F. Herbert Skeete
Bishop F. Herbert Skeete
Born in the Harlem section of New York City, his childhood was spent in Barbados, West Indies, through high school. Following four years in the U.S. Air Force, Herb attended Brooklyn College, receiving a B.A. He served South Ozone Park Church of the New York Conference as he worked for an M. Div. at Drew University Theological School. He was ordained deacon and elder by Bishop Lloyd C. Wicke. Later, Herb received an S.T.M. from New York Theological Seminary and a D.Min., again from Drew. He has taken graduate work in social psychology at the New School for Social Research in New York City, and received honorary D.H.L degrees from Philander Smith College in 1983 and Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York, in 1986. Also in 1986, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, bestowed a D.D. upon him. Africa University, Zimbabwe, added another in 1996.
For eight years, Dr. Skeete was Pastor of Union United Methodist Church in Queens and then for the next twelve years was Pastor of Salem United Methodist Church "in the heart of Harlem." He was elected a delegate to the General Conferences of 1972 - 1980 and to the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conferences 1968-1980. For eight years he was a member of the General Board of Global Ministries, serving as Vice-President of the National Division. He served eight years as a member of the Board of Higher Education and Ministry where he chaired the Division of Higher Education during the first four years, and served as President of the Board the next four years. He attended World Methodist Conferences in Denver, Dublin, Hawaii and Nairobi, and was a member of the Executive Committee for two years. He served another eight years with the Board of Global Ministries (1988-1996) as President of the Board 1992-1996.
He has served as a trustee of Union Theological Seminary, New York; Drew University; and The American Bible Society. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Boston University, Gammon Theological Seminary and Africa University, Zimbabwe. He has been a popular religious radio commentator in New York City and moderated a monthly television program in Philadelphia. He enjoys carpentry, bicycling, camping, sports, reading and travel.
F. Herbert Skeete was elected to the episcopacy at the 1980 Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference and assigned to the Philadelphia Area for eight years. In 1988, he was assigned to the Boston Area for eight years. He retired in 1996. He served as interim pastor of St. Mark's UMC in Harlem, NYC (1997-1998) and continues to serve as Pastor Emeritus at Salem UMC in NYC. In 2002, Herb was reactivated by the Council to serve as Interim Bishop in Zimbabwe for a year.
Shirley Clarissa Hunte married F. Herbert Skeete on October 4, 1952, while he was serving in the U.S. Air Force.
Bishop Skeete passed on February 11, 2011.
Shirley and Herb had two sons, Michael (Linda) and Mark (Terri), and three grandchildren, Matthew, Ajani, and Andrew.