Some past keynote speakers at the Hampton University ministers' conference are Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bishop T.D. Jakes, Coretta Scott King, Senator Barack Obama and Reverend Al Sharpton. The conference also had notable speakers such as Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Dorothy Height, Reverend Dr. Gardner C. Taylor, Carol Moseley Braun and Kathleen Sebelius.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at the 48th ministers' conference in 1962. Pastor of The Potter's House of Dallas, Bishop T.D. Jakes was the keynote speaker at the 100th year of the ministers' conference, which took place in 2014. Known as one of the first ladies of the Civil Rights Movement, Coretta Scott King spoke at the 89th ministers' conference. Then-Senator Barack Obama attended the conference in 2007 and shared some words with the attendees. Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie spoke at the 93rd annual ministers' conference.
Pastor Tolan J. Morgan was the keynote speaker at the 81st Hampton University Choir Directors' and Organists' Guild Workshop held in 2015. The Hampton University ministers' conference started in 1914 to address the concerns of the African-American church and its role in the community. The first ministers' conference took place in the campus at the Memorial Church, and 40 ministers representing four different denominations attended the first conference.