“Gospel Gladiator” Moves from the Pulpit to the Classroom News and Events Lyndon Orinion May 07 2014 The Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr., joins Wesley faculty. The Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr., may have stepped down as pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church (www.metropolitanbaptist.org) in Washington, D.C., but that doesn’t mean that he’s retiring. After serving since June 1977 at Metropolitan, Hicks, 70, is taking a new position as distinguished visiting professor of homiletics at Wesley Theological Seminary (www.wesleyseminary.edu/) beginning this spring semester. Hicks, a leader at one of the oldest African American churches in the District, Metropolitan—founded in 1864, is known for his fervent worship and dynamic preaching. Honored in Nov. 1993 by Ebony Magazine as one of America’s “Fifteen Greatest African American Preachers,” and with almost 40 years of preaching experience at Metropolitan, Hicks is sure to prove a valuable resource to those studying at Wesley Theological. “All we have now is a changing of the guard, from one gladiator to the next,” said Hicks, who became pastor of Metropolitan in 1977 at age 33. “All that I have tried to be is a gladiator for the Gospel.” “Wesley is a better seminary because of Dr. Hicks’ work with us, which goes back decades,” said Wesley President David McAllister-Wilson. “His serving as a distinguished visiting professor is a blessing to the school, our students and the churches they will go on to serve.” Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Hicks went on to become an honors graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, a Colgate Rochester Divinity School graduate and a Merrill Fellow for post-graduate study at Harvard’s Divinity School. Currently the senior servant of the 3500-member Metropolitan, Hicks is also the author of seven books and a cultivator of church and community partnerships. Seated in the nation's capital, centered in Christian faith, Wesley Theological Seminary prepares more than 700 students annually, representing more than 30 denominations, to become exemplary teachers, preachers and leaders in the world today.