top of page

Our Leadership

Screenshot 2023-09-08 at 10.56.53 AM.png

Reverend Malcolm J. Byrd

Brother Kermit Tyrone Morris

Anchor 1

Reverend Malcolm J. Byrd
Senior Pastor

The Reverend Malcolm J. Byrd is a liberation theologian. A Long Island, New York native, he spent his formative years living in Detroit, MI and Gastonia, NC where he completed his Secondary Education. Reverend Byrd entered the ministry in 1998 at age 14 and was licensed as an exhorter by Presiding Elder H.L. Hall at the Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church in Gastonia, NC. He attended Livingstone College where he served as a Presidential Scholar, President of the Student Government Association, President NAAP, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and was a member of the Board of Trustees. He received an undergraduate degree from the State University of New York, at Purchase and his graduate degree in theological studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkley CA.


Reverend Byrd has served in various capacities in local and national leadership. From 1998 to 2002 he was the National Chaplain for the Varick International Christian Youth Council. He is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Woodson University. He served as Vice-Chair of the board for the Brockton Church and Community after School Program, Trustee of the Robert Perry Corporation, Barber Scotia College Foundation, and currently President of the Leon W. Watts II Memorial Scholarship Fund. Rev. Byrd is a member of the Board of Directors of the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn, New York, a National Park. Rev. Byrd was also tapped by the National Council of Churches to serve as the Director of Logistics for the “ACT Now to End Racism Rally” that drew thousands on April 4, 2018 in Washington, DC.


Appointed as the Senior Pastor of Mother A.M.E. Zion in June of 2019, Reverend Byrd has instituted several social programs, including health workshops. He’s developing a G.E.D. program and is exploring more creative ideas, like adding a coffee shop in the church.

Anchor 2

Reverend Audrey Akins Williamson
Nina M. Neely Minister of Christian Education

The Reverend Audrey Akins Williamson is a proud Alumna of Rutgers University, New Brunswick Theological and Princeton Theological Seminaries. Prior to answering her call to ministry, she was employed in the area of Sales and Marketing for several Fortune 500 Companies, including L'Oréal and American Express. Formerly a Visiting Professor of sociology, Religion, and Gender Studies at Monmouth University, she has served as a Mentor for the RISE since her inception in 2018; she is the Founding Director of the Collaborative for Faith Leadership, housed also at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She Serves Mother AME Zion Church as the Nina M. Neely Minister for Christian Education, and was formerly the Senior Pastor at the St. James AME Zion Church in Matawan, NJ.

Rev. Audrey has served as a Faith and Climate Change Fellow for former Vice President Al Gore, and the inaugural cohort of the John Templeton Foundation and American Association for Advancement of Science Lifelong Learning Fellowship, at the Yale School of Divinity and Yale School of Medicine. The focus was to encourage the exchange of knowledge and expertise between and within the communities of faith and science. She serves on several non-profit boards that focus on Women In Ministry, Empowerment of Women of Color and Mental Health in the African American Community.

Rev. Williamson is engaged in the community in meaningful ways, and holds Area leadership in the Links, Incorporated, and is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, but most importantly, a Child of God, who desires to at all times and in all places do the will of God.

Anchor 3

Brother Kermit Tyrone Morris
Associate Minister

Brother Kermit Tyrone Morris, MPA, MDIV is a native of Brooklyn, New York, and began his didactic studies within the New York City Public Education System. He received his Bachelors degree in Health Science and obtained a Masters degree in Public Health and Administration from Mercy college. He also received a Masters degree in Divinity with honors from New York Theological Seminary.

Bro. Kermit began his Christina walk early in his life attending Little Zion Baptist Church of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He joined the Greater Centennial AME Zion Church of Mount Vernon, New York in 1994. While in seminary, he did his supervised ministry at the Mother Walls Church of the Bronx, New York. He presently is an Associate Minister of Mother Zion Church, Harlem, New York. Central to his ministry is the promotion and restoration of family and public health policy with a focus on liberation theology. He is an avid reader of literature, poetry, history, astronomy, and science. An excellent fisherman and cook, Bro. Morris is devoted to his daughter, Taylore Renee, his family, and friends.

bottom of page