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Reverend Joseph Anthom Darby, Jr., was born on August 7, 1951, in Columbia, South Carolina, to Eloise and Joseph A. Darby, Sr. Darby was raised in the Wheeler Hill community of Columbia, South Carolina. An excellent student, Darby attended Booker T. Washington High School where he was in the honor society and was elected class president; he graduated in 1969 and enrolled in South Carolina State University. Darby transferred to the University of South Carolina and received his B.A. degree in sociology in 1973.
Darby held positions as an adult eligibility worker for the Department of Public Welfare and an employment counselor for a youth opportunity program. Darby was a juvenile probation counselor for thirteen years for the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice.
Darby was called to the ministry and prepared himself by attending the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary; he was a fourth generation minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
In 1998, Darby became the Senior Pastor of Morris Brown A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which had the largest congregation in the Seventh Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church. He later became the Presiding Elder of the Beaufort (SC) District of the A.M.E. Church.
Darby formerly served as President of both the Greater Columbia Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and the Greater Columbia Interfaith Clergy Association. Darby also served as a board member of the Family Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit’s Drug Court Program; a member of the State Superintendent of Education's African-American Achievement Committee; a member of the Racial Cultural Advisory Council of the South Carolina School Boards Association; and a member of the Daniel J. Jenkins Institute for Children. Darby was also a board member for the Reid House of Christian Service and was the former first Vice-President of the South Carolina Conference of Branches of the NAACP.
Darby’s numerous honors and awards include a Top Achiever Award in the 1993 South Carolina Black Male Showcase, and South Carolina Business Vision magazine’s 1997 South Carolina’s 25 Most Influential African Americans Award.
Darby was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 3, 2007.