Reverend Michael Page: man on a mission

By Ashley Roque

NCCU Staff Writer

the Durham VOICE

Campus minister, county commissioner, pastor, Ph.D. candidate, and community leader — Michael Page does it all.

Community leader, Pastor of Antioch Baptist Church and county commissioner Rev. Michael Page outside his Campus Ministry office at N.C. Central University. Staff photo by Neka Jones

Community leader, Pastor of Antioch Baptist Church and county commissioner Rev. Michael Page outside his Campus Ministry office at N.C. Central University. (Staff photo by Nakia Jones)

Page was raised with his four brothers by his father in rural Virginia. Growing up, he learned that a good work ethic and an education were the secrets to success.

“I learned so much from my father’s example as he raised us after my mother died,” said Page.

After graduating from high school, Page came to St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh. During his first few semesters in Raleigh, Page was homesick.

“It was not until a friend took me to a football game at NCCU that I felt right at home,” said Page.

In 1983 Page graduated from NCCU with a B.A. in Public Administration.

After earning a master’s degree in divinity from Shaw University, Page hit the work force.

In his mid-thirties, Page was asked to be an interim pastor at Antioch Baptist Church on Holloway Street in Northeast Central Durham for a year.

He has been there now for more than 11 years.

Antioch, which was a booming predominantly white church before the white flight from Durham, is now one of the most prominent African American churches in Durham.

After a few years at Antioch, Page learned that many of the homeless people in the area were ex-offenders who were having a hard time finding work.

Moved by the high recidivism rate — the rate at which ex-offenders released from jail commit crimes and go back to prison—Page and his church began to focus on a new ministry.

Antioch began to serve children with parents in prison by providing summer camps, weekly activities, and Bible studies.

In 2007, Antioch, along with Chapel Hill Bible Church, and Emmaus Way Church, came together to develop transitional housing for ex-offenders.

Transitional homes are places where those who just came out of prison can stay to get support during their transition to civilian life.

In these homes they receive help finding employment, housing, and spiritual counseling.

The group’s first such home, in Durham, is almost done and is scheduled to be opening for service soon.

In addition to ministry, Page is in the thick of Durham’s political scene.

After years of discontentment with Durham County’s school board policies, Page ran for membership on the board.

When elected, he became the first black chairman since the Durham city and county merged in 1996.

A few years later, Page ran for county commissioner so that he could help oversee and enforce county government. Now, Page chairs the board of commissioners for Durham County.

Page is also N.C. Central University’s director of Campus Ministries.

“The Campus Ministry wants to develop in students the leadership skills in for ministry,” said Page. “Two NCCU students have become ministers as a result of our ministry here.”

His commitment to those in need is unyielding.

“My goal is to fight for poor communities,” he said.  “I want to help build safer communities and to help people gain employment by working as a county commissioner.”

Page has a particular passion for working with, and for, African American men.

His politics are to improve the quality of life for the community.

Page is currently studying in the United Theological Seminary in Ohio for his doctorate in ministry.

7 thoughts on “Reverend Michael Page: man on a mission

  1. Pearlie Williams says:

    Pastor Page, My Name is Pearlie Williams and i am an advocate for people who suffer with Mental Illness. I have something that i would love to talk to you about concerning the release process of inmates from the Durham county Detention Center.

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