PINE BLUFF, Ark. – On May 10, 2014, AM&N (now UAPB) alumnus Reverend Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr. will deliver the commencement address to Spring 2014 graduates of UAPB. The free, public event will take place at 3:00 p.m. in the Pine Bluff Convention Center Arena.
Known as a “Preachers’ Preacher” and designated by Ebony Magazine in 1993 as one of America’s “Fifteen Greatest African American Preachers,” the Reverend Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr., is the Senior Servant of the 6,000-member historic Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and Largo, Maryland. Since his election in June 1977, Dr. Hicks has served as the fifth senior minister in the congregation’s one hundred and forty six year history. During his 36-year pastorate at Metropolitan the church has developed one of the world’s foremost Christian congregations, distinguished by its fervent worship and prophetic preaching. The church’s various social service ventures have placed Metropolitan among the world’s most significant religious institutions.
Dr. Hicks has established an undisputed reputation for accomplished and innovative initiatives that further cultivate the church and create partnerships within the community. Among these exemplary efforts are: the Metropolitan Day School, an Afro-centric Christian learning experience for students pre-K through 5; The Garment’s Hem, Inc., a ministry dedicated to Christ-centered psychological and emotional health therapy, and the Metropolitan Community Development Corporation that engages in community, economic and employment initiatives in Washington, D.C. and the State of Maryland.
An activist within his community, Dr. Hicks gave leadership to the Committee Against All Killing and the Committee for Strict Liability that achieved passage of a referendum in Washington, D.C. holding the manufacturers of automatic firearms liable for the death and destruction they cause. Additionally, he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Skinner Farm Leadership Institute.
Within the theological community, Dr. Hicks has served as Distinguished Visiting professor at Wesley Theological Seminary, Adjunct Professor at United Theological Seminary, Chicago Theological Seminary, Colgate Rochester Divinity School and Howard University School of Divinity.
Dr. Hicks is a 1964 Honors Graduate of AM&N (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff). A recipient of the Rockefeller Protestant Fellowship, Dr. Hicks graduated from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in May 1967. Selected as one of the original Martin Luther King Fellows at the Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1972, his studies included the University of Nigeria, the University of Ghana and the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. He earned the Doctor of Ministry in Theology degree in 1975. Subsequently, his dissertation, Images of the Black Preacher: The Man Nobody Knows was published by Judson Press in 1977. In 1994 Dr. Hicks received the coveted Merrill Fellowship at Harvard University Divinity School. In 1999, he earned the Master of Business Administration from the George Washington University. In 2008 Morehouse College of Atlanta, Georgia honored Dr. Hicks with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree.
The author of seven books, Dr. Hicks is widely published in religious periodicals. The three most popular of his writings include: On Jordan’s Stormy Banks , My Soul’s Been Anchored  and Preaching Through a Storm [1987, 12th printing]. In addition, Dr. Hicks is President of H. Beecher Hicks, Jr. Ministries, Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in church leadership development and team building.
Among his numerous honors, Dr. Hicks was named Keynote Preacher for the Baptist World Congress in Sydney, Australia in 2000. He was also named Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 2007. His memberships include his elevation to the 33rd Degree Grand Inspector General, Jonathan Davis Consistory, Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge; Guest Lecturer on Urban Ministry, Robert Schuller Leadership Institute, Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, California; Distinguished Preacher, Riverside Church, New York City 2011; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity as of April 2010.
Dr. Hicks was licensed and ordained to the Gospel ministry by Mount Olivet Baptist Church of Columbus, Ohio, and served as Senior Minister of Second Baptist Church, Mumford, New York; Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Christ in Houston, Texas. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dr. Hicks is the son of the late Reverend Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Sr., and the late Mrs. Eleanor Frazier Hicks. He is married to the former Elizabeth Harrison of Selma, Alabama. They are the parents of H. Beecher III, the Reverend Ivan Douglas, and Kristin Elizabeth Hicks. Dr. and Mrs. Hicks are the proud grandparents of three girls, Austynn, Ashley, and Anya; and grandsons Henry IV and Harrison.