The esteemed founder of Hartford Seminary's Black Ministries Program and a former Seminary professor, Senior Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt Jr., has died. Services were held for Bishop Hoyt, a professor of New Testament at the seminary from 1980-1994, on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the Cramton Auditorium, Howard University, 2455 6th St., NW Washington, D.C.
Bishop Hoyt, who gave the charge at the Seminary graduation in 2012 when he returned to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Black Ministries Program, was the presiding prelate of the seventh Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
"May God be with his family and friends and all who knew him as we mourn his loss, and celebrate his ministry, his vision, his abounding love for God and neighbor, manifested in so many ways throughout his life," said Hartford Seminary President Heidi Hadsell.
The Black Ministries Program is a national model for building the leadership, training and preaching skills of laity and clergy in the urban church. Since Bishop Hoyt founded the program in 1982, BMP has prepared more than 1,000 men and women for effective service.
Bishop Hoyt was the former President of the National Council of Churches USA and the author of three books and more than 40 articles.
He 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 20 years as a professor of theology. He 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.
Below is a remembrance page created by Prof. Miriam Therese Winter and a hymn that she wrote for Bishop Hoyt when he left the seminary.