Pastor Melvin D. Hargrove is a native of Racine, Wisconsin. After his high-school graduation, Pastor Hargrove enlisted into the United States Army, where he served on active duty for four years. In 1988, he returned to Racine and enlisted in the Army Reserve and served his country another 16 years. Before receiving an honorable discharge in 2003; his final tour of duty was Operation Iraq Freedom.
While at home on leave from military duty, Melvin D. Hargrove was licensed into the Gospel Ministry at the age of 20 at his home church, Second Missionary Baptist Church, in Racine, Wisconsin. Upon his return to Racine, after his full time regular army duty in 1988, Pastor Hargrove was ordained into the Gospel Ministry in 1989 and became Youth Pastor at Second Missionary Baptist Church. In 1991, Melvin Hargrove joined Wisconsin’s oldest African American Church, St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, and served as Youth Pastor for the next seven years. Melvin Hargrove was later directed by God to begin his own ministry. He became the Founder and Pastor of Zoe Outreach Ministries, a ministry representing ultimate life and restoration through Jesus Christ, in December of 1998. Based on his philosophy of community impact through the church he developed ministries to directly impact the community in which he lives. Some of those ministries included youth summer enrichment programs, summer basketball leagues, community meals for the homeless and hungry, AODA groups, Zoe Life Gardens, and more.
Melvin has served the Racine community in various ways over the past 30 years:
- Appointed to Racine Unified School Board in 2007 subsequently elected in 2008, 2011, 2014
- Served as School Board President (First African-American) as well as multiple terms as vice-president
- Served as Chaplain for Racine Police Department from 1999-2011
- Served on The Racine Police and Fire Commission from 2011-2016
- City of Racine Planning Commission from 2011-2016
- Mayoral candidate in 2015, 2017
- Graduate of UW-Parkside with Bachelors of Arts in Sociology
- Began pursuing Masters of Divinity
- Has lectured and facilitated workshops on various subjects such as Developing Dynamic Families, Maleness to Manhood, African Presence and Influence in The Bible, Christianity and The Church, The Kingdom Mission of The Church and others…