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Rev. Joe Darby Installed as New Presiding Elder of the Beaufort District in the 7th Episcopal District
3/13/2013 12:21:23 PM

Rev. Joe Darby

By Bob Small

After 15 years as pastor of the historic Morris Brown  AME Church in Charleston, SC,  the Rev. Joseph Darby will leave the pulpit as a church pastor  and take on a new role in the African Methodist Episcopal Church after being  installed as the new Presiding Elder of the Beaufort District in the 7th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina.

The announcement was made at the Mid Year Conference of the AME Church held in Florence. Darby said the move caught him off guard but that he looks forward to working in the new position and welcomes the new challenge. “When I went to conference I had no idea I would not be returning to my home church,” he said

In his new position Darby will be responsible for the administrative and spiritual supervision of 33 churches in Allendale, Bamberg, Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.  Part of his job will include holding in-service trainings for pastorial and lay organizations and be involved in issues that affect the congregations and the community.

Rev. Darby, who has a reputation for being active on issues that affect conditions of parishioners and African American concerns said he has no plans to change that. He said he plans to continue his work as 1st vice president of the Charleston branch of the NAACP. He said he and his family will continue to live in the Charleston area as he assumes his new duties.

Since the appointment Rev. Darby has wasted little time getting his feet wet. He has already attended several church functions in the district and has planned visits to all of his churches.

Rev. Darby leaves a legacy of community involvement while at Morris Brown. He said his work with the Charleston branch of the NAACP will not be affected.  He has been a staunch fighter in the effort to remove the Confederate flag from the state house, has supported the implementation of the new High School Tech at the Rivers campus and was a one of the leaders that called for a tourism boycott  until the confederate flag is removed from the statehouse.

He has championed the improvement of public school education over the charter school system which he calls racist and catering to mostly white families that if given the option would send their children to a private school rather than a public school.

Rev. Darby said he leaves Morris Brown with fond memories. He said he leaves the church strong and stable with several new ministries and choirs. He said the church is visible and known in the community. “I have enjoyed seeing young children n the church grow up and become adult members working in the church,” he said.

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