Senior Bishop Kenneth Monroe urges Hood graduates to act with urgency in ministry

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 23, 2024

Hood Theological Seminary News Service

SALISBURY — Senior Bishop Kenneth Monroe of the Eastern North Carolina Episcopal and the Southern Atlantic Districts of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AMEZ) emphasized the importance of having a sense of urgency in “Serving the Church in the midst of an emergency” in his commencement address to Hood Theological Seminary graduates on Saturday

Varick Auditorium on the campus of Livingstone College was near capacity on Saturday morning for the commencement graduation of 32 Hood graduates, families and friends. 

Nine students graduated with the doctor of ministry degrees, 20 students with the master of divinity and three students with master of theological studies. 

Monroe, the Red Springs native, acknowledged that ministry is hard, but he offered words of encouragement to the graduating students.

“The ministry is as necessary as it has ever been. We can’t afford to be inactive,” he said. 

Hood President Vergel Lattimore presented Monroe with an honorary doctor in divinity for more than 55 years in ministry.

Monroe further reflected on his journey in ministry, particularly his first mission trip to Monrovia, Liberia, during a civil war to encourage the graduating class. In the world, people are desperate for answers and it’s the job of the church to show them who God is, he said.

Monroe emphasized the importance of outreach and stepping outside of the four walls of the church.

Additionally, there were various awards presented to the graduating students and two additional honorary doctorate degree recipients:

  • Chairman and CEO of F&M Bank Steven Fisher received an honorary doctor of humane letters for his service in the business community, his dedicated support of serving and giving back to the community, and his efforts in helping meet the needs of residents and businesses in Rowan, Cabarrus and Wake counties.
  • Hood Theological Seminary Adjunct Professor of Christian Education Mary A. Love received an honorary doctor of divinity for her years of service as editor of church school literature for the A.M.E. Zion Church, prolific teaching and training at numerous workshops, training institutes, churches, seminaries and organizations spanning more than 30 years in over 37 states and her support of the Pan-Methodist efforts in expanding the church.