Dr. Cecil Cone, theologian, educator, author, and the former president of Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida, died on March 31 in Atlanta. He was 78 years old.
A native of Fordyce, Arkansas, Cone became a minister at the age of 13 and was named pastor of an African Methodist Episcopal Church at the age of 16. Dr. Cone was a magna cum laude graduate of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas. He earned a master of divinity degree from the Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a Ph.D. in systematic theology and philosophy from Emory University in Atlanta. Later in life, Dr. Cone added a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of North Florida to his resume.
Dr. Cone served as dean at what is now the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta and the Jackson Theological Seminary in North Little Rock, Arkansas. He was appointed president of Edward Waters College in 1977 and served in that post until 1988.
Dr. Cone was active in the civil rights movement and was arrested for civil disobedience as a result of a protest at the Jacksonville City Council in 1992. He was the author of The Identity Crisis in Black Theology (Johnny Barbour, 2003).