Congratulatory Announcements

January 2023


*Thema S. Bryant, PhD, begins term as the 2023 President of the American Psychological Association

Get to know APA’s 2023 President: Thema S. Bryant, PhD

The biographical and work of APA Thema S. Bryant, PhD:

Thema S. Bryant, PhD, is a tenured professor of psychology in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University, where she directs the Culture and Trauma Research Laboratory. Her clinical and research interests center on interpersonal trauma and the societal trauma of oppression. She has raised public awareness regarding mental health by extending the reach of psychology beyond the academy and private therapy office through community programming, organizational consultation, popular books, and media engagement. 

Bryant is a past president of the Society for the Psychology of Women and a past APA representative to the United Nations. She also served on the APA Committee on International Relations in Psychology and the Committee on Women in Psychology.

In 2013, APA honored Bryant for Distinguished Early Career Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest. The Institute of Violence, Abuse and Trauma presented her their media award for the film “Psychology of Human Trafficking” in 2016, and the Donald Fridley Memorial Award for excellence in mentoring in the field of trauma in 2018. The California Psychological Association recognized her for Distinguished Scientific Achievement in Psychology in 2015. One of the foundational scholars on the topic of the trauma of racism, she gave an invited keynote address on the topic at APA2020. That year, APA’s International Division honored her for her International Contributions to the Study of Gender and Women for her work in Africa and the Diaspora.

Bryant—known popularly as Dr. Thema—is host of “Homecoming,” a mental health podcast, and director of the mental health ministry at First AME Church in South Los Angeles. She is author of the book Homecoming: Overcome Fear and Trauma to Reclaim Your Whole Authentic Self and co-author of The Antiracism Handbook: Practical Tools to Shift Your Mindset & Uproot Racism in Your Life and Community. She is editor or co-editor of the APA books Womanist and Mujerista Psychologies: Voices of FireActs of Courage and Multicultural Feminist Therapy: Helping Adolescent Girls of Color To Thrive. Her presidential initiatives aim to enhance belonging and engagement within APA and use psychological science to address trauma, grief, and oppression nationally and internationally.

Bryant completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at Duke University and her post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical Center’s Victims of Violence Program. Upon graduating, she became the coordinator of the Princeton University SHARE Program, which provides intervention and prevention programming to combat sexual assault, sexual harassment, and harassment based on sexual orientation.

Thema S. Bryant-Davis, PHD is the daughter of Bishop John Richard Bryant (Retired) and Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant, Supervisor Retired.

Congratulatory email can be sent to: (Bishop John R. Bryant) and, (Rev. Dr. Cecelia Bryant).


*Congratulations to the Rev. W. Antoni Sinkfield, Ph.D.

We extend congratulations to the Rev. W. Antoni Sinkfield, Ph.D., Pastor and Presiding Elder in the 13th Episcopal District and current Associate Dean at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, for being nominated and selected by the Tennessee Technological University Alumni Association Board of Directors as the recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Alumnus Award. The Alumni Association annually presents awards to individuals who have demonstrated professional success or recognition such as to effect great pride among the faculty, students, and alumni of Tennessee Tech.

This is the second such honor granted to Dr. Sinkfield, having been granted the 2020 Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Vanderbilt University Divinity School. The honor to Dr. Sinkfield stated, “After reviewing the nomination materials, the Awards committee has selected you as the most deserving candidate for 2023. We would be honored to recognize you with this award at the Evening of Excellence Celebration that will be held in the Fall at Tennessee Tech University’s Homecoming Night Celebration 2023.

Dr. Sinkfield has served AME churches in the 2nd, 13th, 3rd, and 7th Episcopal Districts; presided over a district in the 13th Episcopal District; and held a Deanship and currently serves on a Board of Trustees in our AME Church Higher Education Institutions.

Congratulations messages can be shared at:


*Bethel Cathedral African Methodist Episcopal Church Congratulates Pastor Dr. Carlos W. Perkins on new appointment 

Dr. Carlos W. Perkins is the newly appointed Assistant Resource Scientist and Associate Director for Engagement in the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Late Institute of Faith and Giving, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana. Also, the Rev. Dr. Carlos Wesley Perkins, the anointed, visionary pastor of Bethel Cathedral AME Church, a native of Jamaica, West Indies has served as an Interim Principal with the Metropolitan School District of Pike Township in Indiana.

Before moving to Indianapolis, Dr. Perkins pastored St. Luke African Methodist Episcopal Church – St. Croix (2015-2018), served as an Associate Minister at the Greater Mt. Nebo African Methodist Episcopal Church under the pastoral leadership of The Rev. Dr. Jonathan L. Weaver, and as a Principal with the District of Columbia Public Schools (Washington Metropolitan High School). Rev. Perkins also served as the Chief Operations Officer at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Frank M. Reid, III.

He graduated with honors from the prestigious Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University with a Masters of Divinity; from the University of Maryland with a Masters of Education and Counseling; and from Ithaca College (New York) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and Sociology. Dr. Perkins graduated from the Payne Theological Seminary (Wilberforce, Ohio) with a Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Leadership and Community Engagement.

Called by God, Dr. Perkins works to empower others through the demonstration of the Holy Spirit. God has used him to powerfully minister to the needs of today’s generation by planning and implementing a number of cutting-edge ministry opportunities and activities. He has also been blessed to preach to and instruct youth and young adults in spiritual development and leadership around the United States, Caribbean and across the continent of Africa; he has been instrumental in planning spiritual conferences, college tours, mentoring programs, athletic events, and spiritual retreats. Dr. Carlos led missionary teams of youth, young adults, and youth ministers to Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Rwanda, and Ghana.

In addition to his work with youth and young adults, Dr. Perkins taught classes in Sociology, Psychology, and Human Development at a local community college. He is a certified Youth Development Specialist and holds certificates in Diversity Training and Designing and Implementing Diversity Initiatives. He is the published author of: Leadership Insights and Applications: African American Students—National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs, and Student Outcomes of Community Service: Assessing the Impact of Service-Learning on Student’s Awareness of and Acceptance of Social Responsibility—University of Maryland Department of Counseling and Personnel Services.

Dr. Perkins is married to Reverend Carla Sharon Perkins, and they have two children, Jebron Carlos and Jemila Carla. He has a profound love for his family and believes that "Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, neither entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that Love him.”


*The Rev. Dr. Steven L. Lyons has been elected the President of the North Carolina Board of Funeral Service

The Rev. Dr. Steven L. Lyons has been elected the President of the North Carolina Board of Funeral Service.  Dr. Lyons was appointed to the Board by Gov. Roy Cooper and represents the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association.  The purpose of the North Carolina Board of Funeral Service is to safeguard the public health, safety, and welfare of North Carolina citizens by ensuring that those individuals and entities licensed for the practice of funeral services in this state are duly qualified.  A 1991 graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service (AS), St. Augustine’s University (BS), Shaw University Divinity School (MDiv) and Hood Theological Seminary (DMin), Dr. Lyons has been a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer and has practiced in the state NC for over 30 years.  He is the President and Manager of the Steven L. Lyons Funeral Home of Raleigh, NC.  An ordained Itinerant Elder, Dr. Lyons is the Pastor of Mt. Zion AME Church, Hillsborough, NC where the Rev. Anita M. Thompson is the Presiding Elder (Eastern District WNCC) and Bishop James L. Davis is the Servant Leader (2nd Episcopal District). 

Contact: Dr. Steven L. Lyons,




Ruth L. Tisdale, Attorney at Law, joined the nation's largest employer, the Walmart Corporation in December 2022, as Senior Counsel for Walmart Health and Wellness Division.  She will be working in the corporate office.

Ruth, a proud graduate of the Wake Forest Law School,  began her legal career in the State of New York in 2014, as an Assistant District Attorney in the District Attorney's Office in the Bronx.   In 2016, she transitioned into private practice where she represented physicians, hospitals, clinics, and other health-related entities in major litigation and transactional matters.  in 2021, she accepted a new position as an Assistant Corporate Counsel with the Christiana Care Health System, the largest hospital system in Delaware, where she was primarily responsible for handling polices, contracts and other legal matters.

Ruth has been a servant of the Church for many years, serving as a Minister of Music.  Although she served with many Churches in that capacity, her most recent service was with the St. James AME Church in Hightstown, New Jersey.  She also gave back to the Church and the community, sharing her expertise on legal matters and providing a forum to assist the members and the community in constructing Wills, Living Wills, etc.

In addition to meeting the challenges of her current position, Ruth is continuing to pursue excellence in education as she is a candidate for a Master's Degree in Public Health (MPH) at Harvard University.  She vows to continue to pursue education and to give back to the Church and the community the wisdom apprehended through the grace of God.

Ruth is the youngest daughter of The Reverend Julius W. Tisdale, Pastor of St. Phillips AME Church in Monticello, FL, and The Rev. Sylvia E. Tisdale. She is the niece of The Rev. Glannie E. Tisdale, Pastor of New Mt Carmel AME Church; Hemingway, S. C.

Congratulatory email can be sent to:  (Ruth L. Tisdale) or (Rev. J. W. Tisdale).


*Sandra Stevens daughter of Reverend Patrea Wilson received Bachelor of Arts Degree and selected as Graduate Assistant to study abroad in Ecuador this summer


Congratulations to Rev. Patrea Wilson, former Pastor of Allen Chapel AME Church in Skipperville, Alabama, on the graduation of her daughter, Sandra Stevens, at the commencement ceremony held on December 10, 2022.  Sandra graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Sociology with a Minor in Philosophy. She was also selected to be a Graduate Assistant for Student Life and will continue Graduate Studies at Valdosta State University. Sandra desires to become an Archeologist. Please keep Sandra in your prayers as she prepares to study abroad in Ecuador this summer. Rev. Patrea Wilson has recently relocated the 11th Episcopal District, Central Florida Conference and is serving on the Ministerial Staff at Ward Chapel AME, Winter Park, Florida.     

 Congratulatory email can be sent to: 

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