Entrepreneur and scholar: Rev. Dr. Earle J. Fisher

by Paula Anderson

Like most ministers, a ‘divine calling or burning bush experience’ sets the foundation for pastors to lead spiritually and economically.

Rev. Dr. Fisher, senior pastor of Abyssinian Missionary Baptist Church, accepted his ‘divine calling’ to lead a congregation that focuses on a commitment to social and political liberation in the black church.

According to a journal article on faith-based entrepreneurship, the black minister was the first example of an entrepreneur in the religious community. During this time period, ministers served as the voice and teacher of theology, spiritual principles and practices (Moon, 2007).

While many are focused on entrepreneurship for financial empowerment, Fisher states that working for a company that allows employees to earn decent wages can also be a path to create and generate wealth.

Although he is an entrepreneur and has to manage the economical and spiritual aspects of his congregation, he stated that “entrepreneurship is not the path for everyone.”

Courtesy Photo of Rev. Dr. Earle J. Fisher

Many times entrepreneurship is based on capitalistic principles to increase the profits of the owners or shareholders and not necessarily giving back to the sources that help to generate the profits.

Traditionally, generational wealth is created through real estate, investments, stocks and bonds. However, the understanding and knowledge about economic empowerment has to be the focus for individuals who may not want to become entrepreneurs.

Weekly giving and donations are funded to the church as a revenue stream. It is one of the business entities solely funded by congregants.

“Barbers, beauticians and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are other enterprises traditionally funded with black dollars,” said Fisher.

Another role recently announced for Fisher is a Hooks Academic Research Fellow at the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis.

Fisher received his doctorate degree in Communication at the University of Memphis. In addition to his pastoral leadership, he is a published author and the founder of #UPTheVote901, a voting rights initiative to increase voter education, and empowerment.

To learn more about Rev. Dr. Earle Fisher, contact him at

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