A native of Columbia, South Carolina, the Reverend Joseph A. Darby is the son of the late Joseph A. Darby, Sr. and Eloise Janerette Darby. He is a Graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, attended SC State University (and was a member of the Marching 101 Band), and is a graduate of the University of SC and a product of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.
A fourth generation minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church – who was Baptized in and is a member of Saint James AME Church in Columbia, SC – Rev. Darby served four congregations in the midlands of South Carolina and Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, SC – the “First Church” of the Seventh Episcopal District of the AME Church. He is a former member of the General Board of the AME Church and now serves as the Presiding Elder of the Beaufort District of the AME Church.
Rev. Darby served as a Board Member for the United Way of the Midlands, the Center for Religion in the South, the SC School Improvement Council, and the Christian-Jewish Council of Greater Charleston and as the founding Co-Chairperson of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry. He also served on the State Superintendent of Education’s African-American Achievement Committee, the Racial/Cultural Advisory Council of the SC School Boards Association and as the Founding Episcopal Coordinator for the Seventh Episcopal District Sons of Allen of the AME Church.
Rev. Darby is a former President of the Greater Columbia Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, the Greater Columbia Interfaith Clergy Association the SC Christian Action Council and the South Carolina Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. He is a Life Member of the NAACP, served and as First Vice-President of the South Carolina Conference and the Columbia Branch, and co-authored the 1999 National NAACP resolution for economic sanctions that led to the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the Dome and legislative chambers of South Carolina’s State House.
Rev. Darby is presently a Board Member for the SC Advisory Committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. He is First Vice-President of the Charleston Branch NAACP, Board Chairman of the PASTORS, Inc. Community Development Corporation and is a Board Member for the Florida-based Direct Action Research and Training Center.
Rev. Darby is an opinion page contributor to many newspapers and authored a daily devotion in the Zondervan African-American Devotional Bible. He is a former Co-Editor of The Voice of Missions, the quarterly magazine of the Department of Global Witness and Ministry of the AME Church and has offered commentary on local, national and international media outlets.
Rev. Darby’s honors and awards include SC Business Vision magazine’ 1997 listing of the State’s 25 most influential African-Americans award, the 1999 SC Christian Action Council’s Howard G. McClain Christian Action in Public Policy Award, the 1999 NAACP Southeast Region Medgar W. Evers Leadership Award, the 2001 Excellence in Religion award from the SC Mechanism of the National Council of Negro Women, the 2011 Charleston Trident Urban League Social Justice Award and Social Action Service awards from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
He is a 2002 inductee into the SC Black Hall of Fame, was featured in the AT&T 2003 African-American History Calendar, is a member of the Inaugural 2004 class of the Richland County School District One Hall of Fame and was the 2016 recipient of the Charleston YMCA’s Harvey Gantt Freedom Award. He offered Invocations for the 2003 Inauguration of SC Governor Mark Sanford and for a daily session of the US House of Representatives at the invitation of Congressman James E. Clyburn, and was a participant in the 2011, 2014 and 2015 White House Easter Prayer Breakfasts.
He is also the recipient of the 2016 Conference of National Black Churches’ Bishop John Hurst Adams Advocacy Award and was named to Charleston Business Magazine’s 2017 listing of the Fifty Most Influential Charlestonians.
Rev. Darby is married to the former Mary M. Bright, a retired career educator. They are the proud parents of two superlative sons and two wonderful daughters-in-law – Jason Christopher (Cherisse Thomas) and Jeremy Christian (Hayley Lawrence) Darby.