INTERVIEW WITH REV. DR. BERNIE H. MANNING

BY BRENDA WEAVER AND
ELAINE ROBINSON

Tell us a little about your family.

Rev. Manning:  My parents are deceased.  I have five siblings – one deceased; One wife, three children, four grandchildren.  I have been married 42 years.

What brought you to Reading?

Rev. Manning:  I was called by my Lord and Savior.  After much prayer and talk with St. John, I agreed to become the pastor.

Was this a difficult decision to make?

Rev. Manning:  Yes, very difficult.

Why?

Rev. Manning:  I did not want to follow in my Father’s footsteps. I had my own direction in which I wanted to pursue. I had other plans that would haven taken me out of state.

When and where were you married?

Rev. Manning:  We were married in Newport News, VA  in 1967.

Where did you grow up?

Rev. Manning:  I was born in Baltimore, Maryland.  I spent part of my childhood in Baltimore, but, most of my time in York, PA.

Tell us something about yourself.

Rev. Manning: 

  1. I am a Child of God.
  2. I am committed to the Ministry. 
  3. I am dedicated to the cause of saving souls.  
  4. I am somewhat private, but outgoing. 
  5. I love people. 
  6. I am the consummate family man.

What would you like your legacy to be?

Rev. Manning:  I want my legacy to be that I was able to help somebody while toiling on this Christian Journey. I never compromised the gospel.  I work hard at trying to accommodate the “underdog” and imploring the people of God to do the same.

What would you like to share with the younger generation?

Rev. Manning:  I am sensitive to the needs of the younger generation.  I put forth efforts to accommodate their needs .  I would like to make them a part of an inclusionary process.  I strive to monitor their academic achievements and behavior patterns for the purpose of edification and correction.  I work hard at conveying to the youth the imperative to study the Word of God.

How would you like to see St. John grow spiritually?

Rev. Manning:  I desire that every soul be saved.  I also desire that every member engage in at least one of the many Ministries of the church. In addition, I desire that the membership be cognizant of the necessity to study the word of God with the intent to living it out for the glory of God. There is a need for everyone to evangelize the gospel outside the walls of the church.

What would you recommend for the Church?

Rev. Manning:  I want the church to be totally receptive to anybody regardless of race, ethnic origin, socio- economic status, gender or religious affiliation.

 


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Dr. Rev. Bernie H. Manning

Pastor Manning is the son of Richard and Artis Manning.  Rev. Richard Manning is Pastor Emeritus of St. John Missionary Baptist Church.  Rev Dr. Bernie. Manning is a proud graduate of William Penn Senior High School in York, Pa. He received his B.S. Degree in Psychology from Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland; his M.S.  
Degree in Special Education from Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania; and Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He studied Religious Education and Theology at New Jersey Bible Institute.  He served as Dean of Religious Education at a satellite program in Steelton, Pa. 

He is married to Patricia Haltiwanger Manning, and has three (3) adult children, three (3) granddaughters and one (1) grandson.  Rev. Manning is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and has lived in several states.

Reverend Manning is first and foremost a child of God; he is a preacher and teacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Although he has degrees, the one that really counts is his B.A. Degree (Born Again).

Rev. Manning succeeded his father as the pastor of the St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Reading, PA., where he has served for the past five (5) years. 

He is the former Pastor of Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He served in that capacity for eight (8) years.

Reverend Manning retired as Deputy Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools.  He recently retired again from Harrisburg Public Schools, as Assistant Superintendent.  He also served as Assistant Superintendent in Woodland Hills school district, outside of Pittsburg, Pa. During his tenure in school districts, he has always established relationships between schools and church.

As a Professor in Higher Education, he served as an Adjunct Professor at Millersville State University, Millersville, Pa.,  Geneva College, Pittsburgh, Pa.,  and Messiah College in Grantham, Pa.

In addition, Dr. Manning was a contributing author of a book entitled: CHARACTERISTICS OF EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH.

Dr. Manning is a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, and has served on numerous boards in Pennsylvania.

In the area of athletics, he coached track and field,  and basketball. He was the first African American head coach in York city schools, where he was appointed track coach in 1967.

Throughout his almost forty (40) years in education, he has fostered the cause of the NAACP and unequivocally believes that   every African American should be a member of this outstanding and worthwhile organization.   

Reverend Manning has served in many other capacities during his career. The service he is most proud of is providing Ministry on behalf of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  His ministry is not limited to the pulpit.  He is a firm believer in outreach to the youth and is dedicated to the cause of saving souls.

Presently, Rev. Manning is also a consultant  in the area of Religious and Basic/Special Education and Educational Leadership. .