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Stephen D. Glazier

African American religious, educational, and political leader, was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, the son of Samuel G. Arnett and Mary Louisa (maiden name unknown). Benjamin Arnett was a man of “mixed Irish, Indian, Scots, and African ancestry” (Wright, Eighty‐seven Years, 79). He was educated in a one‐room schoolhouse in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania. Arnett worked as a longshoreman along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and worked briefly as a hotel waiter. His career as a longshoreman and waiter ended abruptly in 1858 when a cancerous tumor necessitated the amputation of his left leg. He turned to teaching and was granted a certificate on 19 December 1863. At that time he was the only African American schoolteacher licensed in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. For ten months during the academic year 1884–1885, Arnett served as a school principal in Washington, D.C. He returned to Brownsville in 1885, teaching there until 1887 ...


Benjamin William Arnett, Jr., was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania. He was entirely self-taught. After working as a waiter and a dockworker, he became certified as a teacher in Brownsville in 1864, but he moved to Washington, D.C., and decided to become a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). After receiving his license to preach in 1865, he was assigned his first pastorate in 1867 in Walnut Hills, Ohio, near Cincinnati; Arnett also taught school there. First ordained as a deacon in the AME church in 1868, he became an elder in 1870. He served the AME General Conference as its secretary in 1876 and its financial secretary in 1880. In addition, he established close connections to the AME church's center for learning, Wilberforce University in Ohio.

During the American Civil War (1861–1865 Arnett had worked with Frederick Douglass s National ...


Brandon R. Byrd

was born to James Overton and Jane Holly on 3 October 1829 in Washington, D.C. His father introduced him to the shoemaking trade at an early age, while his mother made sure that Holly and his siblings attended Catholic services. Holly also received an education at a school run by a prominent black Washingtonian, and he continued his studies under the private guidance of Catholic priests. Despite these opportunities, Holly felt the sting of racial prejudice. His family moved on several occasions, each time venturing farther north to escape the disfranchisement, job discrimination, and racial violence that increasingly affected free blacks. As slavery expanded and defenses of the institution became more resolute, Holly came to agree with those African Americans in the United States who saw no prospects for freedom in their homeland.

In 1851 after working with the white abolitionist Lewis Tappan Holly married Charlotte Ann Gordon and ...


Jason Philip Miller

clergyman and bishop, was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, to Sidney Dallas Jones and Jane Holley. He attended local schools and in 1895 received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Greensboro's Bennett College (years before it became an all-women's institution).

Jones wished to pursue a religious life, and in 1891 he took up a position as a preacher at a church in Leaksville, North Carolina. A year later, he was ordained as a minister in the Methodist Episcopal (ME) church, and was assigned to Reidsville, where in 1896 he rose to the rank of church Elder. Meanwhile, having taken his B.A. from Bennett, he continued his education, first attending Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, where he received a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1897. A year later, he was back at Bennett College, from which he earned a Master of Divinity degree in 1898.

After a ...


De Witt S. Dykes

Born Leontine Turpeau in Washington, DC, to Reverend David De Witt Turpeau Sr. and Ila Marshall Turpeau, Leontine Turpeau Current Kelly became, in 1984, the first African American woman to be elected bishop in the United Methodist Church. Her father, a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, pastored churches in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Washington, DC; and Baltimore, Maryland, before ending his ministerial career in Cincinnati, Ohio. He also worked for the Anti-Saloon League for three years in the 1910s and served in the administrative position of District Superintendent in the Methodist Episcopal Church’s Washington Conference in the 1920s. David D. Turpeau preached and practiced the “Social Gospel,” which holds that churches should serve the surrounding community and foster social improvement. With this purpose in mind, he entered politics, winning election as a Republican to five terms in the Ohio State Legislature starting in 1939 Ila Marshall Turpeau ...


the first black woman ordained a bishop in the United Methodist Church, was born Leontine Turpeau in the parsonage of Mount Zion Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., to David DeWitt Turpeau Sr., a minister, and Ila Marshall Turpeau. One of eight children, Leontine Turpeau was deeply influenced by both of her parents. Her father, a Catholic turned Methodist, served congregations in Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh before moving to Cincinnati's Calvary Methodist Church in 1928. While there, he was one of the first blacks in Ohio to serve in the state legislature.During the segregation era when all the black Methodist churches were united into a central jurisdiction the Reverend Turpeau never left the denomination and told his children that they were staying to try to just get this church straight because they can t be the church of Jesus Christ without us Turpeau s mother grew up ...


Danica Tisdale

religious leader, college founder, and historian, was born near Jackson, Tennessee, to Cullen Lane, a white slave owner, and Rachel, a slave woman. Although born to a white father, young Isaac, by custom and law, occupied the status of his mother and was thus raised a slave by Rachel and her husband Josh, a slave and field hand. Little is known about young Isaac's parents, and, in fact, his autobiography states that he “was reared almost motherless and fatherless having no parental care and guidance” (Lane, 47). Nevertheless he was a precocious child, eager to learn. At the age of eleven he assumed the surname of his white father.

In his formative years Lane began to educate himself and would eventually learn to read write and do math Denied the advantages of early training Lane was able to seize a blue black speller and through ...