• 43°

Livingstone graduate is student, minister extraordinaire



By Da’Tarvia Parrish

Livingstone News Service

SALISBURY — The Rev. Lloyd Nivens IV began his studies at Livingstone College in 2013. For Nivens, the past four years have been a time of rapid maturation. Now he is the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church’s youngest pastor.

Nivens decided to attend Livingstone after a visit to his barber, who has informally served as his mentor since Nivens was a child.

At Livingstone, Nivens was active in the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter, the gospel choir, Campus Ministries and the AME Zion Student Council. One of his most memorable activities was a campus ministry program, Pray Until Something Happens (PUSH), where he led the way to demonstrate the power of prayer to Livingstone College students.

Nivens was grateful when President Jimmy Jenkins allowed him to serve as an assembly speaker at a Wednesday lyceum series.

“I heard and even saw the opportunities Dr. Jenkins gave students, but when it happened to me, it seemed surreal. Being able to share my gift with my peers and the Livingstone College family as a whole was a combination of mixed emotions. I am thankful Dr. Jenkins had confidence in me,” he said.

In addition to Nivens’ campus activities, he serves the AME Zion Church — in particularly, the youth. Since the age of 13, Nivens has been a local youth director at Wayman Chapel, chaplain for Rockingham District Youth Council, conference reporter, conference vice president and president of Varick International Christian Youth Council of the West Central North Carolina Conference.

As the current regional vice president for the Sensational Southeastern Region of ViCYC, he lends his skills to youth workshops, musical celebrations and worship services. During the 2015 West Central North Carolina Annual Conference, Senior Bishop George E. Battle Jr., chairman of Livingstone’s board of trustees, bestowed the title of Zion’s Youngest Pastor on Nivens.

When asked about this achievement, Nivens said, “I was uncertain of the pastoral journey and truly concerned about the uncertainties of becoming a pastor and a full-time student, but my mind and heart remembered the prophet Isaiah and his words, ‘Here I am. Send me!’”

Nivens is a traditional full-time undergraduate student, a full-time pastor and a connectional Christian education officer. When asked how he balances it all, Nivens credits his journey to a foundation of love.

“I am surrounded by loving people. They love God and want to see God’s ministry grow. They love Livingstone and want to see Livingstone grow. They love their church and want to see the church grow, and they love me and want to see me grow. I keep God first and find the balance,” he said.

Nivens said he thanks his family and friends for always supporting him in his endeavors and, most of all, he is appreciative of the love and provision of his congregation, Bennettsville AME Zion Church in Norward. In August, Nivens will continue his academic studies at Hood Theological Seminary.



Catawba holds baccalaureate services for Class of 2021


$9M settlement for two men wrongfully sent to death row


China lands spacecraft on Mars in latest advance for its space program


Gas crunch hits Washington; Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in Bitcoin ransome


State mostly returns to normal operations after 15 months of lockdowns, restrictions


Blotter: Man accused of stealing car, crashing it


Man faces new charge of attempted murder for father’s shooting


Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits


Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in Tutterow couple’s 1992 murder

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker


Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank


North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys


Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools


Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house


Quotes of the week


Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid


When will gas situation return to normal?


Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart


GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire


Black high school softball player told to cut hair


State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan


CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors


One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday