Rev. Dr. Seawright was recently elected as the bishop of the AME Church.

A Prince George’s County clergyman was elected to lead the African Methodist Episcopal Church as one of its bishops during the denomination’s quadrennial conference in Philadelphia.

On July 11 Rev. Dr. Harry Seawright was elected as bishop, on a first ballot, the first time this has happened in 44 years. According to Rev. Jonathan Weaver, pastor at Greater Mt. Nebo AME Church in Bowie, Md., the last time a pastor won based on the first ballot was with Bishop John Hurst Adams.

“I respect the wisdom and the philosophy of our founders, and my vision for the AME Church is to create an atmosphere that would enhance the spirit upon which this denomination was founded,” Seawright said in a statement.

Seawright has served in the AME church denomination since 1979, when he was ordained as an Itinerant Deacon in the Washington Annual Conference. Seawright was most previously a pastor with Union Bethel AME Church in Brandywine, Maryland before becoming bishop.

“He is so progressive and creative but mostly a man of integrity and that is what he will be bringing to the table,” said Rev. Dr. Edna Jenkins, pastor at Embry AME church in College Park, Maryland.

In addition to Sewright’s election, five other clergymen, were also elected as bishop, including Rev. Dr. Frank M. Reid III, who was also a Maryland pastor that was elected as Bishop. See story on for the article on the AME Quadrennial Bishop Elections.

“I wasn’t alone but there were shouts from the audience,” said Weaver. “Everyone was extremely excited, jumping for joy. History was made.”

To fulfill his duties, Seawright plans on setting new goals for the church such as teaching the youth about faith, prayer and fasting.

“I will use my faith, my talents and my prayers to influence our Council of Bishops to adopt a platform that will teach the young, give more money responsibility to millennials and teach prayer and fasting as a tried and true method to stand on God’s promise,” Seawright said.

Weaver, who has known Seawright for 30 years, said he has done “incredible work” at Bethel and as a result earned the bishop position.

“He is one who has a tremendous heart for people,” Weaver said.