Lumpkin attended Oliver Elementary School and graduated in 1993 from Woodlawn High School. He completed his bachelor's degree at the University of Alabama in 1997. As a bank manager he served as treasurer for the Woodlawn Business Association.
In 2009 Lumpkin unsuccessfully challenged District 4 incumbent Maxine Parker in the City Council election. His platform included community development, economic growth, business and community involvement and financial accountability.
- Leech, Marie (October 4, 2007) "Newcomer: Pride for city schools way down." Birmingham News
- "Birmingham City Council elections: District 4 candidate Earnest J. Lumpkin III." (August 16, 2009) Birmingham News