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Tribute To Bishop Henry Allen Belin, Jr.

Rep. James E. Clyburn

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Bishop Henry Allen Belin, Jr., 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 Louisiana, Bishop Belin is the son of Beatrice Boney Belin and Henry Allen Belin, Sr. His father was an active minister in the 8th Episcopal District for more that 60 years. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Theology degrees from Leland College in Baker, Louisiana and his Masters of Arts degree from the Lampton School of Religion in Jackson, Mississippi.

Bishop Belin pastored, remodeled, and built churches in both the 8th and 13th Episcopal Districts, including Payne Chapel in Nashville, Tennessee. He served as Presiding Elder in the 8th Episcopal District.

Prior to his elevation to the Bishopric, Bishop Belin was elected Secretary-Treasury of the AME Church Sunday School Union at the 1972 General Conference in Dallas, Texas. During his tenure, he bought land and built the new million dollar Publishing House Headquarters and remodeled the John Avery Apartment Complex. As publisher, he produced Cecil Cone's Identity in Crisis in Black Theology, George Champion's Pastor's Manual, volumes I and II, and Black Methodism's Basic Beliefs; George Sewell's Where Are You Going. He also produced Howard Gregg's The History of the AME Church, James Madison Granberry's The History of the AMEC Pension Department, and Robert H. Reid, Jr.'s Irony of African American History. In 1984, he finished one phase of his remarkable career when he published The AME Church Bicentennial Hymnal.

Bishop Belin was elected the 104th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church at the 1984 General Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, and has presided over the 15th, 16th, 12th, 3rd, and 7th Episcopal Districts.

Bishop Belin is married to Lucinda Crawford Belin, and the couple has three children.

Mr. Speaker, I ask you and my colleagues to join me in paying tribute to Bishop Henry Allen Belin, Jr. He has provided tremendous leadership for the AME Church and 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.