SC State community observes life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

ORANGEBURG, SC – The SC State University community will gather to reflect and rededicate itself to the legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

The 8 p.m. observance will be held in the Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium on SC State’s campus and the keynote address will be given by the Reverend Caesar Richburg, pastor of Williams Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Orangeburg, S.C. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

A native of Sumter, S.C., the Reverend Caesar Roland Richburg was appointed pastor of Williams Chapel AME Church in November 2006 following an 18-year tenure leading the congregation of Allen Temple AME Church in Greenville, S.C.

Richburg was commissioned in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant. After serving in the military, he worked for Air Products and Chemical Inc., as a branch and district manager in Kansas City, Mo., and Columbia, S.C. While employed with Air Products, he had the opportunity to manage the entire State of South Carolina, establishing relationships with nearly every industry in the state and the greater Augusta, Ga., area.

Richburg is an ordained itinerant elder in the AME Church, and previously served as pastor of Benton Avenue AME Church in Springfield, Mo., and Friendship AME Church in Summerton, S.C.

His ministry is one that reaches beyond the walls and pews of any church. As pastor of Allen Temple AME Church, Richburg led its congregation in the construction of a state-of-the-art community development center. The center spans 50,000 square feet and is used to provide ministries, programs and services to the greater Greenville community. The center also houses the first charter school in inner city Greenville, S.C. Richburg is also former board chairman of the Allen Temple Community Development Corporation, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit economic development corporation, in Greenville, S.C.

Richburg served on the Board of Trustees for the Piedmont Annual Conference of the AME Church. He has served as a delegate to the quadrennial General Conference of the AME Church since 1992, and has served on its Credential and Episcopal Committees. Richburg serves as dean of the Seventh Episcopal District (South Carolina) Board of Examiners, chairman of the Board of Examiners for the Piedmont Annual Conference of the AME Church; treasurer of the conference’s finance committee; and served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the conference. He also served as co-chairman of the investiture service for Seventh Episcopal District Bishop Preston Warren Williams II, recently appointed president of the global Council of Bishops of the AME Church.

Richburg is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., the NAACP and the Board of Trustees of Allen University. He has served as president of the Greenville Chapter of the Rainbow Push Coalition; past president of the Ministerial Alliance of Greenville; and chairman of the Multicultural Advisory Board of Greenville Technical College. Richburg is co-founder of the Greenville HBCU Basketball and Football Classics, as well as the African American Upstate Family Reunion.

He was also an instrumental part of the leadership pushing for the observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as an officially recognized holiday in Greenville County. Greenville became the last of South Carolina’s 46 counties to recognize King’s birthday as an official holiday in 2006.

Pastor Richburg is married to Ella Gadsen Richburg of Saint Stephen, S.C., a teacher for the Orangeburg District 5 School District, and they have three daughters: Felicia, an elementary school teacher in Columbia, S.C.; Kendra, a dental student at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn.; and Tiffany, a medical student at Meharry Medical College.