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ASU alumnus, the Rev. Dr. Alan J. Sims, Sr. (photo contributed).

ASU Alumnus is New Pastor at Historic Montgomery Church

By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU
dr. allen simsAn alumnus of Alabama State University is the latest member of the Hornet Nation family to become the senior pastor of one of the nation's most historic houses of worship, Montgomery's Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church (Dexter). The Rev. Dr. Allen J. Sims, Sr., has recently assumed the reigns of the church that once had as its pastor, such luminaries as the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who served from 1954 - 1960, during some of the pivotal years of the  modern Civil Rights Movement. 
Sims is a 1989 graduate of Alabama State University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work. He is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. 
In a written statement, Sims explained that serving God is his mission in life and is the foundation of his position as Dexter's pastor. 
"Serving God is my calling in life and it is a call to each of us," stated Sims, a native of Montgomery. "I am truly honored to serve Dexter's church family...that is a global symbol of peace and justice, and a destination for visitors from all over the world who come here to learn about Dexter’s Civil Rights Movement history and its continuing role in the pursuit of equity and equality for all people.”
The Rev. Dr. Sims is a veteran, having served as an officer in the United States Army. He is a licensed social worker who has more than 30 years of experience in the field, and has pastored churches in Marion, Abbeville, and Montgomery, Alabama. He joins a cadre of Alabama State alumni who have served as senior pastor at Dexter, with the most recent being Rev. Cromwell Handy (ASU 1980).

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church began offering worship services in its Victorian-designed red brick edifice to Montgomery's Black residents in 1889. It is affiliated with the National Baptist Convention and was designated as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. government in 1974 because of its importance in the Civil Rights Movement, with Dr. King, and its many other contributions to American history. 

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.