Aug
30

African American Fellowship Final Presentation: James Harrison

Aug 30, 2024

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James Mitchell Harrison is the fourth Executive Minister for American Baptist Churches of the South, one of 34 regions making up the national denomination, American Baptist Churches, U.S.A. He came to this position in August 2015. He leads a co-vocational professional life and has been the Pastor of Main Street Baptist Church in Smithfield, Virginia, since 1996.

Reverend Harrison was born in the Kenner Army Hospital at Fort Lee, Virginia, and reared in Surry County, where his ancestors have a historical nine-generation presence. He married Cathy Williams Harrison and enjoys life with three adult children.

He graduated from Surry County High School, Dendron, Virginia; the University of Virginia, B.A., Charlottesville, Virginia; the School of Theology at Virginia Union University, M.Div., Richmond, Virginia; and United Theological Seminary, D.Min., Dayton, Ohio. 

Participating in the Preservation Virginia African American Fellowship offering, Reverend Harrison is developing research on Black American Land Ownership on Grays Creek. This study is designed to archive the history of land ownership among Black Americans living near Grays Creek between 1860-1960 in Surry County, Virginia. It is an examination of deeds, wills, tax records and other records to substantiate ownership and the presence of Black Americans in this section of the County along this Scenic Virginia waterway. This project also examines subjects such as forestry, architecture, cemeteries, religion, employment and industry among recently freed Black Americans. 

Final presentation will be in person and virtual, we hope you can attend! Link to attend virtually, location and time coming soon.