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Rev. Dr. James Coaxum III


Rev. Dr. James Coaxum, III is a native of John’s Island, South Carolina; He is the son of Rev. and Mrs. James Coaxum Jr. He was educated in the Charleston County Public School system and graduated from St. John’s High School in 1989. At a very early age, James became very active in the AME church. Since his father was a minister, he served in many churches throughout the Charleston area. He was most active in the Young People’s Division (YPD) of the AME Church. At the age of 15, he was elected President of the Edisto Area YPD and served for four years. From there he served as First Vice-President of the 7th Episcopal District YPD and Connectional Parliamentarian. His involvement in the YPD helped to lay the foundation for what would be a wonderful experience in the church and field of education.

Rev. Coaxum received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College, his Master’s degree from Harvard University and his PH.D from Vanderbilt University. While at Morehouse, he learned the value of service and the importance of giving back. He co-founded the Morehouse College Reading Mentoring Program and served with the Frederick Douglass Tutorial Program, the Atlanta University Science Mentoring Program and the Black Church/Black College Partnership. During his time at Harvard, he worked in the Graduate School of Education’s Admissions Office and continued mentoring through the Magic Me/Boston Program and the New England Sports Museum.

Rev. Coaxum accepted his call to the ministry in 1996 while he was studying at Vanderbilt. During this time, he was a member of Payne Chapel AME Church where he served on the ministerial staff. He directed the PROMISE Campus Ministry and worked with the Basic Ongoing Survival Skills (B.O.S.S.) Program. He also served as the Associate Executive Director of the 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, Inc. where he established the 100 Black Men Learning Center and 100 Scholars Program.

Rev. Coaxum was ordained an Itinerant Deacon in 1998 and an Itinerant Elder in 2000. He moved to New Jersey in 1999 to begin a faculty career at Rowan University where he is a tenured faculty member in the Educational Leadership Department. James has served as Coordinator of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership. He currently serves as Director of the Harley E. Flack Male Mentoring Program and Coordinator of the Undergraduate Concentration in Leadership Studies. He has also served as the President of Rowan’s Black Coalition. Additionally, he serves as faculty advisor to New Life Ministries and the NAACP.

Rev. Coaxum’s research interests are focused in the area of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, minority access to post-secondary education and the educational success of African American males. He served as Chair of the Dissertation of the Year Awards Committee for the Association for the study of Higher Education. He also served as Program Co-chair for the American Educational Research Association. Additionally, he serves as a faculty mentor for the Minority Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program sponsored by the NASPA Association and faculty mentor for the Minority Access to Careers Program here in New Jersey.

In 2001, Rev Coaxum became the Youth Pastor of Heard AME Church serving under the late Rev. Dr. Theodore Goyins, Jr. He worked with the youth division of the church to establish a ministry for the young people, most notably a youth worship service. Following his service as youth Pastor at Heard in 2003, Rev. Coaxum became the pastor fo Bethel AME Church in Cookstown, NJ.

In 2004, Rev. Coaxum was appointed as the pastor of Heard AME Church. Under his leadership the following ministries were established: Senior’s Fellowship; Health Ministry; Transportation Ministry; Young Adult Network(YAN); Sick and Shut-in Ministry; Heard AME Praise Team; Voices of Praise (young Adult Choir) and Heard Angels (Ir. Praise Dance Team).

On March 23, 2007, at the New Jersey Annual Conference held in Newark, NJ, Rev. Coaxum was appointed to St, James AME Church in Atlantic City, NJ.

Currently, Dr. Coaxum continues to consult with religious and community groups nationally where he provides leadership in the area of program development. He also spends a considerable amount of time speaking both locally and nationally to community and culturally based organizations.

As a philosophy in life, James has adopted the phrase from a popular song, “If I can help somebody as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody with a word or song, if I can show somebody he is traveling wrong, then my living will not be in vain”.

“To God Be the Glory for the Great Things He Has Done.”

Our Pastor

The Reverend Dr. James Coaxum, III

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