Stephen E. Epps

Minister S. Emmanuel Epps, the son of Robert Epps and L. Beatrice Epps, was born July 7, 1976 in Chicago, Illinois. As a young man in Chicago, Minister Epps was committed to social justice, organizing protest efforts against pharmaceutical companies which sought to test the RU-486 abortion pill on poor African-American women and advocating for better health and educational services from city officials for marginalized minority communities. Following in the steps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he attended Morehouse College, winning its coveted annual oratorical contest and delivering numerous lectures and speeches on matters regarding social policy, African-American history and culture, and political empowerment. He was selected to study International Business and Trade at American University in Washington, D.C. and was the first student from Morehouse College awarded a fellowship to study international affairs for a semester in the graduate program at The Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in D.C. During this time, Minister Epps worked with international activist Randall Robinson at TransAfrica, researching socio-economic and political issues pertinent to further liberating the African continent of inimical foreign policies. Minister Epps went on to graduate with honors from Morehouse College with a BA in International Studies.

Upon accepting his call to preach the Gospel in 2003, Minister Epps received his minister’s license under the mentorship of Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr. at the historic Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.  While in D.C., in an effort to increase the competitiveness of African-American applicants to college and graduate school, Minister Epps established an agreement with The Princeton Review in D.C. to provide test preparation services at no or low cost to low-income minority applicants.  After his tenure in Washington, Reverend Dr. Calvin Butts extended an opportunity to Minister Epps in the Christian Education ministry at the iconic Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York. However, after several successful initiatives at Abyssinian, his time in New York was abbreviated by a call from People For The American Way Foundation in Washington, D.C., where Minister Epps, assisted in organizing and supporting state voter registration, voter outreach and Get Out The Vote events within the African-American faith community in over fourteen states for the 2004 Presidential elections.

In 2005, Minister Epps arrived in Brooklyn, seeing the adverse effects of concentrated poverty in segments of Bedford-Stuyvesant, he raised half a million dollars, in six months, to expand access to food and clothing for the community’s poorest residents. Later that year, Minister Epps enrolled at the prestigious Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York to study theology under world-renowned theologian James Cone.  Minister Epps often addresses national and international socio-economic and political issues such as systemic discrimination, education reform, humanitarian support for African and Caribbean nations, and economic disparity from a theological lens, speaking with audiences in storefront churches to National Public Radio, from Princeton University to the historic Fox Theatre. Furthermore, Minister Epps is an ardent supporter of comprehensive community development, evidenced in his serving in leadership roles in the Brooklyn NAACP, New York National Urban League’s Young Professionals, and Community Minister at the Judson Memorial Church.

While Minister Epps has been blessed to share his gifts in ministry and community development, his greatest passions are preaching and educating. He is blessed to preach in distinguished pulpits throughout the country, from St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem, NY to the Plymouth United Church of Christ in Seattle, WA.   As a former Adjunct Instructor in Philosophy and Religious Studies and Academic Advisor at Medgar Evers College, he has authored several articles and publications focusing on the socio-economic and political implications of political theology and existential ethics.  Minister Epps currently serves as a Higher Education Officer for the City University of New York, coordinating programming to recruit, retain, and graduate African-American males at the Male Development and Empowerment Center of Medgar Evers College and is an Ordinand at the Park Avenue Christian Church (DOC) in Manhattan, NY.  He is a member of the Morehouse National Alumni Association, Boyer Lodge (Prince Hall Affiliation), the American Jewish Committee, Citizens Union, Frick Collection, and a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.