An ordained American Baptist Churches USA minister, Rev. Dr. Henry H. Mitchell served from 1945-1959 as a denominational staff person in Northern California. He subsequently pastored California churches in Fresno and Santa Monica before beginning his esteemed academic career. Time in academia included:
- Being named the first Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Black Church Studies at Colgate Rochester Divinity School
- Serving as founding director of the Ecumenical Center for Black church Studies, in Los Angeles
- Acting as Academic Dean and Professor of History and Homiletics at Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University
- Team teaching along with his wife, the late Rev. Dr. Ella Pearson Mitchell, as Visiting Professors of Homiletics at the Interdenominational Theological Center
- Mentoring students, again with Ella, in the Doctor of Ministry Program at the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio
Dr. Mitchell is author of three texts, Black Preaching, The Recovery of Preaching and Celebration and Experience in Preaching. He co-authored two other books, Soul Theology and Preaching for Black Self-Esteem with Dr. Emil M. Thomas. In 2004, his Black Church Beginnings, 1650-1990, a radical rewrite and correction of early Black Church History, was released by Eerdmans Publishing. The Mitchell's inspiring love story, Together for Good, was originally published in 1999 and re-released by Judson Press in 2005.
Rev. Dr. Mitchell is a native of Columbus, Ohio. He holds degrees from Lincoln University, Pennsylvania (B.A & L.H.D, hon.); Union Theological Seminary, New York (B.D./M.Div); California State University at Fresno (M.A. Linguistics); Claremont School of Theology, California (Th.D.); and The American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, CA (D.D., hon.).