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Rev. Vernon Byrd, Jr.: MLK Interfaith
January 16, 2007, Volume 53, No. 18

Rev. Vernon Byrd, Jr.

The January 18 Martin Luther King, Jr. Interfaith Program at Penn will feature the Rev. Vernon Byrd, pastor of Grant Chapel A.M.E. Church, Trenton, NJ, a Penn Law alumnus, and former senior counsel for the New York Times. Rev. Byrd is the assistant general counsel for Johnson & Johnson. The Interfaith Program, to be held in Bodek Lounge, at Houston Hall, at 6:30 p.m., opens with remarks by President Amy Gutmann. A presentation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Involvement Awards will follow.

Rev. Vernon R. Byrd, Jr. earned a B.A. from Harvard University cum laude in 1981 with a double major in economics and sociology. He obtained his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1985. He is currently a part-time student at the Princeton Theological Seminary.

Rev. Byrd has been a litigation attorney in Philadelphia at the law firm of Cohen, Shapiro, Polisher, Sheikman & Cohen. He has also served as a senior counsel for the New York Times and he currently serves as assistant general counsel and executive director for Legal and Credo (Ethics) Awareness at Johnson & Johnson, in New Brunswick, NJ.

In his youth Rev. Byrd was part of the music ministries of various churches including Morris Brown A.M.E., Philadelphia, St. Paul A.M.E. in Cambridge, MA, and Hemmingway Memorial A.M.E. in Maryland.

Rev. Byrd is pastor of Grant Chapel A.M. E. Church in Trenton, and serves along with his wife, the Rev. Dr. Melinda Contreras-Byrd. The Church has enjoyed sustained growth under their leadership.


Almanac - January 16, 2007, Volume 53, No. 18