Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman
Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman has a Bachelor of Science Degree Summa Cum Laude from Mercy College in Yonkers, N.Y. in 1995; a Master of Divinity Degree Magna Cum Laude from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, N.C. in 1998 ; and a Doctor of Ministry from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio in 2003. He is proficient in Greek, Hebrew and Spanish. Dr. Spearman is also a certified AIDS Counselor with the JRW Institute of Alcohol Studies in New York in 1991.
Dr. Spearman is an ordained minister with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church denomination (A.M.E. Zion). He has worked extensively in leadership of the denomination in North Carolina on many levels since 1997, and has been the pastor of St. Philip AME Zion Church in Greensboro, N.C since 2014. Prior to his pastoral career, Dr. Spearman worked in correctional institutions, hospitals, colleges, and community based programs as a substance abuse counselor.
Dr. Spearman’s father was a great influence in his life. Back in the early sixties his father purchased NAACP memberships for his three children and said, "Always keep your membership up in the NAACP. You will spend a lifetime fighting for justice." He is a Life Member of the NAACP, and has been a member for 53 years.
Dr. Spearman has been a courageous and controversial servant in the NC NAACP in the Historic Thousands on Jones Street Movement (HKonJ), and the Moral Monday Movement. In 2011, he was named the NC NAACP Minister of the Year. He served as the Third Vice President of the NC NAACP from 2011 – 2017, and was elected president in October 2017.
Dr. Spearman has won numerous awards including the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network Golden Shovel Award in 2001, Spirit of King Award in 2007, Equality NC Champion of Equality Award in 2011, and the Catawba County Democrats Spirit of Democracy Award in 2013. From 2005 – 2014 he lived in Hickory, N.C. where he served on the Hickory City School Board for three year prior to his move to Greensboro. Dr. Spearman has been the president of the N.C. Council of Churches since January 2017.
Dr. Spearman is well known as a civil rights activist. He has been a plaintiff in three lawsuits challenging policies of the State government. The School Opportunity lawsuit of 2013 addressed the issue of using state funds for private school vouchers, which could drain public resources from our public schools. The lawsuit served to arouse public interest, and this issue is far from settled. In 2016, Spearman played an important role in the Voter Suppression litigation that resulted in a great public outcry about Voter ID and other legislation that would suppress votes in minority and poor white communities. The Richmond Court of Appeals overturned this legislation as a result of this lawsuit. Dr. Spearman is presently a plaintiff in the 2017 Instruct our Lawmakers suit, challenging the N.C. Lt. Governor and other legislators of violating the state Constitution by giving no notice for a “special December session” to ram through laws to undercut the Governor’s power. Dr. Spearman hopes the courts will stop this kind of quick-call back-room lawmaking, where the public does not hear about it until it’s too late to do anything.
Dr. Spearman is married to his wife of 47 years, Janice Brunson Spearman. They are the proud parents of 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren. He is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Tau Omega Chapter and past advisor of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Lambda Psi Chapter. His hobbies are reading, chess, and raising poodles.