President of the Council of Bishops Bishop Harry L. Seawright
Bishop Seawright is the Presiding Prelate of the Ninth Episcopal District which includes the entire State of Alabama that comprises of the following Annual Conferences: Alabama River Region, Northwest Alabama, Southeast Alabama, Northeast Alabama, and Southwest Alabama. In July 2016 during the 50th Quadrennial Session of the AME General Conference in Philadelphia, PA, Bishop Seawright’s election marked only the second time in AME history that a bishop was elected on the first ballot.
Bishop Harry L. Seawright, the 133rd Elected and Consecrated Bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church will be invested and elevated as the President of the Council of Bishop of the International African Methodist Episcopal Church, in June 2019.
Bishop Seawright was born in Swansea, SC, to the late Joe Nathan and Mary L. Seawright. As a fourth-generation AME, his faith was nurtured at Prodigal AME in Swansea, SC.
The late Bishop Frank M. Reid, II admitted Bishop Seawright to the South Carolina Central Annual Conference. The late Bishop Henry W. Murph ordained him an Itinerant Deacon in the Washington Annual Conference. The late Bishop John Hurst Adams ordained him an Itinerant Elder in the Washington Annual Conference.
Bishop Seawright earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Benedict College, Columbia, SC; Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Howard University School of Divinity, Washington, DC. Bishop Seawright founded and maintains many business interests.
With his appointment as Interim Pastor of St. Stephen AME, St. Matthews, SC., Bishop Seawright’s preparation for pastoral ministry began. He served on the ministerial staffs of Reid Temple AME and Pilgrim AME, both in Washington, DC. His pastoral appointments were: Payne Memorial AME, Jessup, MD; Hemingway Temple AME, Washington, DC; and Union Bethel AME, Brandywine and Temple Hills, MD. He served Union Bethel for 30 years, the longest tenure of any pastor in the church’s 130-year history.
On the Episcopal level, Bishop Seawright serves as chair of the AME International Commission on Economic Development and the International Health Commission. In Alabama, he is a member of the Ingram State Technical College Foundation; he has been honored by Alabama A & M University, in 2018 he was inducted into Sigma Pi Phi fraternity. Several cities in the State of Alabama have given him keys to their cities, and he is the recipient of several Congressional citations. Bishop Seawright serves as a Board Member of the Interdenominational Theological Center, in 2018 he was appointed as 2nd Vice President of the Trustee Board of Turner Seminary in Atlanta, GA. The Birmingham NAACP recognized him as the 2017 Distinguished Religious Leader of the Year. Bishop Seawright continues to use his business acumen to benefit the 9th Episcopal District.
Bishop Seawright is married to the Reverend Sherita Moon Seawright. They are the parents of Shari Nicole and Harry Matthew and the grandparents of Cameron Isaiah.