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Rev. Dr. James Z. Alexander, former dean of Continuing Education, Dean of Academic Affairs, and Dean, Shaw Divinity School, passed away October 21, 1993 in Raleigh, NC. Born in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, August 7, 1931, Dean Alexander, as he was fondly known, left a lasting and indelible mark on the Shaw Divinity School. Not only, was the Annual Pastorís Conference Inaugurated on his watch, but Dr. Alexander led the Shaw Divinity School toward the non-traditional hours (NTH), an innovation which greatly enhanced the Shaw Divinity school curriculum and opened theological education to many bi-vocational ministers who earlier could not matriculate quality graduate education. A preacher and teacher of no mean ability, Dr Alexander served as mentor to hundreds of young ministers across the state and country.

Dr. Alexander was educated in the public school of North Carolina graduating from high school in Hickory, NC. He earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from Shaw University and the Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology degrees from Andover Newton Theological School, Newton Centre, Massachusetts. He studied at the Ecumenical Institute in Chateau de Bossey, Celigny, Switzerland. On September 14, 1979, the Shaw Divinity School conferred upon the Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. Dean Alexander was married to Brendalyn Diane Fillyaw Alexander of Raleigh, NC.

In honor of Dr. Alexander and his many contributions to Shaw Divinity School, what was known as the Annual Pastorís Conference was renamed in 1994 ďThe James Z. Alexander/Albert W. Pegues Annual Ministersí Conference.



Rev. Dr. Albert W. Pegues, a native of Cheraw, South Carolina (1859) was born in slavery but went on to Benedict College, Columbia, S.C., Richmond Institute, now the School of Theology, Virginia Union University, University of Lewisburg, now Bucknell University, and concluded his distinguished academic preparation at Selma University where the Ph.D degree was conferred. Dr Henry Martin Tupper brought Dr. Pegues to Shaw University in 1886 as Chair of Philosophy and Languages, and ultimately Dean of the College. Our Baptist Ministers and Schools, Dr Peguesí seminal work was published by Wiley and Co. in 1892. Legended philosopher, orator, teacher, preacher, author and race leader, Dr. Pegues was a model and mentor for countless scholars and theologies in the late 1800ís and first half of this century and an early forerunner of the exemplars of the gospel for which Shaw University has become known.

Last year, we discovered an article written by Dr. Albert W. Pegues in August 1902 reflecting his commitment for the necessity of a trained ministry. In maintaining his legacy and commitment for training African American clergy, we therefore offer this historic article for your viewing, "The Necessity Of A Trained Ministry."




Rev. Dr. Gardner C. Taylor, born on June 18, 1918, as the only child of an educated mother and a Baptist preacher father in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Gardner Calvin Taylor began on the path that would eventually lead to becoming the influential senior pastor of the Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, New York. His peers named him the greatest African American preacher and one of America's greatest preachers in Ebony in 1993. President Bill Clinton agreed in 2000 when he bestowed upon Taylor the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Despite his background, Taylor was agnostic until his involvement in a 1937 car accident in which a white man died. Consequently, he enrolled in the Oberlin Graduate School of Theology in 1937, where he met and married Laura Bell Scott. They have one daughter, Martha. While still in school, he preached at Bethany Baptist Church in Oberlin, Ohio, from 1938 to 1941.

Taylor actively advocated civil rights as pastor for four churches. He sought the presidency of the National Baptist Church Convention in 1961, and after losing, he and his followers formed the Progressive National Baptist Convention. Taylor taught at prominent divinity schools, including Harvard and Yale. Now senior pastor emeritus of Concord, he has traveled extensively around the world and uses all his experiences in his preaching.


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