A new biography highlights the remarkable life of Reverend Archie Ivy who is the senior pastor at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Milwaukee. He has been pastor there for 25 years and has made New Hope an integral part of Milwaukee’s central city. His church ministry has made a significant difference in the city including housing a charter school, offering a food bank and working for economic justice for the poor. He says “the church must instill hope in people and help them discover a better way of life.”
He was born in Shannon, Mississippi, at home, on Aug. 17, 1942. He came of age in the Deep South during a time of Klansmen; Colored and White signs in public spaces and with Blacks sitting in the back of the bus. He grew up dirt-poor-the oldest of Mose and Ruby Ivy’s 10 children. Archie can remember moving from shack to shack over a dozen times by mule and wagon before he was a teenager. His father was a sharecropper during those transient years and had to go wherever he could find work. Although Shannon was a small rural town with less than 600 people it was still segregated. Archie attended the Shannon Colored School which housed all of the town’s Blacks in one building-grades K-12.
Church life was the culture center for Blacks in Shannon. “Church was all that we had as a people,” says Archie. Archie gave his life to Christ at the age of 9 years old. His grandmother, ‘Big Mama Ollie’, who Archie says, “loved the lord” taught him about the bible and started him on his spiritual journey.
He was the first in his family to attend college and upon graduation moved north to Milwaukee to start his teaching career. He felt the call to ministry while he was still a teacher, but resisted for nearly a decade. He said he wasn’t running away from his calling, as much as he was trying to make himself acceptable to God. “Once I submitted to God’s will I dedicated my life to Christ,” says Archie. “This is the path that God has chosen for me. I’m here by assignment.”
If you admire people who never give up; who achieve great things despite impossible odds; who devote their life to caring for others and who serve as a role model for many, you’ll enjoy Dr. Ivy’s story.
Here’s what two Milwaukee leaders think:
Dr. Archie Ivy’s biography is a must read for those who want lessons in how a pastor not only provides spiritual guidance but rolls up his sleeves to advance the needs of a community’s most underserved population. His commitment to making sure that we are indeed our brother’s keeper is exemplary and a lesson for all of those who truly believe that a Pastor’s job extends far beyond preaching on Sundays.-Dr. Howard Fuller, founder & Board Chair- Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy.
Rev. Dr. Archie Ivy continues to contribute to the betterment of Milwaukee as a consummate Christian Leader. His impact has been as an educator and then advocate of reform for public schools, the penal system and the health system; all in addition to his Pastoral leadership of his church and as a leader among the Milwaukee Clergy. His is a quiet, deep strength working for justice, inclusion, and equality in Milwaukee. ̶ Rev. Carmen Porco, Executive Director of Wisconsin Housing Ministries
About the Author
Dr. Charles Taylor is the author of six non-fiction books, two biographies, a novel: Lakeside University Cover-Up, a Children’s Musical Play, and writer/producer of the award- winning documentary Decade of Discontent. A retired professor, Chuck also produced the Journey of Hope film series on Rev. Carmen Porco’s housing ministry.