Abraham “Bill” Jenkins
Abraham “Bill” Jenkins was born on Johns Island, South Carolina on January 31, 1929. He was the eldest male child of entrepreneur, dedicated community organizer and civil rights activist Esau Jenkins. Bill drove buses for his father while he was young, taking Johns Islanders to and from the city of Charleston to go to work during which time passengers took advantage of their commute to learn to read and write in hopes of registering to vote.
Jenkins attended Burke High School, excelled as a football player and obtained a scholarship to attend Alabama State College for Negroes where he majored in Mathematics. He enlisted in the United States Air Force, successfully completed Officers training, and became a navigator on the B-52 bomber aircraft. Jenkins served twenty years in the Air Force and retired as a Major in 1971. After retiring from the military, Jenkins was hired as an administrator for the Sea Island Comprehensive Health Care Corporation in 1972. He served in that capacity for 20 years and earned a Master’s degree from Webster University in Management and Administration during that time. He retired in 1992.
Jenkins is widowed and the proud father of four children, grandfather to eight and great-grandfather to three. To this day, he remains active in his church and community. The following is a short list of organizations in which Jenkins has served or still serves:
The Progressive Club of Johns Island (President Emeritus)
The Citizens’ Committee of Charleston County (retired)
The Sea Island Revitalization Committee
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
Rural Mission Board of Directors (retired)
United Methodist Church, Charleston District Lay Leader
United Methodist Church, Lay Speaker
NAACP – Lifetime Member
Brothers and Sisters United for Christ
Project Sugar – Medical University of South Carolina – Board Member