A native of Kannapolis, NC, Louis Hunter, Sr. served on the front lines in the Viet Nam war with the 101st Airborne and was honorably discharged. In 1975 he preached his initial sermon and was subsequently ordained a minister in the A.M.E. Zion Church. He is a graduate of Howard University and Hood Theological Seminary, having attained a Master of Arts degree in Communication Theory and Rhetoric and a Master of Divinity degree respectively. During the course of his ministry, he has received numerous honors and awards, including an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Hood Theological Seminary.
Bishop Hunter served for 29 years as a successful Pastor and Presiding Elder in churches and districts across the A.M.E. Zion Church; the hallmark of his pastoral ministry was “productivity and growth in the spirit of excellence.” Known as a counselor and motivator, 26 men and women accepted the call to the preaching ministry while under his leadership as pastor. The crowning achievement of his pastoral labors was the relocation of Shaw Temple A.M.E. Zion Church in Atlanta, GA in 2000 to a 10+ acre, $2.5 million complex in Smyrna, GA where in just four years the membership grew from 100+ to over 1400.
The General Conference of 2004 elected and consecrated him as the 93rd bishop in succession in the denomination. From 2004-2008 he served as the Presiding Prelate of the Southwestern Delta Episcopal District, which consists of Louisiana, South Mississippi, West Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
From December 2005 through July 2008, he served as the Presiding Bishop over the Tennessee and Indiana Conferences due to the death of Bishop Milton Alexander Williams, Sr. In July 2008 and in July 2012, he was assigned to preside as the Bishop of the Mid-Atlantic I Episcopal District, which is comprised of the Allegheny, Ohio, New Jersey, Guyana, and Barbados Conferences.
After the untimely death of Bishop Roy Holmes in May 2013, he was assigned as the Presiding Bishop over the Cape Fear and India Conferences of the Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District. In 2014, in addition to his episcopal responsibilities, he accepted a position as an adjunct professor at Columbia Theological Seminary located in Decatur, GA.
He is devoted to his family which includes his wife, Ingrid Flack Hunter, three adult sons (Louis, Jr., Rodney and Kenya), three daughters-in-law (Patricia, Linda and Johncie), seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.