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This is a picture of the previous MB pastors who went on to become AME Bishops.
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Rev. Mark Tyler - Senior Pastor Mother Bethel AME Church

Biography for Reverend Mark Kelly Tyler, Ph.D.

Mark Kelly Tyler is a native of Oakland, CA and he is the third child of Bill and Elroy Tyler. In 1987, he accepted God’s call to preach the liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

He is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University (B.A., Religion), Payne Theological Seminary (Masters of Divinity), and the University of Dayton (Ph.D., Educational Leadership). Since 1994, Dr. Tyler has been in full time pastoral ministry in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He has been blessed to serve as pastor of congregations from one coast to the other:  Oakley Chapel (Tebbetts, Missouri); Quinn Chapel (Jefferson City, Missouri); Allen Chapel (San Francisco, California); Prince Chapel by the Sea (La Jolla, California); Bethel (Oxford, Ohio); Bethel (West Chester, Pennsylvania); and, Macedonia (Camden, New Jersey).

Dr. Tyler currently serves as the 52nd pastor of Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. Mother Bethel, the first congregation founded by Bishop Richard Allen, has been a spiritual, social, and community force since the late 1700s. Mother Bethel also has the honor of serving as the final resting place of church founder, Bishop Allen. It is an international destination for pilgrims and tourists alike. Dr. Tyler and Mother Bethel serve as host for the 50th Session of the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in July, 2016. 

Dr. Tyler led the drive to secure funding for Bishop Richard Allen: Apostle of Freedom (The Documentary), serving as Executive Producer and Writer on the project. He also served as the Producer and Writer for the Council of Bishops’ production of The Anvil: Echoes from the General Conference which made its debut at the 2012 General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Most recently, Dr. Tyler was interviewed by Dr. Henry Louis “Skip” Gates in the PBS documentary, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. Additionally, Dr. Tyler has appeared in various other documentaries, including: multiple episodes of Philadelphia: the Great Experiment; The Scroll: Evidence of the Life Unseen, Volume 2; the PBS series, A Taste of History; Philly Firsts; and, Coltrane’s Philadelphia.

Dr. Tyler has also been active in the world of theological education, currently serving as a Fully Affiliated Faculty Member at the Methodist Theological Seminary in Ohio. He is a current member of the Adjunct Faculty at Payne Theological Seminary (PTS), Northeastern Seminary (NES), and a past Adjunct Professor at New Brunswick Theological Seminary (NBTS). Additionally, Dr. Tyler is the past Director of Church Relations and Alumni Affairs at PTS and the past Director of Church Vocations at NBTS. He serves on the Advisory Board for the Urban Theological Institute at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and formerly served on the Advisory Board for Northeastern Seminary.

Dr. Tyler’s ministry has also led him into the work of organizing for social justice and civil rights. As a member of POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild), he serves as the co-chair of the Clergy Caucus. In January, 2015, Dr. Tyler served as one of the facilitators of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Action, Resistance, and Empowerment. Spurred on in response to the Black Lives Matter Movement, the funding crises in public education, and the fight for a living wage, organizers turned out one of Philadelphia’s largest public demonstrations in recent history with little more than one month to plan.

Dr. Tyler is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and in his “spare time” enjoys traveling to new places, riding his mountain bike, and roller skating. He and his wife, Leslie, live in the Philadelphia area. He has four wonderful children. 


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