Dr. J.C. Carter
Dr. James Calvin Carter, Jr. is the youngest child of the late Rev. J.C. Carter, Sr. and Mary Williams Carter. He was born in Greensboro (Hale County), Alabama, but was reared in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Upon completion of the eleventh grade at Industrial High School, he moved to Youngstown, Ohio with an older sister where he completed Rayen High School.
Dr. Carter was awarded the Bachelor of Science degree in education from Alabama State University, the Master of Arts degree and a six year certificate in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Alabama; the Master of Divinity degree from Morehouse School of Religion in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
Dr. Carter’s first teaching assignment was at Cobb Avenue High School in Anniston, Alabama where he taught art and history for six years before returning to his birthplace where he worked as a classroom teacher and as an administrator. At retirement, he had worked thirty years in Alabama as an educator.
Dr. Carter answered the call to the Gospel Ministry and was licensed to preach under his father. He was ordained to serve as his father’s co-pastor at Liberty Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He served with his father for two years. He left the position with his father and accepted the pastorship at Salem Baptist Church, Greensboro, Alabama. He served as pastor there for twenty-three years. Upon retirement from teaching, he accepted a call from First Missionary Baptist Church, Sheffield, Alabama, where he served for thirteen years until his retirement in 2002. He also served as a Development Officer with Selma University, Selma, Alabama for one year. After a one year leave, he returned as professor of Church History, Christian Ethics, Christian Education, and Homiletics for several years. He was subsequently appointed Interim President of Selma University for twenty-eight months.
Dr. Carter has served in several leadership positions at the district and state levels in religious bodies. The leadership positions include: Dean of St. Paul District Sunday School and BTU Congress for nineteen years; Dean of the Muscle Shoals District Educational Baptist State Congress of Christian Education, and as an administrative assistant to the President of the Alabama Baptist State Convention.
Dr. Carter maintains membership in several national and local organizations, which include: Life Membership in the National Educational Association, Alabama Retired Teachers Association, and the International Theological Society of Theta Phi.
Dr. Carter was married to the beautiful and charming former Willie M. Matthews who passed away July 2009. He has two sons and grandson.
Dr. Carter served as Interim Pastor of First African Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, Alabama from November 2004 through August 2006.
Rev. Bryant Melton
Rev. Bryant Melton is formerly from Sprott, (Perry Co.) Alabama and a graduate of Lincoln High School. While at Lincoln, he served as President of the SGA as well as the President of his Senior Class. He graduated from Stillman College with a BS Degree in Chemistry. Additionally, he did graduate studies at Alabama A & M. University, Tennessee State University, Drury College in Springfield, Missouri, Tuskegee University and the University of Alabama. On August 11, 2000, Bryant Melton was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree by Alabama A. & M. University.
Brother Melton join First African Baptist Church in 1964 under the pastorate of Rev. T.Y. Rogers, Jr. He is an active member having served in various positions and activities of the church. After the untimely death of Rev Rogers, he served on the Pulpit Search Committee and was fortunate to bring Rev. W.E. Pitts from Missouri to serve as Pastor. He served as a Trustee and later became Chairman of the Trustee Board. During his Chair of Trustees, we fought Bats in the Church Attic and started the Church Building Fund. The church underwent major Exterior Renovation including Tuck Pointing all the Exterior Brick work. Under the leadership of Dr. James O. Ellis, the church underwent several Million Dollar Expansion, including Fellowship Hall and Classrooms were constructed and later naming the Fellowship Hall the James O. Ellis Fellowship Hall. It was dedicated with Resolutions and Proclamations in his honor. He also was a member of the Male Chorus.
He has worked as a Postman at the U.S. Post Office, an Insurance Salesman with Protective Insurance Company, a Planner with Community Service Programs of West Alabama, a Quality Control Specialist with B.F. Goodrich for 25 years and a Teacher at Druid High and Hale County Training Schools. He retired from the U. S. Army Reserve. Since 1990, Rev. Melton was employed by Shelton State Community College as a Job Developer, a Placement Specialist, an Assistant Director of External Affairs, Associate Dean of Human Resources and Director of the C.A. Fredd Campus. He retired from Shelton State in August 2006
Rev. Melton was elected to the Alabama State Legislature in November of 1982 and he was re-elected seven (7) times and retired in August 2006. He was the first Black Legislator elected in Tuscaloosa County since Reconstruction. He sponsored several major bills in the legislature. Some of the most notable bills are: to change the Tuscaloosa City Commission from a three member commission elected at large to a seven member city council elected from single member districts; to change the Tuscaloosa County Commission from a three member commission elected at large to a four member commission elected from single member districts, to change the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education from an appointed board to an eight member board where seven are elected from single member districts and the chairman is elected at large; He was sponsor and co-sponsor of the Mercedes bills that brought major change to Tuscaloosa and West Alabama including jobs and economic development.
He is very involved in the Tuscaloosa Community. He is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; a 32nd Degree Mason; member of the Alabama New South Coalition; SCLC; member of Stillman College Alumni Association; and life member of the NAACP and former president of the Tuscaloosa County Chapter for ten (10) years, from 1972-1982. During his tenure as president, he was responsible for starting the Annual Emancipation Proclamation Program and the Annual Human Rights Award Banquet.
Melton has a history of leadership and service. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors of West Alabama Sickle Cell Association, a former member and Chairman of the Alabama Sickle Cell Oversight and Regulatory Commission, and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Community Service Programs of West Alabama (CSP). Melton is a founding member and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the McDonald Hughes Multi-Purpose Community Center. While serving as chairman, a two million dollar expansion was completed that more than doubled its size. He was a Scout Master for the Boy Scouts of America where five boys including his son Tony received the prestigious Eagle Scout Award under his leadership. He supported many non-profit organizations including the Murphy African American Museum.
Rev. Melton has received numerous awards and honors. In 1982, He was chosen as Man of the Year of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In 1983, he received the Citizen of the Year from the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Man of the Year from The Christian Study Center of Alabama, and the NAACP Distinguished Presidential Award for Exceptional Leadership and Devoted Service. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Stillman National Alumni Association in 1984 and 1987. In 1996, Melton was elected Legislator of the Year by the Mental Health Consumers of Alabama. In 1988, Melton received the Community Service Award from the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.-South Eastern Region. In 1999, Melton was presented with Distinguished Service Awards from the Alabama Education Association and the Department of Industrial Relations. In 2000, he was elected Legislator of the Year by the Mental Health Commission, received an Award from the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society and the Murphy African American Museum (MAAM) for his contribution for the renovation of MAAM.
Rev. Bryant Melton is married to Emma Jean Holmes-Melton, a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother, of Midway (Bullock Co.) Alabama and they are the proud parents of three outstanding and intelligent children and seven lovely grandchildren-Tony B. Melton (Lisa Kay and sons Tyler and Trevor); DeLisa M. Tolbert (Tony and son Justin and daughters Lauren and Rachel ); and Dr. Emily M. Bell ( William and sons William III and Ethan).
Rev. Bryant Melton responded to the call of ministry and preached his Initial Sermon, August 29, 2010, at First African Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
I find that it gives me a peace of mind when I am doing what the Lord wants me to do. I believe that the Lord wants us to work for Him as we help to build His kingdom. You will have joy and happiness serving the Lord by helping others. I know that I have more joy as I serve my Lord and savior, Jesus the Christ.
I believe that to preach the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ is to preach the truth about God, our Lord Jesus and to tell the truth about our salvation.
He is presently enrolled in the Birmingham Theological Seminary pursuing a Masters Degree in Religion.
Rev. Oscar J. Rivers III
Reverend Oscar J. Rivers III is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. He is the son of the late Oscar J. Rivers Jr. and the late Lucille Jones. Pastor Rivers was reared by his maternal grandmother, Doris Jones, now deceased, along with his sister Michelle and first cousin Toni.
Pastor Rivers graduated from Ensley High School in 1982. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. He received a bachelor’s degree in Religion and Philosophy from Stillman College in May 2011 graduating cum laude. Currently, Pastor Rivers is pursuing a Master of Arts in Christian Education with a focus in Pastoral Ministry Degree from Liberty University. He has attended Birmingham Theological Seminary (extension program at First African Baptist Church) and Birmingham-Easonian Baptist Bible College in Birmingham, Alabama.
Pastor Rivers was licensed into the ministry on June 12, 2005 and was ordained on August 3, 2011 at First African Baptist Church. He has served as an associate minister at First African Baptist Church and Saint Paul Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In the absence of the Pastor at Dancy First Baptist Church, he has conducted Bible Study and worship services from 2006 – 2009. He served briefly as Interim and Pastor of Mount Tabor Baptist Church in Brent, Alabama. On July 26, 2015, Reverend Rivers was installed as Pastor of Union Ship Baptist Church in Lawley, Alabama. Under the leadership of Reverend Rivers the church continues to grow and add ministries that uplift and serve the people of Bibb County, Alabama.
Pastor Rivers is married to the former Shana Renee Foster, Tuscaloosa, Alabama and together they have one son, Zechariah Melech. He is also father to Briana, Evander, Braxton, and Rico.