AB, Drake University, 1946. Master of Divinity, Drew Theological Seminary, 1949. School of Theology and Ministry, Temple University, 1952.
Postgraduate, Division School, Duke University, 1961. Doctor of Divinity, Hood Theological Seminary, 1972.
Ordained deacon Christian Church, 1942. Elder African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 1947. Minister St. Thomas African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Somerville, New Jersey, 1947, Wallace Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Summit, 1948-1950, Varick African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Philadelphia, 1950-1956, St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Durham, North Carolina, 1956-1964, 1st African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Brooklyn, 1964-1972.
Bishop 10th Episcopal Area, Roosevelt, New York, 1972-1984, 8th Episcopal Area, Wilmington, North Carolina, 1984-1988, 6th Episcopal Area, Salisbury, from 1988. Church world service chairman Overseas Mission Board, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
Board directors Durham Committee on Negro Affairs, 1958-1963, New York Urban League, 1967-1972. Trustee Lincoln Hospital, Durham, Livingstone College, since 1972, University North Carolina, Wilmington, 1984-1988. Chairman executive committee National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1958-1963.
Member National Academy of Sciences and Religion, World Methodist Council (executive committee), National Council Churches United States of America, World Council Churches.
Married Janie Angeline Griffin, August 31, 1947. Children: Robert Bernard, Joan Cordelia, Faith Elizabeth.