Abraham L Funchess Jr

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Pastor Funchess is Recipient of the Iowa Annual Conference Bishop James Samuel Thomas Leadership Award, the

State of Iowa Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award, and the Methodist Federation for Social Action



Reverend Abraham L. Funchess, Jr., is the oldest of three children of Abraham and Bernice Funchess in St. Matthews, South Carolina.  Funchess graduated Valedictorian from Calhoun County High School in 1986 and matriculated into Duke University in Durham, NC, in the fall of that year.  He transferred to Hampton University in Hampton, VA, in the fall of 1988.  Funchess majored in Sociology with a minor in Psychology, receiving upon graduation the W.E.B. DuBois Award for Scholarship and Activism from the department of Sociology.  In December 2010, Funchess completed a Certified Public Management Course, a nationally accredited professional certification for upper level public sector managers and directors, through the Center for Professional Studies, College of Business and Public Administration, at Drake University in Des Moines.


Like the Harlem Renaissance poet and activist Langston Hughes, Funchess has worn several hats.  He has served as an Executive Director of Christian Community Development in Waterloo, as Pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Ottumwa, Ia; and as an Adjunct Professor at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo.   In 2003, Funchess was appointed by Resident Bishop Gregory V. Palmer to serve in the Iowa Annual Conference to work at Jubilee United Methodist Church in Waterloo, where he still serves, and he has been reappointed to Jubilee by Bishop Kennetha J. Bingham-Tsai.   Funchess has also served as Division Administrator of the Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans within the Iowa Department of Human Rights under Governors Tom Vilsack (Feb 2006)and Chet Culver (2007-2010).

Since June 21, 2010, however, Funchess was appointed by Mayor Buck Clark to the position of Human Rights Director for the city of Waterloo.  (Currently serving under the leadership of Mayor Quentin Hart.) It was here that Funchess received the “Building Unity and Developing Understanding” Award from the City of Waterloo Commission on Human Rights in 2008.  In 2015, Funchess received the State of Iowa Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Achievement Award from the Branstad Administration; from Bishop Julius C. Trimble of the Iowa Annual Conference, Funchess received the Bishop James Samuel Thomas Leadership Award; and from the highly esteemed Methodist Federation for Social Action, an Award for Social Justice Work.


Funchess was ordained into ministry under the leadership of the Reverend Michael E. Coleman, former pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Waterloo, Iowa.  Funchess is married to Veronica McGee of Waterloo.  They have one son - Solomon Diara Akello.


MLK New Jerusalem Press

Funchess' first children's book--Rise!--is now available for public consumption.  It is the first of a three-book installment for youth in conjunction with BaHar Publishing.  Funchess is also currently working on a piece for more mature audiences.  To connect with secretarial support regarding books (or any other matter), please call 319-504-0081.