The Reverend Dr. Charles Franklin Boyer is a third-generation African Methodist Episcopal preacher. He is the pastor of Greater Mount Zion A.M.E. Church in Trenton, New Jersey, and the co-founder with his wife Rosalee of Salvation and Social Justice, a non-partisan Black faith-rooted public policy organization. He is also a Senior Consultant to the Social Action Commission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Prior to being appointed to Greater Mount Zion he was the pastor of St. James A.M.E. Church in East Millstone and Bethel A.M.E. Church in Woodbury.
Dr. Boyer is the leading faith voice in New Jersey for racial justice issues, the campaign to abolish the drug war and the criminalization of Black people. His advocacy led to several statewide policy changes such as racial impact analysis, closure of youth prisons, voting rights restoration for the formerly incarcerated, independent prosecutors, community reinvestment through cannabis taxes, and restricting solitary confinement. He led the campaign to free over eight thousand people from New Jersey’s deadly prisons during the pandemic, making it the largest singular decarceration event in the state’s history.
Charles works closely with the Black Legislative Caucus and is a co-convener of the United Black Agenda. He has been recognized as one of New Jersey’s most influential people by InsiderNJ, NJ Advanced Media and the South Jersey Journal. He has been named a Game Changer by the NAACP, a Torch Bearer by the ACLU, a Movement Maker by NJ Working Families, and a Community Servant by NJ Citizen Action. He has been recognized by the NJ Work Environment Council and received the Making Democracy Work award by the League of Women and is a Jefferson Award recipient.
In June of 2022, Reverend Boyer was appointed the 68th pastor of Greater Mount Zion. In less than a year and a half the church satisfied a $700,000 debt, opened GMZ properties up to Afghan refugees, moved in the state’s strongest Black faith rooted justice organization ( Salvation and Social Justice which employs several GMZ members), established the Trenton Restorative Street Team to deal with gun violence, repaired, remodeled and renovated the sanctuary, the parsonage, and the original building on Perry Street, established the GMZCDC, opened the Myra Ashley Outreach Center, and won a two million dollar grant for a Black maternal health and restorative justice center.
More than anything, Rev. Boyer is passionate about spiritual disciplines, especially prayer and meditation. His favorite scripture is Psalms 27:13, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed, that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”. Charles and Rosalee have three children: Shaina, Kyle, and Jayden and two grandchildren: Noah and Autumn.