Mississippi and Vermont have topped the lists since Gallup began polling on the subject. (AP Photo)

For Immediate Release

Progressive National Baptist Convention Elects Rev. Dr. James C. Perkins as 20th President

(August 7, 2014). Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Rev. Dr. James C. Perkins, Senior Pastor of Greater Christ Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, was elected as the 20th President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC) by delegates attending the 53rd Annual Convention. States Perkins, “I am honored to be elected as president of this historic organization. I look forward to serving our pastors and churches and to making our voice heard on the critical issues of our time.” Dr. Perkins’s goals for the PNBC include returning the denomination to its roots as “a premiere prophetic Christian body that proclaims the gospel’s social justice message.”

In 1961, PNBC started as a movement which reflected the religious, social, and political climate of the time. Its mission was to transform the traditional African American Baptist Convention as well as society. The formation of the convention was wrapped up in the Civil Rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s struggle for freedom for African Americans. It was PNBC that provided a denominational home for Dr. King and many of the Baptist leaders in the Civil Rights Movement. In concert with the denomination’s historical ideologies, Perkins has created a mission statement that is relevant for a 21st-century African American community and will drive his strategic goals.

PNBC’s charge will be “equipping pastors and churches to be effective in ministry and lifting our voice on behalf of the voiceless.” His vision is to unite African Americans to positively impact the community. “Whether it is engaging in activities to protect voter’s rights, supporting education initiatives, or preventing youth violence, we want to create a landscape of hope that leads to an America where all citizens equally benefit from its freedoms,” states Perkins.

A native of Williamson, West Virginia, Perkins is an officer of PNBC, and most recently served as 1st Vice President of the group. Ordained to gospel ministry in 1974, he has served as pastor of Greater Christ Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, for thirty-two years. He received his Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio (1990, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Fellow). Perkins is the author of Building Up Zion’s Walls: Ministry for Empowering the African American Family and Playbook for Christian Manhood: 12 Key Plays for Black Teen Boys (Judson Press: Valley Forge, Pennsylvania).

In 1992, Perkins founded the Fellowship Nonprofit Housing Corporation as a vehicle for community economic development. In the spring of 2006, the $10 million dollar Providence Place was constructed, which provides single-family homes for low- and middle-income families. Perkins’s passion is education and in 1993 he founded the Benjamin E. Mays Male Academy for boys in grades K-6. The school operated for 17 years. Perkins is married to Linda Adkins Perkins. He is the father of two daughters, Tamaria Yvette Perkins-Newton and Lindsey Camille Perkins, and one grandson, Chayton James Perkins.

PNBC currently operates throughout the United States in four national regions (Eastern, Midwest, Southern, and Southwest) and one international region. The PNBC membership is estimated to be 2.5 million worldwide with more than 1.5 million members residing in the United States.

Media Contact: Linda Peavy, LiPav Consulting, 216-262-1029, lpeavy@lipav.com, or PNBC Communications Department, 202-396-0558.

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