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The PC(USA)’s advocacy director is named Union Presbyterian Seminary’s distinguished alum for 2024

The Rev. Jimmie Hawkins will be honored on the seminary’s Richmond campus on May 8

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Jimmie Hawkins signs a copy of his book, “Unbroken and Unbowed: A History of Black Protest in America.” (Photo by Mark Koenig)

LOUISVILLE — The Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, the PC(USA)’s advocacy director who leads both the Office of Public Witness and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, has been named Union Presbyterian Seminary’s Distinguished Alum for 2024.

“General Assembly policy of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is built on both theological and biblical traditions,” said Hawkins, who spoke on that theme and more last summer as the keynoter at Synod School offered each year by the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. Hawkins also emphasizes that advocacy is part of a faith walk, especially in issues surrounding justice.

Hawkins, who in addition to his service to the PC(USA) is currently an adjunct faculty member teaching Community Engaged Discipleship at the seminary, will be recognized on May 8 on the Richmond campus as part of the seminary’s Sprunt Lectures.

In 2022, Westminster John Knox Press published Hawkins’ acclaimed book, “Unbroken and Unbowed: A History of Black Protest in America.”

A longtime pastor, in 1986 Hawkins earned a Master of Arts degree in Christian Education from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, now Union Presbyterian Seminary. His Master of Divinity is from the Interdenominational Theological Center/Johnson C. Smith Seminary in Atlanta. Hawkins earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies from North Carolina Central University.

He pastored churches in North Carolina and Virginia before joining the national church staff.

Hawkins has served on the boards of Church World Service, the National Council of Churches, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and Union Presbyterian Seminary. He’s chaired several interfaith or ecumenical boards, including the executive committee of the North Carolina NAACP, Durham Congregations in Action, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Durham, the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham, Housing for New Hope and End Poverty Now, among others.

His community ministry includes being a leader for the Moral Monday Movement in North Carolina and the Poor People’s Campaign. He has engaged in four actions of civil disobedience and has been active in justice advocacy throughout his ministry.

He is the son of Elsie L. and the late James P. Hawkins. He is married to Sheinita Hampton Hawkins. The couple has two children.

Union Presbyterian Seminary contributed to this report.

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