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Carlton Byrd Moves to Oakwood University Church

Carlton P. Byrd, D.Min., senior pastor at the Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church, in Atlanta, Georgia, will transfer to the Oakwood University Church in early January.

Oakwood’s former senior pastor, Craig Newborn, Ph.D., is now the director of Sabbath School and Spirit of Prophecy ministries at the South Central Conference. Newborn brings more than fourteen years of experience in Kenya, Iran, and Lebanon to the SCC administration. Newborn is a graduate of Pacific Union College and Claremont School of Theology and became the senior pastor of the Oakwood University Church in August 2006.

The call to Oakwood University Church, located in the SCC, was extended to Byrd subsequent to the SCC Constituency Meeting on June 26, 2011, when the vacancy at the Oakwood University Church was created, given the new appointment of Newborn. On July 24, 2001, the SCC Executive Committee officially extended the invitation to Byrd.

The interim pastor for Oakwood University Church is Benjamin Jones, Jr. He holds a B.A. in theology from Oakwood University, and an M.A. in religion from Southern Adventist University.

In addition to leading Berean’s four-thousand member church, Byrd is the speaker/director of the weekly Breath of Life television ministry, a position he assumed in 2010. According to Breath of Life, the television broadcast will move with Byrd to Huntsville, Ala.

Dr. Byrd says that this “is going to enable many students to be a part of Breath of Life ministries. For example, it allows opportunities for media or communication majors to actively engage in media, and musical artists to share their given talents on telecast.” In this mutually beneficial relationship, Breath of Life will also receive additional assistance with organizing its weekly national broadcast.

In addition, Dr. Byrd sees the move as “a chance to engage in active evangelism. That’s what we’re called to do. . .in Adventist communities or wherever we are assigned.”

In May, Byrd declined the nomination for president of the Southwest Region Conference. He indicated that “his greatest desire is to be in the will of God,” which then meant remaining in his current assignment at Berean, located in the South Atlantic Conference.

Dr. Byrd announced his upcoming move to Oakwood in a church business meeting convened for that purpose. He will complete his responsibilities at Berean at the end of December 2011, and will assume his new position at Oakwood early next year. Dr. Byrd says that the time between his acceptance of the call to Oakwood and his assumption of responsibilities is for family reasons: “I have two little girls. I don’t want to pull them out of school until the end of a semester.”

“Over 1,700 persons have been baptized, church attendance has doubled, the church building has been remodeled, and a television ministry has been launched in collaboration with Breath of Life” since 2006, when Byrd became senior pastor, according to the Berean Church.

Byrd graduated from Oakwood with a B.A. in theology and a B.S. in business management. He earned a master of business administration (MBA) from Tennessee State University, and master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Andrews University. In 2008, Byrd was chosen as the Oakwood University Alumnus of the Year.

In 2007, Byrd received the “Chosen Pastor Award” for Atlanta’s Gospel Choice Awards, and was listed among the “Who’s Who in Black Atlanta” for 2008 and 2009. In 2008, he was inducted into the Martin Luther King Board of Preachers. Byrd has also served as a guest minister on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.


A new senior pastor for Atlanta Berean Church is unknown at this time.

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