AME Zion House of Study

The AME Zion Church House of Study is a track designed to instruct, prepare, and empower clergy and lay leaders with 21st Century ministry resources taught from an African American Methodist (Wesleyan) historic Christian faith point of view. If you are searching for an experiential 21st Century educational model to prepare you for the “Next Normal”, this is it!

Students who matriculate in The AME Zion House of Study will be able to:

  • Follow their call by discerning the voice of God and developing a clear sense of spiritual formation and purpose.
  • Understand the History and Polity of The AME Zion Church in correlation to Wesleyan History and Polity.
  • Understand the key principles and practices of church revitalization and growth and church development.
  • Clearly articulate and execute effective church administrative practices.

AME Zion House of Study Courses:

  1. History of the AME Zion Church
  2. AME Zion Church Leadership, Administration, Polity and Practice
  3. AME Zion Church Revitalization, Growth and Sustainability

Meet the Director

Photo of Bishop Eric LeakeBishop Eric Leake was born in Troy, NC and raised in Mount Gilead, NC. He is the son of Mrs. Sarah Jean Dumas Leake and the late Mr. Percy Leake and the late Mr. William Richard Johnson. He committed his life to Jesus Christ during a revival at Ingram’s Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Mount Gilead. Subsequently, he became a member of his home church, McAuley Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church (Mount Gilead, NC).

Shortly after preaching his trial sermon, the late Rev. R. E. Sharpe (pastor of McAuley Memorial) became ill and the late Bishop Arthur Marshall, Jr. charged Rev. Leake with fulfilling the pastoral duties at McAuley Memorial and Snow Hill AME Zion Churches (Mount Gilead, NC) for two years. He was appointed by the late Bishop Cecil Bishop to serve as the pastor for Hudson Grove and Redding Springs AME Zion Churches in Indian Trail and Waxhaw, NC, respectively, from 1987-1990. In 1990, Rev. Leake assumed the pastoral duties at Troy Chapel AME Zion Church in Troy, NC for three years.

In January 1993, the late Bishop Enoch B. Rochester appointed Rev. Leake to the historic, yet troubled, Greater Warner Tabernacle AME Zion Church, Knoxville, TN. For more than 16 years, with God’s direction, he led this congregation and community in revitalization and renewal. During his time in Knoxville, Bishop Warren M. Brown appointed Rev. Leake to serve as a Supply Pastor of the Edgewood Chapel AME Zion Church, Knoxville, TN for three months in 2003. In 2006, Bishop Louis Hunter appointed him to serve as the Presiding Elder of the Knoxville District. In October 2009, the late Bishop Roy A. Holmes appointed him to serve as the Pastor of Martin Temple AME Zion Church, Chicago, IL. Bishop Leake served Martin Temple for 12 years.

He earned the Doctor of Ministry Degree from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, OH, in 2004. As the first graduate sponsored in the “Adopt-a-Minister” Project by the Daughters of Conference at Trinity AME Zion Church in Greensboro, NC, Rev. Leake earned the Master of Divinity from Hood Theological Seminary, Salisbury, NC, in 1995. In 1990, he received a Bachelor of Science from Shaw University, Raleigh, NC and an Associate of Arts Degree in Applied Science from Montgomery Community College, Troy, NC in 1987.  His educational journey included receipt of the High School Diploma in 1981 from West Montgomery High School, Mt. Gilead, NC and his barber credentials from Harris Barber College, Raleigh, NC in 1982.  In 1993, Rev. Leake completed one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.

He also served as the Prayer Coordinator and Director of Evangelism for the Midwest Episcopal District. He has served as the International Prayer Coordinator for the AME Zion Church! In 2014, he was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr., Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA.

In 2006, Bishop Leake attended the Cornerstone Celebration Training for World Methodist Evangelism, North America Section. He authored the following publications: 2019: He co-authored “Leadership in the 21st Century” in 2016: “Making A Comeback: The Seven Components to Church Renewal,” and in 2013, “Praying on Purpose: Intentional Growth through Prayer.” 

Bishop Leake is married to Jean McMurray from the Swift Street AME Zion Church, Greensboro, NC. They have been married for 28 years. She has been his friend, ministry partner and his greatest intercessor. They have four children, Jessica Leake Covington, Joshua, Caleb, and Elijah Leake, one son-in-law, Catrell Covington, one daughter-in-law, D’nai and three grandsons, Jeremiah Andrew and Cayden Josiah, Noah Christoff and a granddaughter, Ava Lee.

Bishop Leake was elected the 107th Bishop in the line of Succession of the AME Zion Church, July 31, 2021. He has been assigned to the Southwestern Delta Episcopal District which includes Arkansas, India, Oklahoma, Louisiana, South Mississippi, Texas, and West Tennessee-Mississippi. Bishop Leake offers the Ministry of HELP to Zion promoting Health, Evangelism, Leadership and Prayer.


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