‘A Great Awakening’: Reid to serve as Week Four chaplain



The Rev. Frank M. Reid III has been described as many things — positive, prophetic, powerful, proactive and passionate among them.

The senior pastor of Bethel AME Church in Baltimore for more than 25 years, he will serve as the chaplain for Week Four at Chautauqua and preach on the theme, “It’s Time for a Great Awakening!”

Reid will preach at the 10:45 a.m. Sunday service of worship and sermon in the Amphitheater. His sermon title is “Wake Up Everybody!” He will speak about his faith journey at the 5 p.m. Vespers in the Hall of Philosophy. Then, he will preach at the 9:15 a.m. morning worship service Monday through Friday in the Amp. The titles for his sermons include: “When You Wake Up, Stop Worrying!” “Trust God and Do Good!” “The Power of Commitment!” “The Power of Weakness,” and “I Have A Transforming Testimony!”

Reid is a fifth-generation minister. His father and grandfather both served the African Methodist Episcopal Church as bishops. He is joined in ministry by his wife, Marlaa’ M. Reid, and their two daughters. They are also the parents of a son.

Originally from St. Louis, Reid attended the Rockefeller Foundation’s Yale Transitional Year Program in 1970, graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in 1974, Harvard Divinity School, M.Div., in 1978, and was a distinguished Samuel Dewitt Proctor Fellow at United Theological Seminary, earning a D. Min. in 1990.

Reid preached his first sermon in 1971 while his father was the pastor of Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, D.C., His first ministerial experience was as a missionary pastor in Monrovia, Liberia, at the Eliza Turner AME Church.

After graduating from seminary, Reid was appointed to his first pastorate in the United States: Greater Bethel AME Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. From 1980-1988, he led Ward AME Church in Los Angeles. He has served at Bethel AME in Baltimore since October 1988.

Bethel and the Reid also played an important part in the HBO series “The Wire” — both were mentioned frequently (and positively) throughout the show, and a worship service at the church was filmed for the series.

As an author, Reid has written several books, including The Nehemiah Plan and Fight Like A Man. With the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, he co-authored When Black Men Stand Up For God: Reflections on the Million Man March.