A child of the church and the oldest of seven children, Rev. Sean Hasker Palmer is a native of Columbia and Lexington, South Carolina. He is an alumnus of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English, double minoring in African American Studies and Religious Studies. He has further completed a Master of Arts in African and African-American Studies at Clark Atlanta University with a concentration in Political Science. Sean is a 2011 graduate of the Duke Divinity School where he was the recipient of the Julian Abele Award for Graduate Student Leader of the Year and later became the 2013 recipient of the Julian Abele Award for Mentor of the Year for his work as the Assistant Director of the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture at Duke University. Prior to divinity school, Sean served as the Director of Student Activities and Residence Life at Paine College. Currently, Sean serves as the director of the Upperman African American Cultural Center at UNC-Wilmington.
Sean married his classmate, the former Jhaniqua Farrar of Cary, NC! She is a graduate of both Bennett College for Women and Duke Divinity School. They have one son, Zachary K. H. Palmer, even though they both have origins in large families. Jhaniqua currently works for the YWCA of Wilmington, and is an active member of the Wilmington community through service in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Jack & Jill of America, The Young Professional Board of Step Up Wilmington, The Advisory Board of Parents as Teachers for Smart Start, and the Advisory Committee for Feast Down East.
Like his wife, Sean is active in a variety of organizations that capture his love for the church, culture and community. He serves as the Director of Education for the Gamma Kappa Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. As well, Sean is a National Parks Services Commissioner for the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. Sean also serves on the executive board of the Association for Black Cultural Centers, and still finds time to advise local student groups at the University. Sean is an avid reader, writer, and teacher. His love for community is rooted in John 15:13, where it says "Greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friends." To this end he is a mentor of young people, a developer of budding leaders, and an advocate for the disenfranchised.
Rev. Palmer was raised by both his foster grandparents and maternal grandmother. His early years were spent as a child of Second Calvary Baptist Church in downtown Columbia. However, he spent his teenage years in his family's "home" church, New Bethel AME in Lexington, SC, where his family can chart their heritage to the founding of the church in the 1860s. Originally, Sean is a licensed and ordained minister in the Progressive Baptist Convention, having realized his calling at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia in 2006.
Sean has worked in several denominations, including both United Methodist and Presbyterian. As the Stated Supply Pastor of CSPC, Coastal Carolina has granted Rev. Palmer rights and privileges to serve in the Presbyterian church.
Both Rev. Palmer and his wife share a love for music ministry, having met in the choir! Sean has served as a Minister of Music and Director of Youth Choirs, in other church contexts. Sean's natural talents for vision casting, relationship building and creativity are at the hallmark of Sean's ministerial background, as he has served in congregations as large as 5000, and as small 50. Sean has never met a stranger.