Jonathan C. Augustine, JD, M.Div.
Rev. Jay Augustine is the 46th senior pastor of Historic St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC), the national chaplain of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and an adjunct professor at Southern University Law Center. He is a pastor, professor, author and community activist.
Prior to his November 2015 appointment to serve Historic St. James, Rev. Augustine also served in Louisiana as the pastor of St. Paul AMEC (New Orleans), St. James AMEC(Hammond) and as an associate minister of Greater Turner Chapel AMEC (Greensburg). Moreover, in addition to his current service as an adjunct professor at Southern University, Rev. Augustine has also previously taught at Jarvis Christian College, and been a visiting lecturer at Louisiana State University. His teaching specialties include Constitutional Law, History of World Religions, and Christian Ethics.
As a committed member of the AME Church clergy, Rev. Augustine frequently conducts sexual misconduct trainings and advises the presiding bishop on legal affairs. He serves as vice chair of the Louisiana Annual Conference Judicial Committee, on the Board of Examiners of the Louisiana Annual Conference, and as chair of the Finance Committee of the Central New Orleans-Bogalusa Presiding Elder District.
An accomplished author, Rev. Augustine’s scholarly publications appear in numerous professional journals around the United States. He received the William & Carolyn Anderson Applied Theology Writing Award for his law & religion article published in the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal. His written scholarship has also been cited by the Louisiana Supreme Court in published opinion. Rev. Augustine is also the author of “Sometimes Seeing is Believing: Reflections on Faith & the Black Family Because of the Obamas,” published in Mr. President: Interfaith Perspectives on the Historic Presidency of Barack H. Obama (2016) and The Keys Are Being Passed: Race, Law Religion & the Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement (2014), a book celebrating the 50th anniversary of the American Civil Rights Movement and showing its connection with contemporary society. The book has been featured at major events, including, the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference, Southern Christian Leadership Conference National Convention, Essence Music Festival, and the Harlem Fine Arts Festival at Martha’s Vineyard. His most recent publication, featured in the Richmond Public Interest Law Review, honors the 50th anniversary assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., connecting King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail with the Daniel 3 narrative of civil disobedience and the contemporary Black Lives Matter Movement.
Rev. Augustine is a former civil rights litigator who previously served in the administration of Louisiana’s 55th govern
or, as executive counsel & director of legislative affairs for the Louisiana Workforce Commission, and in locally elected office as vice president of the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board. He is a former member of the Louisiana Blue Ribbon Commission for Educational Excellence and previously served under appointment from the Louisiana Supreme Court as a judge ad hoc of the Baton Rouge City Court.
As someone deeply engaged in community affairs, Rev. Augustine is a member of the St. Luke No. 4 Masonic Lodge and the Eureka Consistory No. 7 (PHA), as well as 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans. He is also a silver life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Among many national recognitions, Rev. Augustine was previously named “Outstanding Alumni Brother of the Year,” by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., he received the “Ten Outstanding Young Americans” Award, from the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce, and was named to Ebony magazine’s “30 Leaders of the Future.”
Rev. Augustine earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Howard University, where he was initiated into the Beta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and also received an active duty commission as an infantry officer in the United States Army. Following four years of decorated military service, Rev. Augustine earned his Juris Doctorate from Tulane University and served as a law clerk to Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice (then-Associate) Bernette Joshua Johnson. After accepting the call to ministry, he earned the Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary, as a Beane Fellow and National Rainbow-PUSH Foundation Coalition Scholar, before completing a fully-funded fellowship for further study at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree at Duke University.
Rev. Augustine is married to Historic St. James’ first lady, Sis. Michelle Burks Augustine, and together they have two teenage children, Mason and Jillian.