Capitol Words a project of the Sunlight Foundation

  • and

Tribute To Bishop Frank Curtis Cummings

Rep. James E. Clyburn

legislator photo

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Bishop Frank Curtis Cummings, one of eight legendary leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) who will be retiring at this year's Quadrennial Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. A native of Alabama, Bishop Cummings is the son of Edmond and Annie M. Cummings.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Daniel Payne College, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Seattle Pacific College, and a Doctor of Divinity degree from Shorter College. Bishop Cummings followed not only God's call but also his country's call and served in the United States Air Force for three years, and attended the Urban Training Center.

Bishop Cummings was ordained an Itinerant Deacon in 1948 and an Itinerant Elder in 1952. While in those positions, he pastored churches in Aldridge, Alabama; Bremerton, Washington; Santa Barbara, California; and St. Louis, Missouri.

In 1968, he was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the AME's Department of Church Expansion. He founded Allen Travel Service and served as the first Black Vice Chairman on the Civil Service Commission in St. Louis. In addition, he served as President of the Board of Directors for the West End Hospital Association.

Bishop Cummings was elected the 95th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church at the 1976 General Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. He has presided over the 8th, 1st, 11th, and 6th Episcopal Districts, and entertained the General Conference in New Orleans. He also served as national co-chairman of the first National Assemble of Black Churches in April 1984 in New Orleans. Bishop Cummings is married to Martha Colly Cummings and the couple has one child.

Mr. Speaker, I ask you and my colleagues to join me in paying tribute to Bishop Frank Curtis Cummings upon his retirement from the Bishopric. He has provided tremendous leadership for the AME Church. His long history of educational leadership and service will influence future generations for ages to come. AME founder Richard Allen would be deeply proud of his Episcopal descendent.