Payne seminary elects new president


Gazette News Report

WILBERFORCE — The Payne Theological Seminary Board of Trustees has elected the Rev. Dr. Michael Joseph Brown president of its Wilberforce-based Seminary.

Prior to his appointment, Brown was the Seminary’s academic dean and interim president. He replaces Dr. Leah Gaskin-Fitchue, who stepped down from the president’s position in 2015 after serving the Seminary for 12 years.

“I am honored to be able to continue and build on the work and legacy that has been established here,” Brown said.

Before coming to Payne, the 47-year old Cincinnati native was associate professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Emory University in Atlanta. He was also an associate dean at Wabash College in Indiana, and the director of its Malcolm X Institute on Black Studies.

The internationally recognized biblical scholar and minister has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Chicago. According to a release from the school, Brown is a highly sought-after preacher and public speaker, whose passion for community uplift inspires people around the nation. Coming from five generations of ministers, he writes about the topic of higher education, generally, and the education of African Americans, specifically.

Brown has authored four books: “What They Don’t Tell You: A Survivor’s Guide to Academic Biblical Studies;” “Blackening of the Bible: The Aims of African American Biblical Scholarship;” “The Lord’s Prayer through North African Eyes: A Window into Early Christianity and The Lord’s Prayer;” and “God’s Vision for the World: Finding Your Purpose through Prayer.” In addition, he was a leading contributor to the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible.

“When you look at his accomplishments, you will see that he has done an excellent job,” said Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram, board chair and presiding prelate of the First Episcopal District in Philadelphia.


Gazette news report compiled by Scott Halasz.

Gazette news report compiled by Scott Halasz.


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