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Henry Warner Bowden

African Methodist Episcopal (AME) bishop and educator, was born in Eureka, Kansas, the son of Alexander Gregg and Eliza Frances Allen. Early positive experiences in Sunday schools and the Epworth League (a Methodist youth organization) encouraged him to develop good study habits and to expect successful results from his efforts. During the Spanish-American War, Gregg signed on for service in the Twenty-third Kansas Volunteers. Within six months he had risen from the rank of sergeant to that of lieutenant. This is all the more notable because few African Americans were commissioned as officers in those days. His capacity for disciplined work blended with his proven ability to coordinate large-scale activities, and these qualities stood him in good stead through the following half century. In 1900 he married Celia Ann Nelson; they adopted one child. In 1945, four years after his first wife's death, he married Melberta McFarland ...


Peter C. Murray

minister, was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina, to James Samuel and Dessie Veronica Thomas. His father was a Methodist minister, and he followed in his footsteps by becoming an ordained Methodist minister and later a bishop. Thomas Jr. graduated from Claflin College in Orangeburg, receiving a bachelor of arts degree in 1939. He went on to obtain a bachelor of divinity degree from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta in 1943 and a master of divinity degree from Drew University in 1944. Cornell University awarded him a PhD in Sociology in 1953.

While gaining his education, Thomas also became a Methodist minister in South Carolina. He was ordained a deacon in 1942 and was received as an elder in 1944. He married Ruth Naomi Wilson on 7 July 1945 and they had three daughters He served several congregations as a young minister but in ...