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Senior Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr., Presiding Prelate of the Seventh Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, wasthe main speaker at the 2012 Graduation Banquet of the Black Ministries Program, which he founded. The banquetwas held on May 31
The Black Ministries Program (BMP) is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Bishop Hoyt will discuss its founding and its importance to the urban communities that it has served.
Also, Bishop Hoyt will deliver the charge to graduates during graduation ceremonies at the Seminary on Friday, June 1. Graduation starts at 5 p.m.
The Black Ministries Program is a national model for building the leadership, training and preaching skills of laity and clergy in the urban church. Men and women, deeply concerned about the fate of our society, enroll to become effective leaders and advocates.
BMP students understand that people of faith must have the tools to put their faith into action for their church and their community.
Since its founding in 1982, BMP has prepared more than 1,000 men and women for effective service.
The program is open to lay and ordained leaders. It meets weekly on Saturday mornings and requires successful completion of eight courses for graduation.
Courses are offered in Scripture, Theology, Spirituality, Preaching, Arts of Ministry, Writing, and Administration.
The current director of the program is Bishop Benjamin K. Watts, Faculty Associate in Religion and Community Life. Dr. Watts also is Senior Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in New London, CT. He is a member of the Churches Covered and Connected in Covenant (CCCC).
?I am delighted that Bishop Hoyt will return to Hartford Seminary to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Black Ministries Program. It is an honor for the program and for me,? said Dr. Watts. ?If you look at the active leaders in the faith communities in Hartford and other urban communities in Connecticut and New England, you see the influence of the Black Ministries Program. Effective service requires effective education, and BMP provides that learning,? he said.
Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt Jr. was elected to the Episcopacy of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in 1994. The New Testament scholar is presently serving as the Presiding Prelate of the Seventh Episcopal District.
At the 2010 General Conference of the Church, Bishop Hoyt, Jr, was elevated to the position of Senior Bishop.
He is serving as Chair of the Lay Department of the CME Church and also on many ecumenical boards and organizations. He is the former President of the National Council of Churches USA and the author of three books and over 40 articles.
Bishop Hoyt earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lane College, Jackson, TN, a Master of Divinity degree from Phillips School of Theology of The Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA, a Master of Sacred Theology degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York, and a Ph.D. from Duke University, Durham, NC. He was awarded the Doctor of Divinity degree from Trinity College in 1994.
His ministry included pastoral service of several CME churches in North Carolina and New York and more than twenty years as a professor of theology. He has served as Assistant Professor of New Testament at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA, and the School of Religion at Howard University in Washington, D.C., as well as Professor of New Testament and Director of the Black Ministries Program at Hartford Seminary.
Bishop Hoyt was assigned to the Seventh Episcopal District at the 2006 General Conference. The district includes churches from South Carolina north through Virginia, the Northeast, and New England.
Bishop Hoyt is from the state of Alabama, and is married to Mrs. Ocie Harriet Hoyt.