg Fellowship in Junior College Administration and the Keeper of the Flame award. He has twice been named one of the “100 Most Influential Black Americans” by Ebony magazine.

Bishop Cousin and retired Supervisor Cousin, Margaret Joan (Grier) Cousin, live in Bolingbrook, Illinois. They have five sons: Philip, Jr., Steven, David, Michael, and Joseph, all of whom serve as ministers in the AME Church.

*John Thomas III, is the 21st  Editor of The Christian Recorder—the official organ of the 2.5 million-member AME Church. He is the first layperson to serve in this role and the youngest elected General Officer in the history of the AME Church.


*Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr., Pastor of Bethel AME Church Baton Rouge to receive the George H. Deer Distinguished Teaching Award For Outstanding Teaching

Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr., Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana will receive the George H. Deere Teaching award for outstanding teaching. The award will be given at a special ceremony on April 25, 2023, at The Lod Cooke Hotel on LSU campus.

Dr. Kelly teaches in the Education Department in the African and African American Studies Department at Louisiana State University.  Dr. Kelly is State Champion in The Senior Games and a National Senior Games participant in swimming.

George H. Deer Distinguished Teaching Award

General Description: 

This award is made in memory of George H. Deer, Ph.D., former Dean of University College (1959-1966) and a distinguished member of the faculty of the College of Education for over 25 years (1940-1966).  The purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding teaching at LSU.

(Click on the award's communication below to enlarge).

202 University Faculty Awards:
About the George H. Deere Teaching Award: 

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


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