Hampton University Convocation Center (Hampton University, Hampton VA 23668)
Clebrating 100 years! The Ministers' Conference began in 1914 when the Negro Organizational Society, the Conference for Education in the South, the Southern Education Board, and the Cooperative Education Board sought to address the growing concerns of the African-American church and its relationship to the community. With Hampton Institute carrying strong influence with each of these community organizations, it became the birth-place of the original Ministers' Conference, then known as The Conference of Negro Ministers of Tidewater, Va. Held June 29-July 3, 1914, 40 ministers representing four denominations gathered in the Memorial Church. The welcoming of clergy from all Christian denominations is what originally set Hampton's conference apart from the rest and has led to the success seen today. In its second year, the conference adopted the title of The Ministers' Conference of Hampton Institute (later the HU Ministers' Conference) and spread beyond the Hampton Roads area to include Richmond and Roanoke, Va.
The HU Ministers' Conference and Choir Directors' and Organists' Guild has also welcomed famous individuals to the campus of Hampton University. Past attendees have included the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1962; the Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker of Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York; the Rev. Jesse Jackson; the Rev. Al Sharpton; the Rev. T.D. Jakes; and in 2007, Barack Obama.