The First Baptist Church of Crown Heights (FBCCH) originally organized in 1953 as the First Baptist Church of Williamsburg, by a small group of Christian workers included a young man eager to preach, but not yet ordained. One of the first acts of this founding church was to duly ordain the Rev. Clarence Norman as pastor. Today as a result of his 62 years of faithful and dedicated service, Rev. Norman ministers to a congregation of more than 2000 persons.
Reverend Clarence Norman is a multifaceted and caring individual with extensive training and commitment in areas that affect the community. In addition to serving as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Crown Heights, Rev. Norman also serves as Protestant Chaplain for the State of New York Division of Parole.
In the past he has served as chaplain for the Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation; Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Center for Law and Social Justice of Medgar Evers College; Chairman of the Orange Housing Authority, Orange New Jersey; three terms as a Democratic County Committeeman in Orange, New Jersey; and Chairman of the First Baptist Church of Crown Heights Housing and Development Corporation.
The pastor believes strongly in individuals using education as a tool to reach their goals in life. It is no surprise that he himself has focused a great deal on his own education. He received the Bachelor of Arts, 1959, from Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, New Jersey; the Master of Divinity, 1964, and Doctor of Religion, 1971, from Howard University, Washington, DC. His doctoral thesis title: A Constructive Study of the Concept of Liberation in Contemporary Black Religion. Rev. Norman also attended St. John’s University, Jamaica, New York (1968-69) for graduate study in Public School Administration and was awarded State Certification as Principal of Secondary School, 1969.
In addition to his professional achievements and education, Rev. Norman has received numerous special awards and honors. Among them, the 1969-1970 Parish Ministry Fellowship by the Fund for Theological Education, Princeton, New Jersey; Recipient of the First Annual Ecumenical Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, May 9, 1984; and a certificate as accredited Resident Manager by the Institute for Real Estate Management, 1985. In June 2002, Ebony Magazine honored Reverend Clarence Norman as a “great Black father” at an awards luncheon for distinguished fathers and sons who have followed in their paths.
Clarence Norman was born on April 30, 1930, in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He is married to Ellen Norman and has five children.