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Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter

Pastor, educator and author Millicent Hunter was born on September 3, 1950. She graduated from Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1968. Hunter went on to earn her bachelor’s degree, two master's degrees, an Ed.D. degree, and a D.Min. degree from United Theological Seminary.

In 1992, Hunter started The Baptist Worship Center in her home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with five members. In 1997, after she rented facilities for a number of years, The Baptist Worship Center congregation purchased its first church in Philadelphia. Hunter then acquired a shopping center in Philadelphia in 2000 for the permanent location for The Baptist Worship Center. She has become senior pastor of the church and the ministry has grown to a congregation of more than 4,000 members. Hunter also established the Worship Center Worldwide Fellowship of Churches in 1998 with seventy-one churches in the United States and South Africa. In 2005, she was elevated to serve as a bishop of the United Pentecostal Churches of Christ International. Hunter also has a twice weekly television broadcast called Your Season Is Coming, and hosts the weekly Moments of Inspiration radio show in Philadelphia.

Hunter is the founder of the National Association of Clergy Women, the Excell Christian Academy, and the Worship Center Bible Training Institute in the United States and South Africa. She is also the chief executive officer of the Excell Community Development Corporation. Hunter has served as a city commissioner in Philadelphia and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Baptist Association. In addition, she was a former dean of the Sanctuary Bible Institute and an adjunct faculty member at a number of colleges and universities, including the United Theological Seminary. She also taught in the Eastern School of Christian Ministry and the Urban Clergy Leadership Institute of Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Hunter has authored eight books and is president of Hunter House Publishers. Her first book, entitled Don’t Die In The Winter…Your Season Is Coming, became a bestseller and was produced into an eight-week television series. Her other books include Crashing Satan's Party: Destroying the Works of the Adversary in Your Life; Pot Liquor for the Soul; Strong Medicine: Prescriptions for Successful Living; Destined To Win: Prescriptions for Successful Living In Every Area of Your Life; and How to Survive a Hurt Attack. Hunter has also published numerous articles addressing issues that impact African American life.

She has received numerous awards for her involvement in religious and civic affairs. Hunter was featured in Gospel Today magazine as one of America’s top 10 global pacesetting pastors, and in Charisma and Ebony magazines as a leading pastor for world evangelism. Hunter was also included in a Smithsonian Institute pictorial study of African American life in the twenty-first century.

She is married to Dr. Marino Hunter and has two children, Jason and Melissa.

Rev. Dr. Millicent Hunter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 12, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.196

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/12/2014

Last Name

Hunter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Overbrook High School

United Theological Seminary

Nova Southeastern University

University of Pennsylvania

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

Edward Heston School

First Name

Millicent

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

HUN09

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Thailand

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

9/3/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

USA

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Pastor and author Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter (1950 - ) was the founder and senior pastor of the Baptist Worship Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also served as the presiding bishop of the Worship Center Worldwide Fellowship of Churches.

Employment

The Baptist Worship Center

Worship Center Worldwide Fellowship of Churches

United Pentecostal Churches of Christ International

Excell Community Development Corporation

United Theological Seminary

Sanctuary Bible Institute

Eastern School of Christian Ministry

Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Hunter House Publishers

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about her parents' move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her mother's upbringing and education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about the origin of her father's name

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her paternal family's Native American heritage

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about her parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her father's service in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend. Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about the demographics of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter remembers her elementary school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about her upbringing, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her experiences of academic tracking

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls running for class office at Overbrook High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her teenage years

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls her decision to attend Cheyney State College in Cheyney, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter remembers the Black Power movement

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter remembers Cheyney State College in Cheyney, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her career in the Radnor Township School District, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her career in the Radnor Township School District, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter remembers her graduate school experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls participating in church sponsored oratorical contests

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter remembers her calling to the ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes the challenges faced by female Baptist ministers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her first book, 'Don't Die in the Winter'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls earning her doctorate in education

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter remembers founding the Baptist Worship Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls balancing motherhood and her ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes the growth of the Baptist Worship Center

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her development as a minister

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls finding a new location for the Baptist Worship Center

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes the ministry of the Baptist Worship Center

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls her consecration as a Baptist bishop

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about the Worship Center Worldwide Fellowship of Churches

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls her decision to attend the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her studies at the United Theological Seminary

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter reflects upon her life and legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about her plans for the Baptist Worship Center

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her family

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about Hunter House Publishing

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

6$2

DATitle
Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her career in the Radnor Township School District, pt. 2
Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls finding a new location for the Baptist Worship Center
Transcript
So, that was a fortunate turn of--well, you know this is the age--$$Yeah (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) when these things are happening--$$Yeah.$$--where black folks are stepping into a lot of places for the first time.$$Yeah.$$And so, were there any black students at Radnor?$$Yes. There were some; and there were many times I was very angry because I saw what I, because I was right in the middle of everything. You know, I was at the teachers' meetings, all of the things were done that I had no control over, and I watched it and it was so disturbing. I watched the bright African American children who were not being challenged right away pushed into the--put on Ritalin and put in the classes for children with behavioral problems; and I would see the Caucasian students with the same challenges, but it was always, "Well, they're gifted," and I saw them create classes. One time, I got into a lot of trouble because, for the first time, I recommended a young black girl to get testing for the gifted program and the principal came to me and said, "No way." That was shocking. It was like I was in 1950s Mississippi. She said, "There's no way. We will not have a colored child in the gifted program." Well, I almost lost my job because I went to the mother and I said to her, "This is how. This is what you do. Start making some noise with the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People]." When that girl was tested, the principal sat in the room when the girl was being tested. I'll never forget that she wanted that child to fail. So, what I would do after that, I would go to all the black students' homes and I would give the parents the textbooks for the coming year; and I would say, "This is what you do in the summer, so when Johnny comes to school in September, he has the textbook. He knows what's gonna be covered, you have a problem with some exams and tests, come to me. I'll slide you anything you need," and that's what I did. And so glad I did, because then it broke open the gifted program in Radnor Township [Radnor Township School District]. That was something else.$$So, the principal was balking at allowing the student to e- to take the test?$$To even take the test, because she thought that parents would think the program was polluted because if we have a black student in the gifted program, that probably brings down everything. But then the white teacher who took me under her wing, she said, "This is how you deal with the principal." I remember one time she said, "Take a box of pansies, some flowers, go in and talk to her and ask her how her husband's doing because he's ill and suck up to her like this." I did everything she told me to do and it worked like a charm; and I had a good career, a great career in Radnor [Pennsylvania], because after I got what I needed, I retired at forty-one [years old], and they told me I was crazy to retire, but I was done (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So, so you taught then from '72 [1972] to--$$To--oh, gosh, eight- in the '80s [1980s].$$Ninety- okay--$$In the '80s [1980s].$$--in the '80s [1980s]?$$Yeah.$$So, okay.$$I think it was the '80s [1980s], yeah. Oh--hm.$$Another twenty--$$It was, well, I took a sabbatical for--you know, I had my children for, I took a sabbatical for--I never took a sabbatical 'til I realized that I had missed three o- three sabbaticals or something, so I kind of took them all at one time and they couldn't deny me that. So, I had in twenty plus years because I'd worked consecutively.$You were telling us off camera about how you spotted this place--$$Yeah.$$--that we're in right now and--as you were shopping, I think? Yeah (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah. While I was on my way to little Sunday afternoon activity at the mall with my children [Jason Thompson and Melissa Thompson], and we passed this place and there was a sale sign and the Lord said, look over, and I looked over, and yeah, well, so what, you know. And the Lord said, no. Look, look at that. And tell your sister [Iva Hall Fitch] who's in real estate to call and enquire about this property; and I'm thinking for what? This great big huge place? And I had a wonderful congregation of about two, about three hundred people [in the Baptist Worship Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]; and we filled the church where I was, about five minutes from here in Frankford [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. And, she called and enquired and so what, you know, million dollars, (makes sound) please; and I met the Jewish man who was an owner and the building was for sale, but we didn't have millions of dollars for it. He says, "Well, you know I think I'm supposed to have a church in here." I don't know if he said that because there were no other takers. He said, "I'll consider leasing it to you." I said, "Well, I don't think so," because, leasing it to us for what? And the Lord just said move the congregation there. I went to my people, same as I did when I was in Southwest Philly [Southwest Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], because when I said to them we're forced out of the place we're in now [Sanctuary Church of the Open Door, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], we have to, and we- there's a church in Frankford that's been offered to me. My congregation said, "We love you. We think you're nice, but we're not going up there. It's too far. We don't know that neighborhood. There are no black people there." I said, "Well then, it will probably just be me and my two kids, but we're going," and we came up here and most of them stayed in Southwest Philly. They stayed. Little did I know there were a whole lot of African American people up here. I'd never been to this area of the city, wasn't familiar with it; didn't know how to get here--I had to have someone bring me when I first came up. And there were people just waiting for this church to come, and the churches up here, but God had them waiting and when I acquired one thing just happened, one thing after another and the Jewish man that owned the property, he just did all kinds of things for u- help us get in here, it was a supermarket and a drugstore. We came in and renovated in three months, and the rest is history. And, we have two services every Sunday and about three thousand people, and it's been a stable, thriving congregation of some of the most wonderful people I could ever hope to have as congregants. Yeah.$$So, some have been with you from the very beginning (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) From day one.$$Right.$$From day one, yeah. Yeah. I knew them as college students; and they are, many of them are in the leadership of the church to this day, yeah.$$So, as college students were they you know looking for bible study or (unclear)?$$Yeah, because the church where I was situated, it was on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. So, a lot of the African American students walked down the street to come to church on Sundays. You know, and some of them just--when they would see me on television or hear about my book ['Don't Die in the Winter: Your Season is Coming,' Millicent Hunter], they would say, "Oh, I know her. I'm going up there," and many of them came and stayed and remained here.$$Okay, okay.