St. Luke AME Church, 901 40th Ave. North, Nashville, will celebrate Friends and Family Day and Pastor’s Appreciation on Sunday, October 14. Guest preachers for the 11:30 am worship service are clergy couple Rev. Dr. Kenneth Robinson and Rev. Marilynn S. Robinson, ordained elders in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Longtime friends of St. Luke’s pastor, Rev. Dr. Barbara J. Crawford, they hold the singular distinction of having received a joint Episcopal appointment as pastors of the leading church in the 13th Episcopal District, St. Andrew AME Church. A fellowship meal will be served immediately following the worship service. The public is invited to join in Sunday’s celebration.
For nearly 25 years, the Robinsons helped to define the blessings to be experienced through contemporary, joint ministry, and led the transformation of St. Andrew AME Church into a multifaceted, faith-based, social service, economic and community development engine in South Memphis, Tenn. Fifty-five ministries and organizations, affinity fellowships and youth programs evolved, and the church grew to a membership of 1,700. The Robinsons retired from pastoral ministry in December 2015.
A native of Nashville, Rev. Dr. Kenneth Robinson holds an A.B., cum laude, from Harvard College, the M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School. Today, he serves as the president/CEO of United Way of the Mid-South. Rev. Marilynn Robinson received her A.B., cum laude, from Harvard-Radcliff College, and her Master of Public Health degree from the Yale School of Public Health. Now retired, she served as senior vice president at St. Francis Healthcare. The Robinsons have been blessed with identical twin daughters, both highly accomplished physicians.
Rev. Dr. Barbara J. Crawford was blessed to serve and accept the call to preach under the pastorate of Rev. Dr. Robinson during his tenure at Payne Chapel AME Church. Prior to her assignment to St. Luke, where she recently completed her first year as pastor, she served two years as pastor of St. Paul AME Church, Woodburn, Ky. and more than 20 years as assistant pastor of Payne Chapel AME Church. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Tennessee State University; a Master of Education degree from Middle Tennessee State University; and a Doctor of Education degree from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Most recently, in 2014, she received a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School.
Dr. Crawford retired from Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools after serving for 37 years as a teacher, reading specialist, and principal. Married to James E. Crawford, together they have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren.