The Right Reverend Harry L. Seawright
Presiding Prelate of the
9th Episcopal District
ishop Harry L. Seawright, the 133rd Elected and Consecrated Bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church is the Presiding Prelate of the Ninth Episcopal District which encompasses the State of Alabama with the following Annual Conferences: Alabama River Region, Northwest Alabama, Southeast Alabama, Northeast Alabama, and Southwest Alabama. In July 2016, during the 50th Quadrennial Session of the AME Church General Conference in Philadelphia, PA, Bishop Seawright’s election marked only the second time in AME history that a bishop was elected on the first ballot.
Bishop Seawright was born in Swansea, SC, to the late Joe Nathan and Mary L. Seawright. As a fourth-generation AME his faith was nurtured at Prodigal AME Church in Swansea, SC.
The late Bishop Frank M. Reid, II admitted Bishop Seawright to the South Carolina Central Annual Conference. The late Bishop Henry W. Murph ordained him an Itinerant Deacon in the Washington Annual Conference. The late Bishop John Hurst Adams ordained him an Itinerant Elder in the Washington Annual Conference.
Bishop Seawright earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Benedict College, Columbia, SC; Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Howard University School of Divinity, Washington, DC. Bishop Seawright founded and maintains many business interests. With his appointment as Interim Pastor of St. Stephen AME, St. Matthews, SC., Bishop Seawright’s preparation for pastoral ministry began. He served on the ministerial staffs of Reid Temple AME and Pilgrim AME, both in Washington, DC. His pastoral appointments were: Payne Memorial AME, Jessup, MD; Hemingway Temple AME, Washington, DC; and Union Bethel AME, Brandywine and Temple Hills, MD. He served Union Bethel for 30 years, the longest tenure of any pastor in the church’s 130-year history.
On the Connectional level, Bishop Seawright serves as chair of the AME International Com- mission on Economic Development and the International Health Commission. In Alabama, he has served as a board member on the Ingram State Technical College Foundation, and has been honored by Alabama A & M University. The Birmingham NAACP recognized him as the 2017 Distinguished Religious Leader of the Year. In 2018 he was inducted into Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. He also serves as a Board Member of the Interdenominational Theological Center; and in 2018 he was appointed as 2nd Vice President of the Trustee Board of Turner Seminary in Atlanta, GA. From June 2019 until June 2020, Bishop Seawright served as the President of the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. On October 9, 2020, the State of Alabama, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Commission deputized Bishop Harry L. Seawright to serve as a Special Deputy in Jefferson County. The Greater Titusville Civitan Club presented Bishop Seawright the 2021 Clergy Appreciation award in April 2021. Most recently, in April 2021, Bishop Seawright was appointed to serve on the newly created AstraZeneca US Health Equity Advisory Council (HEAC). Several cities in the State of Alabama have given him keys to their cities; and he is the recipient of several Congressional citations. Bishop Seawright continues to use his business acumen to benefit the Ninth Episcopal District.
Bishop Seawright is married to the Reverend Sherita Moon Seawright. They are the parents of Shari Nicole and Harry Matthew and the grandparents of Cameron Isaiah.