Bishop Stafford J.N. Wicker
Bishop Stafford J.N. Wicker holds an esteemed position in the African Methodist Episcopal Church as the 137th elected and consecrated Bishop. Currently, he leads the 8th Episcopal District, which includes the states of Mississippi and Louisiana in the United States. His leadership is distinguished by his strong advocacy for social justice, economic empowerment, and commitment to professional development.
Bishop Wicker’s journey in the ministry began with an education rooted in faith and service. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wilberforce University, followed by a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Divinity from Turner Theological Seminary. His doctoral research was focused on engaging local A.M.E. Church congregations with HIV/AIDS education and prevention, illustrating his dedication to community service and health awareness.
Upon his graduation in 1982, Bishop Wicker received his first pastoral appointment at Turner Chapel A.M.E. Church in Roseland, LA, from Bishop Donald George Kenneth Ming. His leadership was marked by growth and development, with a new church being constructed under his guidance. From there, his pastoral journey included assignments in Georgia, where he led the congregations of the Toomsboro Circuit, Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church in Mansfield, and Mt. Carmel A.M.E. Church in Atlanta. At each stop, he demonstrated a commitment to financial stewardship and congregational growth, helping to eliminate debt, increase membership, and enhance facilities.
Bishop Wicker’s tenure at Antioch A.M.E. Church in Decatur, GA, marked a significant turning point in his career. Under his leadership, the church congregation expanded significantly, and the church campus in Stone Mountain became the largest A.M.E. church acquisition at the time. Today, the Antioch A.M.E. Church stands strong with a congregation of 2200 members, operates on a budget of $1.6 million, and boasts a vast 84-acre landholding.
His vision for community upliftment led to the development of the Antioch Community Development Corporation in 1998. The organization was formed with the objective of fostering economic and community development in Georgia. Bishop Wicker’s strategic leadership led to the acquisition of additional lands, the establishment of Antioch Manor Estates, Antioch Gardens and Villas, and plans for the development of Antioch Summits. These ambitious projects have increased the church’s portfolio to an impressive 84 acres of land, valued at $48 million.
Before assuming his current role, Bishop Wicker was elected to lead the 18th Episcopal District by the 50th Session of the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s General Conference. This district included Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Swaziland. His five-year tenure in this role was characterized by extraordinary energy, empathy, and integrity.
Bishop Stafford Wicker, along with Episcopal Supervisor, the Rev. Dr. Constance Wicker, are proud parents of two daughters, Valencia M. Wicker and Lauren M. Wicker. As the president of the Council of Bishops, Bishop Wicker brings his wealth of experience, a deep commitment to his faith, and a passion for community building to his new role, ready to inspire and empower for the betterment of the Kingdom.