Dr. T. Anthony Spearman is seen
holding the Champions for Children's Award
he received from the North Carolina Foundation
for Public School Children in April 2014.
"Well known social justice advocate Dr. T. Anthony Spearman is returning to serve in Greensboro after leaving 17 years ago to pastor in the AME Zion denomination in Salisbury and Hickory, N.C. Dr. Spearman was assistant to the Reverend Dr. (now Right Reverend/Bishop) Michael A. Frencher, Sr., pastor of Trinity AME Zion Church in Greensboro from 1995 to 1997, and is returning as senior pastor of St. Phillip AME Zion Church.
Dr. Spearman is the third Vice President of the NC NAACP. He is a key leader in the Moral Monday and Forward Together Movement that has brought national attention to the broad coalition of social justice organizations that are working together to change recent legislation in N.C. such as denying the expansion of Medicaid, significantly reducing access to early voting, eliminating Sunday voting, cutting unemployment benefits to long term unemployed people, and budget cuts that reduced the number of teachers in public schools.
The Rev. Cardes Brown of Greensboro, pastor of New Light Baptist Church, and Chairman of the NC NAACP Committee on Religious Affairs describes his appreciation for Dr. Spearman's courageous work in the modern day civil rights movement this way, "Rev. Dr. Spearman is an inspiration to me because of his steadfast stand for social justice. He is a well respected man who is articulate in his communication, and astute in his comprehension of the complex issues that face us today. His many accomplishments in Hickory and the state of.N.C. are well known. We know we will benefit by his return to Greensboro, a city of historic civil rights accomplishments. We are eagerly anticipating Dr. Spearman becoming a part of our community again. ".
During his time in Greensboro in the 90's, Dr. Spearman was a member of the Pulpit Forum, a group of primarily African-American ministers who stood in solidarity with Greensboro K-Mart workers who were asking for wage parity with other K-Mart employees in other states as well as an increase in paid holidays, and more sick days. He participated In civil disobedience then, and was willing to go to jail in support of the K-Mart workers' request for justice. Dr. Spearman is still willing to stand against injustice with civil disobedience. He was arrested May 24, 2011 as he and six others rose to oppose the budget cuts in the General Assembly gallery during Governor Beverly Perdue's administration. He was arrested again on April 29, 2013 during a NC NAACP Moral Monday protests. Dr. Spearman is a regular fixture at Moral Monday protests all across the state.
The Rev. Nelson Johnson, Executive Director of the Beloved Community Center in Greensboro has worked with Dr. Spearman since the days of the K-Mart workers' rights struggle, and is thrilled about his return to Greensboro saying, "I am delighted that Dr. Spearman is returning to Greensboro. I know him as a man of strong character, integrity, and commitment who has the warm heart of a pastor, and the vision and courage of a prophet. We worked together shoulder to shoulder in the K-Mart struggle, and we helped to forge a faith and labor school in4 Memphis Tennessee. We have worked together as part of a broad coalition to resolve the nearly 15 year old struggle of workers at the Smithfield Plant in Tar Heel, N.C. Dr. Spearman is a welcome addition to the Greensboro community" The Beloved Community Center is a social justice organization founded in 1991 whose mission is to envision and work toward social and economic relations that affirm and realize the equality, dignity, and potential of every person.
In Hickory, Dr. Spearman served on the Hickory City School Board for three years, and is a strong advocate for public schools. On April 24, 2014 the North Carolina Foundation for Public School Children awarded Dr. Spearman the Champions for Children Award for his many years of advocating for quality education for all children in public schools, and for the future of public schools.
Dr. Spearman has won many other awards including the NC NAACP Minister of the Year, and the Hickory Spirit of King Award.
Dr. Spearman has a Bachelor of Science Degree Summa Cum Laude from Mercy College in Yonkers, N.Y. in 1995; a Master of Divinity Degree Magna Cum Laude from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, N.C. in 1998; and a Doctor of Ministry from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton Ohio in 2013. He is proficient in Greek, Hebrew, and Spanish.
The Rev. Alphonso McGlen, pastor of Bethel AME Church and President of the Greensboro Branch NAACP is looking forward to the contributions Dr. Spearman will make in the local NAACP. "On behalf of the Bethel AME family and the Greensboro NAACP, I am delighted to welcome Dr, Spearman to Greensboro and the mission here, knowing that his passion, his preparation, his mission, and his prophetic assignment will advance the cause of righteousness and reconciliation."
Dr. Spearman is excited about his return to Greensboro as senior pastor of St. Phillip AME Zion Church which is located near several public housing programs. His parents lived in public housing when he was born, and because his mother had the mumps at the time of Dr. Spearman's birth, she was not allowed to go to the hospital, so he was born at home. When his father's income went slightly over the limit for public housing, he was forced to leave their home, but Dr. Spearman sees that as the catalyst that propelled his father forward in life to do more.
He is looking forward to working with the neighbors of his new church who live in public housing, hoping he will be a spiritual catalyst, propelling them to do more with their life as his father did. Dr. Spearman is the founding Executive Director of a nonprofit organization called Clinton's Corner. He plans to develop community based programs that will alleviate poverty, and improve the quality of life for families and children within his circle of influence. "I am always searching for diamonds in the rough. While I accept the mantle of a prophet in the social justice movement, I am most comfortable in helping people realize their potential in life."
- A Press Release