Reverend Doctor Tony F. Drayton is a native of Indiantown, Florida, where he was nurtured with two brothers and one sister by his parents, Rev. Charles Drayton (late) and Mrs. Lottie Drayton. In Indiantown, he gained an appreciation for fairness and justice, character traits that underscore his life and vocation.
Dr. Drayton earned a Doctorate of Ministry Degree in Transformative Leadership from the prestigious Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School in Rochester, New York. In addition, he has earned a Master’s of Divinity Degree from the Florida Center for Theological Studies in Miami, Florida, formerly New York Seminary, where he excelled in Greek and Theology. And Dr. Drayton was also awarded an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, North Carolina. He trained for two years, as an intern, at Good Samaritan Medical Center, in West Palm Beach, Florida, as a resident in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), under the auspices of The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), where he became a graduate and served as the Course Assistant. Additionally, Dr. Drayton completed a subsequent residency program at Good Samaritan Medical Center in accordance with the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. It was during this time of clinical training that he became the founding secretary of the nonprofit HIV/AIDS Pastoral Care Network of Palm Beach County.
Dr. Tony Drayton has pastored Saint James Church of Riviera Beach, Florida, for over 22 years, as the second pastor of the church’s rich history. He serves the City of Riviera Beach as Co-Chair of the Commission on Social Justice, an effort formulated to examine the intricacies of community violence and crime. Also, Dr. Drayton serves the City as the Senior Chaplain for the Riviera Beach Police Department.
As Senior Pastor/Teacher of Saint James Church, Dr. Drayton’s vision continues to include the physical expansion of the building and further strengthening of Saint James’ nonprofit initiatives. His transformational leadership style is demonstrated through a plethora of ministries/programs such as the prolific youth ministry known as J.A.M.M. (Jesus As My Motivator); Wisdom Ministry; Doctor A. H. Lockett Scholarship Ministry; Mighty Men Mentoring Ministry; Order My Steps HIV/AIDS Ministry; Come Get Some Social Media Ministry; and a newly established Financial Planning Ministry. Each ministry is formulated to serve the community.
From a theological construct, Dr. Drayton has served in multiple capacities. He is the First Vice – Moderator of the Progressive Kingdom Baptist Association. In addition, Dr. Drayton has provided leadership as a Union President to over 50 Churches in the Florida East Coast Missionary Baptist Association; Vice-President of the District Congress of Christian Education; guest lecturer, and preacher (on the district and national circuits). His pulpit presence led him to be nominated for “Who’s Who Among Preachers.” Dr. Drayton has served as a writer for the National Baptist Sunday School Curriculum and The Master Teacher Series Publication for Boyd’s Publishing Company, Nashville, Tennessee. Additionally, Dr. Drayton has functioned as an Adjunct Professor for Moody Bible institute where he was vetted to teach multiple classes. He is the author of “Transformation and the Church: A Push Toward Acceptance Within the HIV/AIDS Pandemic.” The book was a segue for an invitation to work with Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee, through Project SAVED (Strengthening Access Via Education & Diligence). Project SAVED is a national project that focuses on the medical aspect for the cure of HIV/AIDS while attempting to forge a new model of training and education in the hopes of retarding the spread of the HIV. Dr. Drayton has served as a national educator for the project.
Dr. Drayton is married to Dr. Audrita G. Drayton. They have two daughters, Anya Freemon and Shantel Drayton, as well as a granddaughter, Avaughna Burrs and a grandson, Marquetis Burgess.