Leadership Gallery

The Reverend Canon Harold Lewis, 1947-

Racism is more than simply prejudice or discrimination, for it involves the power of the dominant race to institutionalize its assumptions about being inherently superior.
- Harold T. Lewis


Harold Lewis

The Reverend Canon Harold Lewis, c. 2000.

Harold Lewis served as rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, until his retirement in 2012. He is an active chronicler of the African American struggle in the Episcopal Church and has participated on numerous church and seminary boards including the Office of Black Ministries as director from 1983 to 1994. He has served on the Standing Commission on World Mission of the Episcopal Church where he pressed to have African American missionaries recognized and celebrated alongside white missionaries.

Ordained in 1971, Lewis has ministered to parishes in England, Washington, D.C., New Haven, Connecticut, and Brooklyn, New York, and as a missionary in Honduras and Zaire. He served as headmaster of St. Mark’s School in Brooklyn and is currently an adjunct professor in church and society at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Lewis has also taught at the George Mercer School of Theology, New York Theological Seminary, and General Theological Seminary.

In Chicago With Browning, 1992

While visiting black ministries in Chicago, Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning (right) and the Rev. Canon Harold Lewis (next to Browning) joined two local clergy, the Rev. Martini Shaw (left) and the Rev. Richard Tolliver (center), in meeting with Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley (left center), 1992.

In Pittsburgh, Dr. Lewis serves on the boards of the Urban League and the Metro-Urban Institute of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. In the national arena, he is a member of the Episcopal Church Foundations Fellows' Forum and the board of Seabury-Western Theololgical Seminary. By appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury, he has chaired and served on the Advisory Council for the Anglican Observer to the United Nations.

Among Lewis’s many publications are Yet With a Steady Beat: the African American Struggle for Recognition in the Episcopal ChurchChristian Social Witness, and Elijah's Mantle: Pilgrimage, Politics and Proclamation. He has also contributed chapters to a number of books and written articles and poetry for a variety of publications. His latest work, The Recent Unpleasantness, documents his leadership in resisting Bishop Robert Duncan's efforts to pull the Diocese of Pittsburgh out of The Episcopal Church in 2008. [Sources]