2023 CDF Proctor Institute Leadership

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Rev. Dr. Earle Fisher

Children's Policy & Power Plenary Speaker

Rev. Dr. Earle Fisher

A movement and ministerial leader and soul-stirring scholar at the forefront of social justice and Black liberation efforts in Memphis, TN, and beyond, Rev. Dr. Earle J. Fisher was born September 26th, 1978, in Benton Harbor, Michigan to Min. Claudia Fisher and Mr. Earl Bradley. He sojourned to Memphis, TN, in the fall of 1999 on a full-ride athletic scholarship to play basketball at LeMoyne-Owen College. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science in 2003 and a Master of Divinity Degree in May 2008 from Memphis Theological Seminary. Rev. Dr. Fisher is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Missionary Baptist Denominations. In 2018 Rev. Dr. Fisher earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Communication from the University of Memphis and currently serves as Senior Pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in Memphis, affectionately referred to as “the Blackest Church in Memphis and Shelby County.”

As a community organizer, Rev. Dr. Fisher co-organized the Memphis Grassroots Organizations Coalition in August of 2015 in response to the brutal death of Darrius Stewart by a Memphis Police Officer. Spearheading initiatives in criminal justice reform, media accountability, the removal of confederate monuments, and voter empowerment, Rev. Dr. Fisher formed #UPTheVote901 in November of 2017 to “give more political power to more people” and “increase voter turnout in Memphis and Shelby County in every election.”

Rev. Dr. Fisher teaches Religion and Humanities at several colleges and universities in the region and continues to provide necessary insight as a pastor, professor, and an urban prophet. He is a 2021 inductee in the Martin Luther King Jr. College of Ministers and Laity Board of Preachers at Morehouse College, and he is the author of the new book, The (Re)Introduction of The Black Messiah: Rev. Albert Cleage Jr., and the Black Prophetic Tradition (Lexington Books, 2021), and two provocative essays, “Brother Malcolm, Dr. King and Black Power” (in Black Theology: An International Journal, Fall 2020) and the groundbreaking “Introducing Sermonic Militancy—A Call Towards More Revolutionary Homiletics and Hermeneutics” (in Journal of Communication and Religion, Fall 2021).

Rev. Dr. Fisher is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha, husband of one wife, Denise, father of one son, Jalen, believer in one God, and friend and mentor to many.