Bishop Ernest T. Dixon, Jr.
Ernest T. Dixon, Jr. was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1922. He was ordained deacon in 1945 and elder in 1946 by the West Texas Conference (Central Jurisdiction) of the Methodist Church. Dixon served pastoral appointments in Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Alabama. In Alabama he also served Tuskegee Institute as the Director of Religious Extension Service, a public ministry focusing on economic development and community organizing among sharecroppers and other desperately poor people.
Dixon served as president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas, from 1965 to 1969. In 1967 he became the first African American elected to the Board of Directors of the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. Dixon also integrated denominational leadership by working on the staff of the Methodist Church Board of Education from 1952 until 1964 and as assistant general secretary of the Program Council of The United Methodist Church from 1969 to 1972. In 1972 Dixon became the first African American to be consecrated bishop in the South Central Jurisdiction of the UMC, an eight state geographic region extending from Nebraska to Texas. He retired from the episcopacy in 1992 and died in San Antonio in 1996 at the age of seventy-three.
View a finding aid for the Ernest T. Dixon, Jr. papers, 1900-1996.