The Rev. Dr. Leon Spencer
I have been engaged in African affairs for the past half-century as academician, advocate, and priest. It all started when I went to the Gambia through a work camp program, Crossroads Africa, while an undergraduate at Wake Forest University in 1964. I then earned a masters in African politics at Indiana University and a doctorate in African history from Syracuse University in the USA and taught African history at an historic African American degree institution, Talladega College, in Alabama, for sixteen years. Much of my research and writing concerned the church and issues of justice in the colonial period, principally regarding Kenyan history. Later I discerned a calling to the ordained ministry, earning an M.Div. (and later receiving an honorary D.D.) from Virginia Theological Seminary. Ordained an Episcopal priest, I worked briefly for the national church on anti-apartheid matters, then returned to Kenya to serve the Anglican Church of Kenya as Dean of Studies at the Diocese of Nairobi’s theological college, Trinity. I also administered an African Anglican theological education network, ANITEPAM. Returning to the United States, I became Executive Director of the ecumenical Washington Office on Africa, a peace and justice advocacy group dealing with US policy toward the continent. Retired after serving as the first Dean of the School of Ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, my home region, I am now sometime lecturer at the Wake Forest University Divinity School in the USA and St. Augustine Theological School in Gaborone, Botswana.