Our Keynote Speaker

Reverend Doctor Earl D. Trent Jr., Chairman of the Harvest Institute, will deliver the keynote address at the MBE Empowerment Fund Fundraising Gala on Saturday, August 11th at the Newport News Marriott @ City Center. Dr. Trent is Chairman of The Harvest Institute, a non-profit organization established to develop policies, programs, and conduct research, to advocate for and to engage in activities that lead to a Black America that is self-sufficient economically, politically and is competitive as a group.

Dr. Trent is a native of East Orange, NJ. He is a graduate of Cornell University with a BA in English Literature and holds a MAT degree in English from Monmouth College. Following his call to ministry he obtained a Masters of Divinity in 1983 from Andover Newton Theological School where he was a Benjamin Mays Fellow. In 1994 he graduated from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio with a Doctor of Ministry degree concentrating in Afrocentric Pastoring and Preaching. Ordained as a Progressive National Baptist and American Baptist, Dr. Trent has been active in both conventions and held offices in both. From 2005-2008 he was on staff as the Executive Director of Missions for the Progressive National Baptist Convention directing the response to Hurricane Katrina and consolidation of the international missions.

Dr. Trent has traveled extensively in missions to South Africa, Liberia, the Bahamas and Haiti. He has served on many boards most notably The Minority Organ Tissue Transplant and Education Program; National Cathedral School for girls; president of the Harvest Institute-a think tank for social and economic reform of Black America, and founding chair of the Community Advisory board of Reynolds and Associates (formerly the Washington Halfway Homes) – a reentry program for women ex-offenders.

Dr. Trent made history recently as the first African American to be elected as Chairman of the Board of Church World Service (CWS), a U.S.-based global relief, sustainable development and refugee assistance agency representing the 37 mainline denominations including all the African American denominations.

He is the author of A Challenge to the Black Church-a book of essays, and several articles in The Journal of Religious Thought, a study guide to How to Interpret the Bible and several op-ed articles.

Prior to coming to Florida Avenue Baptist Church, where he currently serves as Senior Pastor, Dr. Trent served from 1983-94 as Senior Pastor of the St. Paul’s Baptist Church in West Chester, PA where among his many accomplishments he led the congregation in the purchase of a new building and a 7 acre site for a new worship complex.

Dr. Trent is married to Dr. Janice Ray Trent, owner of Hearing Healthcare Services – a full service provider of audiological services, hearing aids and assisted listening devices located in Bowie, Md. She is also a former faculty member and clinical director of Howard University Speech and Hearing Clinic. They are the proud parents of three adult daughters Noelle, Andrea, and Jessica Trent.

Be sure to get your tickets early as seating is limited. Click here to register!

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