Bishop T. Anthony Bronner, a native Philadelphian, is a preacher extraordinaire and a trailblazing visionary. He is Senior Pastor of Elim Christian Fellowship of Buffalo, NY, and he is Senior Pastor of Elim Christian Fellowship of Rochester, NY as well. Bronner founded the churches on November 7, 1999 and November 17, 2002, respectively. Prior to that, he was pastor of the prestigious Calvary Baptist Church also of Buffalo, NY.
Bishop Bronner, fresh out of seminary, was called to Calvary in October of 1992. He assumed the pastorate on Sunday, December 6 of that same year. He says of this landmark time in his life, "it was my first solo pastoral experience, and it was a blast: a real love affair. I was able to use both traditional and progressive ministerial approaches to producing spiritual growth and development."
Paramount to Bronner's success as a new pastor were his ability to win souls and his ability to develop funds. In testament to his effectiveness,nearly five hundred people joined the Calvary Baptist Church within six months of his appointment. Early on he spearheaded a crusade to reach souls across western New York which began with the offering of early morning regional prayer meetings. Bronner's regional prayer meetings quickly caught on and before long became his trademark. He surpassed a benchmark when he and Calvary successfully hosted a regional prayer gathering at the Bison baseball field which was attended by thousands. Pastor Bronner was among the first urban church leaders to secure local concert halls to accommodate ever increasing attendance at annual Easter and New Year services as Calvary's popularity reached record numbers. With a penchant for education, Bronner was also notably successful at promoting scholastic endeavors and once generated tens of thousands of dollars for Calvary's scholarship fund with a single event. During his time at Calvary he saw the church grow by leaps and bounds as the enrollment increased from the several hundred who were in membership when he arrived to the several thousand who were in membership when he departed.
Bishop Bronner had purposed in his heart at the very outset of his clerical career that he would build churches. He formulated this goal as an undergraduate on the campus of Philadelphia's Temple University. There Bronner founded Bridge the Gap Christian Campus Ministry, and it was apparent right away that he had an unusual gift for sowing seed in uncharted soil. So, before leaving Temple, before enrolling in seminary he accepted the call of God on his life to be a church planter; and in 1999, with the successful pastorate of Buffalo's Calvary Baptist to his credit, T. Anthony Bronner ventured out in pursuit of a lifelong God-ordained dream.
Anyone familiar with Bronner and his ministry knows of his unquenchable thirst for revival and his constant quest for renewal with God. It is no wonder that the church name upon which he and God agreed was Elim – a place of refreshing. Within three years of his departure from Calvary two Elim Christian Fellowships were fully operational with plans for several more underway. Bronner envisioned Elim as a diverse community strongly supporting racial, gender, cultural and denominational reconciliation. Elim offers ministries that speak to the human condition in ways that are sensitive to the needs of all individuals, and Bronner hopes that Elim will always embrace all people without regard for differences or stations in life.
To best furnish his intent to build churches wherever God allows, and to ensure that these churches maintain continuity of vision and purpose, Bishop Bronner founded and is presiding prelate of, Turning the World Upside Down Covenant Fellowship Inc. TWUDCF is an all encompassing ministry network that offers seminars, workshops, revival meetings and teaching materials that are spiritually relevant to the body of Christ. Through this medium Bronner plants, appoints pastors for, and provides ecclesiastical oversight and counseling to Elim Christian Fellowships (and affiliate churches) across the nation.
Bishop Bronner is of the firm belief that all faith leaders should be formally educated and trained, but he recognizes that many leaders (particularly in the African American community) are denied access to formal education because they do not have the financial liberty to pursue it. To combat this problem Bronner founded, and is president of, The Sound of the Genuine Biblical Institute. Originally a church-based leadership training program offering quality instruction at affordable rates, SGBI is now a fully accredited program of Northeastern Seminary leading to the Certificate in Christian Education Ministry. Bronner and SGBI thrive in the quest to destroy the access barriers as significant numbers of church leaders enroll for training each year.
A highly sought after lecturer, conference presenter and workshop leader, Bishop Bronner has been active in the academic community at Colgate-Rochester Divinity School from which he graduated in 1992. As a former member of the Academy of Homiletics, Bronner served as Adjunct Professor of Homiletics, teaching "Introduction to Preaching". He also served as the Professor of Black Church Homiletics, and Preaching History in the P.E.A.R.L. Program of the seminary's Office of Black Church Studies.
Bishop Bronner earned the Master of Divinity degree with emphasis in Biblical Studies. He completed his undergraduate studies at Temple University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. He is also a graduate of Northeastern Seminary where he earned his Doctorate of Ministry degree. Bronner was licensed to preach in 1984 and ordained to the ministry in 1987. In October of 2008, in a magnificently celebrated service of consecration, members and leaders of Elim Christian Fellowships nationwide gathered to confirm T. Anthony Bronner as Bishop.
Despite his several accomplishments, Bishop Bronner still holds most dear the day that Deacon Otis Hayes of the Calvary Baptist Church first addressed him as pastor. Bronner says of his ministry since that time, "I can't number how many lives have been changed. I can't keep score; I can only be grateful to God for choosing to use me." Bishop Bronner is the loving husband of the Linda King Bronner and the proud father of two beautiful daughters, Jordyn Imani and Nia Jael Bronner. Significant to and completing his family are Linda's daughter and granddaughter, Tami and Taylor.