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Myron McCoy named president of Saint Paul seminary

5/27/2003 News media contact: Linda Green · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn

NOTE: A head-and-shoulders photograph of the Rev. Myron McCoy is available at Saint Paul School of Theology does not abbreviate the word "saint" in its name.

By United Methodist News Service

LINK: Click to open full size version of image
Myron McCoy
The Rev. Myron F. McCoy, pastor of St. Mark United Methodist Church in Chicago, will become the first African American to lead a predominantly white United Methodist seminary when he takes the top post at Saint Paul School of Theology Aug. 1.

The United Methodist Church has 13 related seminaries and theological schools in the United States. Of those, only Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta has ever had an African American at the helm. Gammon, led by the Rev. Walter McKelvey, is part of a consortium of six historically black theology schools.

McCoy, 47, will become Saint Paul's fourth president since the school was founded in Kansas City, Mo., in 1958. He succeeds the Rev. Lovett Weems, who moves to Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington to become its distinguished professor of church leadership and founding director of the G. Douglass Lewis Center for Church Leadership.

"When I think about myself, the church, the varied needs of the laity and clergy, seminaries and the world in its brokenness, I'm not hearing or seeing a work completed," McCoy said. "I see this new calling as an opportunity to engage in the new work God is doing and will be doing in reshaping and revisioning the church, and helping clergy and laity gain a larger grasp of learning opportunities and faith formation for the changing and complex world in which we live."

McCoy, who has more than two decades of experience in local church, conference, theological and civic leadership, said he is humbled by Saint Paul's "gracious invitation to break another glass ceiling for those of my race." He said he looks forward to helping the seminary and other theological schools "deal with the reality of diversity in our church and the world."

McCoy's many roles in the church include serving as the current chairman of the United Methodist Publishing House board of directors and as a trustee of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill.

In a May 21 seminary release, Bob Rogers, chairman of Saint Paul's board of trustees, said the school's mission is to educate people for leadership in the ministry of the church. McCoy, he said, "has the dedication and the gifts necessary to fulfill that mission and to inspire spiritually sound leaders for the renewal of the church."

Weems, who has led Saint Paul for 18 years, expressed support for McCoy. "He is a fine choice," Weems said, noting that McCoy "has the pastoral, academic and governance experience that will serve him very well."

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