Dr. Constance Simon is the middle child of the late Ebie and Johnsie Banks, of Middletown, OH. Dr. Simon holds a B.S. in Elementary Education, and a M. Ed in Supervision and Curriculum from Miami University, Oxford, OH, respectively. In 1987, at the age of thirty, she earned her Doctorate in Administration and Supervision from Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA. In June 2011, Dr. Coni, as she is affectionately called, earned her Master of Divinity from the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, MI and is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Presently, she is a Jeremiah A. Wright Scholar at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. With over thirty years of experience in public, private, Higher and Christian Education, and administration, she stresses the importance of education as a liberating force for all people.
Professionally, she is the first African American female principal in a State of Michigan correctional facility. She was also the youngest African American female Division Chair over the School of Education at Tougaloo College, in Mississippi. With research as one of her specialties, Dr. Coni has taught quantitative and qualitative analysis on the graduate level at Jackson State University, Jackson, MS, and at Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA.
Dr. Coni has been active in church all her life, getting her start as Sunday school secretary at Second Baptist Church, Middletown, OH. She has also taught children and adults in Sunday school, Bible Study, developed workshops, training sessions, coordinated Vacation Bible School programs, and organized conferences and prayer breakfasts for Christian educators willing to work for God. While in Atlanta, she was on the board of the Jonathan Greer Bible Academy, Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday school teacher, and the Council of Christian Educators.
Presently at Fellowship Chapel, Dr. Coni is a Worship Leader, Sunday school teacher, has developed and is an instructor for the Fellowship Chapel Bible Institute Teacher’s class, and is a member of the Official Board. In 2006, she stepped up to fill the position of interim Minister of Christian Education, a role she proudly serves today, after the retirement of the late Rev. Opal M. Simmons. Fellowship Chapel’s Christian Education Department is a vibrant ministry consisting of Tot’s Assembly (infant care), Children’s Church, Sunday school for all ages, 11 Bible Study classes, Vacation Bible School, the Scholarship Committee, Girl Scouts, Senior High Youth Group, the Youth Coordination Council, and the Fellowship Chapel book club.
Dr. Coni serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ, the Detroit Metropolitan Association’s Church and Ministry Committee, and is a ministerial coach for the United Church of Christ.
In 2010, she was the recipient of the Rev. Wendell Anthony Pastoral Scholarship, and was awarded a scholarship from the Korean Churches of Detroit in 2009. Dr. Coni has been an active participant in the Lily Foundation’s Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Program at the St. Francis Retreat Center, Dewitt, MI. In 2010/11 she was part of the Emotional Intelligence training under Dr. Jackie Bahr-Hinkle and Dr. Roy Oswald.
Dr. Coni lives by the mantras of her parents. From her father: “If I can help somebody along life’s way, then my living shall not be in vain,” and from her mother: “When the Great Scorer comes and writes beside your name, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you played the game.”