Dr. Michael O. Minor is a nationally known champion of faith-based health and wellness mobilization. He is best known as the “Southern pastor who banned fried chicken in his church.” As a community organizer for nearly 30 years, Dr. Minor has worked on community empowerment, non- profit business development, and faith community issues. An anointed, prolific Gospel preacher, he currently serves as the undershepherd of the The Hill-Hernando Baptist Church Family in Hernando, Mississippi. Dr. Minor has also been blessed to be a writer for the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. Sunday School Publishing Board (SSPB). His anointed, thought-provoking writing can be seen in the Baptist Informer. Additionally, Dr. Minor serves as the Southwest Region I Coordinator for the SSPB. In this role he helps congresses of Christian Education in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Germany ensure that their curricula are biblically sound and their staff skilled in word and doctrine.
Dr. Minor’s other Christian education leadership roles include the serving as current president of the Mid-South Churches Cooperative Conference Baptist State Convention, co-chair of the National Faith-Based Mobilization Network (Faith MoNet), and the National Director of the H.O.P.E. Health and Human Services (HHS) Partnership of the National Baptist Convention, USA, (NBCUSA) Incorporated – the nation’s largest African American religious denomination. A published researcher, he provides advisory services for several local, regional, and national health related initiatives including the American Cancer Society’s National Advisory Council on Health Equity, the Food and Health Equity National Working Group, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education.
A national voice for the promotion of faith and health, Dr. Minor has generated extensive international multi-media coverage including the New York Times, Reuters News Service, Buenos Aires Herald, German Public TV ARD, NPR’s Talk of the Nation and Tell Me More, Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s Southern Remedy TV Broadcast, ABC-TV, NBC News, and Fox News. In February 2012, he was featured in Guideposts Magazine. Cooking Light Magazine selected Dr. Minor as one of 20 national food heroes in its November 2012 issue. In Search of the Movement: The Struggle for Civil Rights Then and Now (2015) listed Dr. Minor as one of America’s new generation of civil rights leaders in health equity. Cooking Light Magazine also featured Dr. Minor in its update issue on ongoing health and wellness activity across the nation (2016).
Dr. Minor has honed his efforts through his over 20 years as the director of education and training for the Rising Sun Usher Federation/H.O.P.E. Ministry editing a comprehensive congregational usher and health and wellness ministries guide centered around the concept of wholeness. Championing the initiation and networking of health and wellness ministries in houses of worship across the country, Dr. Minor vigorously promotes the use of trained lay health educators (ambassadors) to lead these ministries. These efforts have expanded nationally including his work with the NBCUSA, Faith MoNet, and tri-regional faith and community health summits in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Evidence of the success of his mobilization efforts have come through his work with former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative. During her visit to Mississippi in February 2010, Dr. Minor participated in the launch of this effort. Dr. Minor received White House invitations to attend several events celebrating the success of Let’s Move! including the December 2011 national convening, the second-year anniversary celebration in Orlando in February 2012, and the third-year anniversary in March 2013 in Washington, D.C. He continues to work with various federal agencies and national health and wellness advocacy organizations in support of faith-based outreach and sustainable lifestyle changes. Since 2013, HHS has awarded his church and state-wide collaboratives Get Covered Mississippi and Healthy Kids Mississippi over $4 million in Affordable Care Act Navigator and Connecting Kids to Coverage Grants funding.
Dr. Minor holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Harvard University, a masters’ degrees in both business administration and real estate development and a doctorate degree in higher and adult education from the University of Memphis. Committed to staying current in the field of faith-based health and wellness mobilization, Dr. Minor is active in professional and personal development. He is a faculty member at LeMoyne-Owen College and continues to conduct primary research. Married to the former Lottie Bennett, Dr. Minor has three wonderful children – B., NyKiya, and NyTasha and a darling granddaughter - Akira.