Bishop Battle to be speaker at Hood commencement
Dr. Albert Aymer, President of Hood Theological Seminary, announced today that Dr. George E. Battle, Jr., Bishop of the AME Zion Church presently serving the North Eastern Episcopal District which also encompasses churches in New York, Connecticut, New England and the Bahamas will be the Hood Theological Seminary’s commencement speaker on Saturday, May 12. Commencement exercises will take place at 10:30 a.m. under a large tent on the hillside overlooking the seminary campus. In making this announcement, Dr. Aymer said “We are very proud and fortunate to have Bishop Battle, a distinguished alumnus of this seminary, as this year’s speaker. He is highly respected throughout the AME Zion Church and well known for his effective leadership with a variety of civic activities in the Charlotte Mecklenburg area. The entire Hood Theological Seminary community is greatly honored to have a religious leader of his stature with us on this most important day in the lives of our graduands.”
Bishop Battle, a native of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, is a magna cum laude graduate of Clinton Jr. College in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and a graduate of Livingstone College. He received his Master of Divinity, magna cum laude, from Hood Theological Seminary and earned a Doctor of Ministry from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Bishop Battle has also received honorary doctorate degrees from Clinton Jr. College, Livingstone College, and Queens College in Charlotte. He was elected a Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 1992, 84th in the line of succession. He previously served as Bishop of the South Atlantic and Eastern North Carolina Episcopal Districts.
Battle’s countless contributions to his church and his communities include membership on the Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) Bank Board, the Central Piedmont Community College Board of Trustees, the Visitors Board for the University of North Carolina Charlotte, and Vice Chairmanship of the Livingstone College Board. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Carolinas Healthcare System and the Carolinas Healthcare System Foundation. He chairs the Pension Committee and the Retirement Committee for the Carolinas Healthcare System. He serves on the Advisory Board for Technical High Schools of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, is Founder and member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Alliance for Public Schools, and serves on the Executive Board for Global Transpark Foundation, Inc. He is also an Advisory Board member of the Museum of the New South, and CEO of the Battle Corporation.
Bishop Battle is Founder and Executive Director of the Gethsemane Enrichment Program that received a national award for the best program of its kind utilizing federal funds. He is one of the Founders and a member of the Urban League of the Central Carolinas and was organizer of the Biddleville Five Points Community, which led to major improvements in this historic neighborhood. He is a devoted member of a number of A.M.E. Zion Church boards and committees and is a member of The Congress of National Black Churches.
Bishop Battle has received many honors and awards during his outstanding career including the Long Leaf Pine Award from the State of North Carolina, the Charlotte Post Man of the Year Award, the National Conference of Christians and Jews Award, the Charlotte Observer Thank You Award for his years of service on the school board, the Sojourner Truth Award, and the Whitney M. Young Service Award from the Mecklenburg County Council, Boy Scouts of America. He has been recognized for exemplary service and dedication by the State Board of Community Colleges; received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Leadership from Livingstone College; the National Award for Meritorious Service from Livingstone College National Alumni, and the Black Political Caucus Hall of Fame Award.
The first and only endowed professorial chair at Hood Theological Seminary was established last year through the generosity and initiative, and in honor of Bishop and Mrs. Battle. He is married to the former Iris Miller and they have 2 children and 3 grandchildren.
Hood Theological Seminary, located in Salisbury, NC and sponsored by the AME Zion Church, is a graduate and professional school where intellectual discourse and ministerial preparation occur in tandem within the framework of a community of faith. Its faculty and student body represents a rich diversity of ethnicities, religious denominations, ages, and backgrounds. Hood’s purpose is to educate and prepare its students for leadership in various ministries and vocations to which they feel called by God. As a theological seminary, it provides for the church an educational community in which Christian maturity and ministerial preparation take place together.