Name & History
Francis J. Grimké, a former slave and son of a slaveholder, went on to pastor 15th Street Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C. for over five decades.
Grimké’s Life and Legacy
President of Grimké Seminary, Dr. Doug Logan, Jr. introduces the life and legacy of Francis J. Grimké, a model pastor who saw the local church as the primary means for God’s mission in the world.
Francis James Grimke (1850—1937)
Grimké Seminary is named in honor of Dr. Francis J. Grimké, the son of a slave and a slaveholder. By the providence of God, he was freed from slavery to become a faithful pastor and leading advocate of civil rights.
After his birth, Grimké was eventually sold to a Confederate officer. Following the Civil War, he was discovered by his abolitionist half-sisters, who opened their home to him and supported his education at Princeton Theological Seminary. He went on to serve more than fifty years as the pastor of 15th Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., where he devoted his life to preaching the gospel and advocating for the equal treatment of African Americans. In addition to his long pastoral ministry, he also published numerous articles, wrote several books, and co-founded the American Negro Academy (ANA) in 1897 and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.
Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., where Grimké served faithfully from 1885 until 1928
Photograph of Francis J. Grimké from the first quarter of the twentieth century
Building on his life and legacy, Grimké Seminary is a diverse seminary devoted to training pastors and church planters for the advance of the gospel, the good of the world, and the glory of Christ. Believing that the gospel is primary (1 Cor. 15:3), the church’s mission is central (Matt. 28:18–20), and the pastoral role in theological education is indispensable (2 Tim. 4:2), Grimké Seminary is a gospel-centered, mission-minded, practitioner-led institution.
The Grimké Experience
Students at Grimké Seminary do not specialize in theoretical knowledge. You will learn to apply right away what you learn in your local context.Learn How Grimké Works