CRCDS honors the Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellows of CRCDS for Black History Month. Each week throughout the month of February, we will highlight members from this prestigious group.

The Rite Rev. Dr. John R. Bryant

The Rite Rev. Dr. John R. Bryant (CRCDS ’75) holds a B.A. from Morgan State University, a M.Th. from Boston University School of Theology, and a D.Min. from Colgate Rochester Divinity School. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate from Paul Quinn College, Payne Theological Seminary and Virginia Seminary and he received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from both Boston University School of Theology and Morgan State University. Bishop Bryant was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Baltimore City College.

Bishop Bryant pastored Bethel A.M.E. Church (Fall River, MA), St. Paul A.M.E. Church (Cambridge, MA) and Bethel A.M.E. Church (Baltimore, MD). With an emphasis on church growth, community development and political empowerment, he has preached and/or taught on more than 25 college campuses and five continents and was a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa from 1965 to 1967.

In 1988, Bishop Bryant was assigned to the 14th Episcopal District (West Africa) where he presided over 101 churches and 25 schools. In 1991 he was given the additional assignment of the 10th Episcopal District in Texas. The Episcopal Committee of the 44th Session of the General Conference A.M.E. Church in 1992 assigned him to preside over the 10th Episcopal District where he presided over 300 churches. In 2000, the Episcopal Committee of the 46th General Conference assigned him to the 5th Episcopal District, where he presided over the A.M.E. Churches in 14 states West of the Mississippi.

Bishop Bryant has received the Boston Jaycee’s Outstanding Young Man’s Award, the Delta’s Outstanding Achievement Award, an award from Prince Hall Mason. He is listed on Ebony Magazine’s Honor Roll of Outstanding African American Preachers. In 1997, he published a collection of sermons entitled, God Can: Sermons of Encouragement from the Life of Elijah.

Bishop John Bryant is married to Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant and is the father of Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant and Thema Simone Bryant-Davis, Ph.D.

Rev. Dr. Harold A. Carter, Sr.

Rev. Dr. Harold A. Carter, Sr., (Crozer 1959) died in 2013 at the age of 76. Dr. Carter was the senior pastor of the New Shiloh Baptist Church (Baltimore, MD), a congregation of 5,000 members. Dr. Carter preached with legends of the civil rights era, and for years he could be heard on Sundays on WBAL-Radio. He filled 14,000 seats for an evangelistic crusade at the 1st Mariner Arena. His first publication was The Prayer Tradition of Black People.

In Baltimore, Dr. Carter worked to establish a church complex that included senior-citizen housing, a theological institute, a religious music school and a children’s center. Dr. Carter was influenced by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he listened to him at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL. In addition to Crozer Theological Seminary, Dr. Carter earned doctorates at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore. He was a local coordinator for the Poor People’s Campaign, a national movement that rallied support for African-American causes. Dr. Carter’s wife Weptanomah, ran the women’s ministry and wrote nine books, including The Black Minister’s Wife.

When Dr. Carter passed, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (January 18, 1951 – October 17, 2019) said in a statement that his “heart is heavy” after learning of the passing of Dr. Carter, whom he called “a true friend and mentor who blessed my life in countless ways.” “Dr. Carter was a man of God. As a pastor, an author and a community leader, he built a strong ministry rooted in Christian faith and embodying the principles of civil rights and justice that were instilled in him in his youth,” Cummings said, adding that he often turned to him for counsel when facing difficult decisions.