Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.
Founder & Chairman
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community.
At the age of 12, Dr. Banks was inspired–by a man quoting Hosea 4:6–to dedicate himself to addressing the spiritual needs within Black communities throughout the country. In 1955, he graduated from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and married Olive Perkins. He went on to Wheaton College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and a Master of Arts and Biblical Studies degree. He received an honorary Doctorate of Literature from Wheaton College in 1992. In 2008, Moody honored him as its Alumnus of the Year.
Dr. Banks is the author and editor of a number of books and Bible studies. In addition to his leadership role at UMI, Dr. Banks is the founder of the Urban Outreach Foundation, an elder in his local church, and a member of the boards of trustees of Wheaton College and the Circle Y Ranch. He lives in South Holland, Illinois, with his wife, Olive. They have three children.