Every Friday, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) will spotlight a Chancellor or President who currently serves a Historically Black College or University. This initiative recognizes and introduces those individuals who serve our nation HBCUs on a daily basis, changing and educating lives while producing the upcoming visionary leaders of tomorrow.
This week’s Chancellor or President: Rev. Dr. Lester A. McCorn, Acting President of Clinton College.
The Reverend Dr. Lester A. McCorn is a visionary leader, scholar, author, activist and college president. He is the Acting President of Clinton College in Rock Hill, SC. He is a native of Worcester, Massachusetts. He attended Morehouse College, Yale Divinity School, and Chicago Theological Seminary. He holds a Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min.) from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Ethical and Creative Leadership, with a concentration in Martin Luther King Jr. Studies and Social Change, at Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio. For several years, he served as an adjunct professor/mentor of doctoral students at United Seminary. Dr. McCorn is the author of “Standing on Holy Common Ground: An Africentric Ministry Approach to Prophetic Community Engagement.” He also served as Vice President of Urban Development of the Antioch School of Church Planting and Leadership Development, an innovative school which offers accredited degrees and certificates in theology and ministry. He served as the Senior Pastor of the Historic Pennsylvania Avenue A.M.E. Zion Church in Baltimore Maryland from 2008 to 2017.
Lester Agyei (pronounced Ahd-JAY-ee, which means “messenger of God” in Akan language, Ghana, West Africa) McCorn began preaching at the age of 16 under the tutelage of Rev. Dr. W. Robert Johnson, lll, the retired General Secretary-Auditor of the A.M.E. Zion Church. He began his pastoral career at the age of 20, while a student at Morehouse. At Morehouse, he was a student leader, serving as President of the Freshman Class and President of the Alpha Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He was featured in the classic Spike Lee movie “School Daze” with the brother of Alpha Phi Alpha. He was also a congressional intern in the Atlanta Office of Representative John Lewis (D-GA). His pastorates included: Lawrence Temple, Menlo, Ga; Hemphill, Summerville, GA; Bush Chapel, Winder, GA; St. Luke Christian, Boston, MA; Varick Memorial, New Haven, CT; Martin, Temple, Chicago, IL; Faith Church, Atlanta, GA; Pennsylvania Avenue, Baltimore, MD. He was the Vice President of the New Haven Public Schools Board of Education while he was the pastor of Varick Memorial Church. He established community development corporations in New Haven, Chicago, Atlanta and Baltimore, with innovative programming, including a Family Life Center, an independent living program for young men and a senior residence for women.
Dr. McCorn is the former Director of Young Adult Ministries for the A.M.E. Zion denomination. He served as the President of Zion Development Corporation, Inc. and the Zion M.A.D.E. Institute. He is also a principal of Community Churches for Community Development, Incorporated, headquartered in Baltimore. Pastor McCorn is the spiritual father to over 30 sons and daughters in ministry, some of whom are active pastors.
Dr. McCorn has received many awards and honors. He was a fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation’s New Generation Leadership Program (which included CNN host Van Jones and NAACP Legal Defense Fund President Sherrilyn lfill) and Leadership Greater Chicago. He has served on the Boards of the United Way, Urban League and as chair of the Anti-Racism Task Force of the Illinois Conference of Churches. He is an inductee of the distinguished Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers of Morehouse College. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., initiated at Morehouse College (Alpha Rho Chapter) in 1986.
Dr. Lester A. McCorn is married to Mrs. Charlene M. McCorn, a native of Monroe, Georgia. Mrs. McCorn is a deaconess, psalmist, and a veteran public school teacher. They are the proud parents of three children William Elijah Benjamin, Maliaka (Mal-LIE-ah-kah) Kenyetta, and John-Charles Wesley.
About Clinton College
From its founding in 1894, Clinton College (CC) has sought to “design and implement an educational program that will help all students lead moral, spiritual and productive lives.” Since we believe that those goals are best achieved by persons whose education is holistic and inquiry based in nature, Clinton College has consistently maintained a liberal arts agenda as its primary focus.
For more information about Clinton College, visit www.clintoncollege.edu.