Presiding Elder, Beaufort District, AME in Charleston, SC
The Reverend Joseph A. Darby is a native of Columbia, SC. He is a Graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, attended SC State University (and was a member of the Marching 101 Band), and is a graduate of the University of SC and a product of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. A fourth generation minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. Darby served four congregations in the midlands of South Carolina and Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, SC, and is a former member of the General Board of the AME Church. He is now the Presiding Elder of the Beaufort District of the AME Church and Coordinator of the Seventh Episcopal District Sons of Allen Men’s Fellowship.
Rev. Darby is a former Board Member for the United Way of the Midlands, the Center for Religion in the South, the SC School Improvement Council, the Daniel J. Jenkins Institute for Children, the Reid House of Christian Service and the Christian-Jewish Council of Greater Charleston. He also served on the State Superintendent of Education’s African-American Achievement Committee and the Racial/Cultural Advisory Council of the SC School Boards Association.
Rev. Darby is a former President of the Greater Columbia Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, the Greater Columbia Interfaith Clergy Association and the SC Christian Action Council. He is a Life Member of the NAACP and former First Vice-President of the South Carolina Conference and the Columbia Branch. He co-authored the 1999 National NAACP resolution for economic sanctions that led to the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the Dome and legislative chambers of South Carolina’s State House.
Rev. Darby is presently a Board Member for the SC Advisory Committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. He is First Vice-President of the Charleston Branch NAACP, Board Chairman of the P.A.S.T.O.R.S. Community Development Corporation, Co-Chairman of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry and Board President of the SC Civil Liberties Union.
Rev. Darby is an opinion page contributor to many newspapers and authored a daily devotion in the Zondervan African-American Devotional Bible. He is a former Co-Editor of The Voice of Missions, the quarterly magazine of the Department of Global Witness and Ministry of the AME Church and has offered commentary on local, national and international media outlets, including CNN and the BBC.
Rev. Darby’s honors and awards include a Top Achiever Award in the 1993 SC Black Male Showcase, SC Business Vision magazine’s 1997 listing of the State’s 25 most influential African-Americans, the 1999 SC Christian Action Council’s Howard G. McClain Christian Action in Public Policy Award, the 1999 NAACP Southeast Region Medgar W. Evers Leadership Award, the 2001 Excellence in Religion award from the SC Mechanism of the National Council of Negro Women, the 2011 Charleston Trident Urban League Social Justice Award and Social Action Service awards from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
He is a 2002 inductee into the SC Black Hall of Fame, was featured in the BellSouth 2003 African-American History Calendar, and is a member of the Inaugural 2004 class of the Richland County School District One Hall of Fame. He offered Invocations for the 2003 Inauguration of SC Governor Mark Sanford and for a daily session of the US House of Representatives at the invitation of Congressman James E. Clyburn, a member of Morris Brown AME Church, and was a participant in the 2011 White House Easter Prayer Breakfast.
Rev. Darby is married to the former Mary M. Bright, a career educator. They are the proud parents of two adult sons: Jason Christopher and Jeremy Christian.