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Bishop Henry A. Belin, Jr

Henry A. Belin Jr. was a prominent figure in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, known for his dedication to education, ministry, and community service. Born on October 2, 1944, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Belin was deeply rooted in the Christian faith from an early age. His father, Henry A. Belin Sr., was also a respected pastor, which influenced his spiritual journey and commitment to the church.

Belin pursued his higher education at Wilberforce University, a historically Black university affiliated with the AME Church, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. His academic journey continued at Payne Theological Seminary, where he obtained a Master of Divinity degree. He later earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary. These educational experiences not only solidified his theological foundation but also prepared him for a life of service in the AME Church.

Ordained as an elder in the AME Church, Belin quickly rose through the ranks due to his leadership skills, eloquence, and commitment to social justice. He served in various pastoral roles, where he was known for his dynamic preaching and ability to connect with congregants on a personal level. His leadership extended beyond the pulpit, as he actively engaged in community organizing and advocated for civil rights.

In 2000, Henry A. Belin Jr. was elected and consecrated as a bishop in the AME Church, a role that expanded his influence and responsibilities. As a bishop, he oversaw several districts, providing spiritual guidance, administrative oversight, and support to numerous churches and communities. His tenure as bishop was marked by efforts to strengthen the church’s outreach programs, educational initiatives, and mission work.

One of Belin's significant contributions was his role at Shorter College in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Founded in 1886 by the AME Church, Shorter College is a historically Black college that has played a crucial role in providing higher education opportunities for African Americans in the region. As a bishop, Belin was instrumental in supporting the college's mission and ensuring its sustainability during challenging times.

At Shorter College, Belin focused on expanding academic programs, improving campus facilities, and increasing student enrollment. He worked closely with the college’s administration, faculty, and board of trustees to develop strategic plans aimed at enhancing the institution’s academic reputation and financial stability. His efforts contributed to the college's resurgence and its ability to continue serving as a vital educational resource for the community.

Belin also emphasized the importance of spiritual development and moral leadership among students. He believed that education should not only equip individuals with knowledge and skills but also foster a sense of ethical responsibility and commitment to social justice. Through various programs and initiatives, he encouraged students to engage in community service, leadership development, and advocacy for marginalized groups.

Henry A. Belin Jr.'s legacy is marked by his unwavering dedication to the AME Church, his advocacy for education, and his commitment to social justice. He passed away on January 9, 2020, leaving behind a legacy of faith, leadership, and service. His contributions to Shorter College and the broader AME Church community continue to inspire future generations of leaders and changemakers.

"I think, therefore I am"

Shorter College is a private, faith-based, two-year liberal arts college located in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Founded in 1886 by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Shorter College is one of the nation’s 110 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and the only private, two-year HBCU in the nation. For more than a decade, the offerings and innovations from our institution have led Shorter College to a continuing ranking as the fastest-growing college campus in Central Arkansas.
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