The Reverend Canon Peter W. D. Bramble is a retired black Episcopal priest now residing in Maryland. He served as Rector of St Katherine of Alexandria Episcopal Church in Baltimore from 1976 to 1997 and as Rector and Pastor of St Mark’s Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, New York from 1997 to 2015. St Mark’s was at the time the largest black Episcopal congregation in the United States.
Bramble is a graduate of Codrington College, Barbados, the Yale Divinity School and the University of Connecticut from where he received a Ph.D. degree in the Philosophy of Education in 1976. Father Bramble was one of the principals who initiated uniforms in the Public Schools of Baltimore. The project was highlighted in many major news media including TIME, NEWSWEEK, and various national TV programs.
Known by some as the ‘done deal man’ and labelled by The Baltimore Sun as “The Entrepreneurial Priest,” Bramble developed high rise apartments for the elderly at Baltimore’s PennNorth Plaza and in East New York, Brooklyn. He also acquired the largest Day Care Center in Baltimore, established the BATGO program to re-direct troubled youth away from the Criminal Justice System by providing them Housing, educational opportunities and job apprenticeships. That program was established over 25 years ago and still serves young people in Baltimore, Maryland.
In 1986, Canon Bramble with his wife Joy started THE BALTIMORE TIMES NEWSPAPER featuring “positive stories about positive people.” This was developed to balance out the negative vibes fed to blacks in multiple forms: they lived pathology, heard about it on radio, saw it on Television and read it in the local papers. There being no media for conveying positive stories, the Baltimore times was established and was so well received that the company went on to publish similar TIMES papers in Annapolis, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and the Shore Times on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Today, only The Baltimore Times and The Annapolis Times are published.
Dr. Bramble in the late 1980’s and early 1990s Published his first book: THE OVERCOME: A BLACK PASSOVER. In the book he argues for the introduction of major victory concepts into black life, something he believes must occur before blacks can overcome their various pathologies. He believes that victory concepts must be present in the thinking, hoping, talking and doing of blacks in order to enable blacks to become OVERCOMERS of the negativities that plague their story telling and their living.
Father Bramble later developed THE OVERCOME RITE with re-enforcing songs by people who heard Dr. Bramble speak. It is through that rite that he seeks to install THE OVERCOME as the collective victory that blacks can celebrate together. He dares to claim that the Civil Rights Movement, crowned by the death and consequent elevation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., must be seen as that which holds the collective victories that must be re-interpreted in positive ways and celebrated much as the Jewish people celebrate their Passover. He also thinks April 4, the day on which Martin Luther King Jr. was sacrificed for his people should become OVERCOME DAY!
In 1989, The Baltimore Black Academy of Arts and Letters named Father Bramble the “Living Legend in Religion.”