2018 Living Legend

Joel Gregory

 Chair of Preaching & Evangelism
Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary
Waco, TX

Dr. Joel C. Gregory holds the George W. Truett Endowed Chair in Preaching and Evangelism at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University.  Joel holds the B.A summa cum laude and Ph.D. from Baylor University.  He received the M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1973) and taught preaching there 1982-1985.  He served for two terms unanimously elected as President of the 5400-church Baptist General Convention of Texas.

He has preached at venues as varied as Westminster Chapel, Spurgeon’s College and Kensington Temple, all in London, as well as Regent’s Park College, Oxford. His Proclaimers Place® seminars have been conducted in 18 states, Oxford, Paris, Rome, Athens, Wittenberg and Israel with more than 80 four-day seminars and more than 1100 pastors trained over the last ten years.  For the last 12 years Dr. Gregory has taught the seminar at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University.

He is the author of five books, editor of three anthologies and the subject of a nationally performed play, God’s Man in Texas.  He has been recognized by Baylor and his peers for his 50th preaching anniversary. He is the husband of Joanne Michele Gregory (B.A., RN), a Baylor alumna, and they are the parents of four adult children. 


Claude Alexander, Jr.

Senior Pastor
The Park Church
Charlotte, NC

David Allen

Dean of the School of Preaching
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Fort Worth, TX

Gaye Arbuckle

 Minister of Music
Concord Church
Dallas, TX

Gaye Arbuckle radiates the heart of a worshiper.  Gaye has been the minister of music of Concord Church in Dallas, Texas for over 12 years where she leads praise and worship on any given Sunday.  One of her biggest moments was the opportunity to sing at the interfaith service for the fallen officers in Dallas. This event was aired live on CNN in which President Obama, Vice President Biden and President Bush were in attendance.  Gaye is the proud mother of 2 great children Chandler and Karrington Sneed.

Leroy Armstrong

Teaching Pastor
First Baptist Church
McKinney, TX

Rev. Leroy Armstrong is a native of Kansas City, Missouri and currently resides in Dallas, Texas. Leroy is a graduate of the University of Kansas (B.S.) and Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.). Leroy did some Ph.D. studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Christian Preaching and completed post-graduate studies in preaching at Oxford University Regents Park College. He has lectured and taught on preaching at the E. K. Bailey International Expository Preaching Conference, Simmons Bible College, Crossroads Bible College, and other conferences.

Delvin Atchison

Great Commission Team for Texas Baptists
Dallas, TX

Dr. Delvin Atchison serves as the Director of the Great Commission Team for Texas Baptists, located in Dallas, Texas. He has also served as a pastor for over 32 years at several Texas churches. He did undergraduate work at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Philosophy with a minor in Psychology. He received his Master of Divinity from George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University. He also holds an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from St. Thomas Christian College and Seminary in Jacksonville, Florida. He is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry Program at Truett Seminary. He has done additional study at Regents Park College in Oxford University, England where he participated in the 1st Annual UK African American Preaching Festival.  His sermons have been published in numerous periodicals. He and his wife Dr. Brenda Atchison have five grown children and one granddaughter.

H. Beecher Hicks, Jr.

Senior Servant Emeritus
Metropolitan Baptist Church
Washington, D.C.

From 1977 to 2014, Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr., served as Senior Servant of the historic Metropolitan Baptist Church in the District of Columbia.  Dr. Hicks is a 1964 Honors Graduate of the University of Arkansas. Dr. Hicks graduated from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in May 1967. He earned the Doctor of Ministry in Theology degree in 1975.  In 1999, he earned the Master of Business Administration from the George Washington University. In 2008 Morehouse College of Atlanta, Georgia honored Dr. Hicks with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree. His retirement on December 31, 2014 brings closure to a pastoral ministry of forty-nine years, and a preaching ministry of fifty-three.  In 2011, he was designated as a “Living Legend” by the E. K. Bailey Expository Preachers Conference.  Dr. Hicks is married to Dr. Elizabeth Harrison Hicks and they are the parents of three children, H. Beecher, III., Dr. Ivan Douglas Hicks, and Kristin Elizabeth Hicks, as well as the proud grandparents of three granddaughters and two grandsons.

Stephen Brown

 Lead Pastor
Greater Bethlehem Baptist Church
Dallas, TX

Stephen G. Brown has served in full time ministry for over 22 years, mostly serving students and young adults. In February of 2011, Stephen was elected to be the Lead Pastor of Greater Bethlehem Baptist Church (or GBBC) of East Dallas.  The Vision and Purpose of GBBC is “The Greater Way: Loving (God & Others), Learning (The Way of Christ), and Living (a life of self-sacrifice).”  Stephen was formally trained at Morehouse College and Dallas Theological Seminary, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Theology, respectively. He is joyfully married to Dr. Nicole T. Brown, a physician for Children’s Health, and they have one son Stephen Nicolas (9), and one daughter Simone Elise (4).

D.A. Carson

 Research Professor
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Deerfield, IL

D.A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois and president of The Gospel Coalition.

He has written or edited about sixty other books, including the Pillar New Testament Commentary volume on the Gospel according to John, The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism, Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church, The Intolerance of Tolerance, Christ and Culture Revisited, the long-popular New Testament Commentary Survey, and The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures.

Bryan Carter

 Senior Pastor
Concord Church
Dallas, TX

Rev. Bryan L. Carter serves as the Senior Pastor of Concord Church. He also leads Harmony Community Development Corporation (LINK) an organization committed to improving the community of southern Dallas. In addition, he leads the African American Pastors Coalition, a fellowship of over sixty churches committed to serving and addressing key needs in the Dallas Community.  As a published author, Pastor Carter serves as a co-presenter for 33The Series, a curriculum on authentic manhood published by Lifeway and a presenter for the Art of Marriage, a curriculum published by Family Life Ministries. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, Dallas Theological Seminary where he earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education with a specialty in Family Ministry and a recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Dallas Baptist University.  Bryan Carter is married to his college sweetheart, Stephanie Sadberry-Carter and has two daughters, Kaitlyn and Kennedy, and one son, Carson.

Jerry Carter

 Senior Pastor
Calvary Baptist Church
Morristown, NJ

Dr. Jerry M. Carter Jr. is the 14th pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church of Morristown, NJ.  He is a faithful theologian with a commitment to articulate the gospel in both written and oratory forms. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Denison University, in Granville, Ohio, a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Philosophy degree from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He is president of the African-American Clergy Association of Morris County, founder and host of the How Shall They Hear Preaching conference, and distinguished visiting professor of the Transformational Preaching Doctorate of Ministry program at New Brunswick Theological in New Brunswick, NJ. He is also an author of several published works including “The Empowered Life: Living Well in the Spirit.” He is the proud father of three children, Jerry M. III, Zachary Daniel, and Camille.

K. Edward Copeland

Lead Pastor
New Zion Baptist Church
Rockford, IL

K. Edward Copeland is a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who has been blessed with several gifts and skills.  He is a musician, composer, preacher, attorney and author.  He is most widely known, however, for his God-given gift to teach the Bible with clarity and simplicity. He is the author of Riding in the Second Chariot, a guide for ministers and church leaders and a contributing author to Entrusted with the Gospel by Crossway. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A. 1984), University of California-Berkeley (J.D. 1987), Golden Gate Theological Seminary (M.Div. 1992), and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (D.Min. 2017). Dr. Copeland has served as senior pastor of New Zion Church in Rockford, Illinois for the past 16 years where he lives with his bride of 29 years, Starla, and their three children.

Marcus D. Cosby

 Senior Pastor
Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church
Houston, TX

The Reverend Dr. Marcus D. Cosby, the third child born to the late Mr. Rogers Cosby and Mrs. Bobbie J. Cosby, serves as the Senior Pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston, Texas.  Cosby received the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion and English from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, the Master of Divinity Degree in Homiletics and Christian Education from the Morehouse School of Religion at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia and the Doctor of Ministry Degree in Homiletics from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois.  Dr. Cosby is married to his high school sweetheart, Mrs. Audrey Marie Cosby, and they have been blessed with three beautiful daughters, Adrienne Marie, Ashley Marie and Aliyah Marie and two sons, Marcus D., II and Matthew D. Cosby.

Kimberly Credit

 Senior Pastor
Mount Zion Baptist Church
Boonton Township, NJ

Dr. Kimberly Credit serves as the first female and seventh Pastor of the Mount Zion Baptist Church of Boonton Township, New Jersey. She leads the inaugural Doctor of Ministry Cohort for the Transformational Preaching at Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio.  She is an adjunct professor of Homiletics, Christian Apologetics, Baptist Polity and History both locally and abroad. Prior, Dr. Credit successfully designed and served as the Director of the inaugural Doctor of Ministry Cohort in Transformational Preaching Program at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, until her resignation in January 2018. She was the first African American woman to lecture in the National Conference on Christian Apologetics (2014) and continues to lecture annually.  She is the Founder and Director of “The Preaching Lab,” a monthly preaching clinic where preachers can hone their craft. She also serves as the Vice – President of the African American Clergy Association of Morris County, N.J. Dr. Credit travels regularly to preach, lecture and train preachers and leaders across the nation.

Charlie Dates

 Senior Pastor
Progressive Baptist Church
Chicago, IL

Dr. Charlie Edward Dates at age 30 became the youngest Senior Pastor in Progressive’s rich 99-year history. Rev. Charlie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication and Rhetoric at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Divinity Degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He successfully defended his dissertation for the PhD in Historical Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. In addition to his pastoral duties, Pastor Dates has served as an Adjunct Professor at the Moody Bible Institute. He is a contributor to the 2014 book Letters to a Birmingham Jail. Pastor Dates is married to Kirstie Dates and the proud father of their children Charlie, Edward Dates II and Clair Elisabeth Dates.

Conway Edwards

 Senior Pastor
One Community Church
Plano, TX

Dr. Conway Edwards is the founding and lead pastor of One Community Church in Plano, Texas.  Dr. Edwards holds a Master of Theology, with an emphasis in Pastoral Ministry, from Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS). While at DTS, he was a Leadership Fellow with the Center for Christian Leadership, under the guidance of Dr. Howard Hendricks.  Dr. Edwards also holds a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership from Regent University.  Dr. Edwards is passionate about leadership and specifically leadership in the local church and is the author of 20/80 Rule – Making the Shift to a Volunteer-Driven Culture.  Dr. Edwards and his wife, Jada, are the proud parents of a son, Joah and a daughter, Chloe.

Claybon Lea, Jr.

 Senior Pastor
Mt. Calvary Baptist Church
Fairfield, CA

Dr. Claybon Lea, Jr. is the Senior Pastor of the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church with campuses in Fairfield and Suisun City, California. Dr. Lea holds a B.A. from Morehouse College in Atlanta, a M. Div. from Union Theological Seminary in New York, a D. Min. from United Theological Seminary in Dayton. In December of 2015, he graduated with a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley California. He currently serves as an adjunct professor of New Testament at Gateway Seminary in Ontario, CA. He is the father of four remarkable children; Claybon III, Jillian, Christopher and Jessica.

Trip Lee

 Young Adult Pastor
Concord Church
Dallas, TX

Trip Lee is a young adult pastor, author, teacher, hip-hop artist, and thought leader. A former pastor from Atlanta, he regularly preaches and teaches at Christian conferences and events, and has performed his music for thousands of listeners around the world.  As a hip-hop artist, Lee’s music has received critical acclaim, while reaching a large and growing audience. He’s won a Stellar award and been nominated for several Dove Awards.  Trip’s deepest desire in his writing, teaching, and performing is to declare the goodness and glory of Jesus Christ.

Scott Lindsay

Ministry Relations Director
Logos Software
Chicago, IL

Douglas Moo

Wheaton College
Chicago, IL

Johnny Parker

Director of Counseling/Men’s Ministry
First Baptist Church of Glenarden
Landover, MD

Dr. Johnny Parker serves as an executive coach, author, leadership consultant, relationship architect, keynote speaker and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. He helps pro athletes, CEO’s, ministry leaders and high-impact men and women experience authentic success by viewing their life as a story so they flourish in what matters most.  He is also the Director of Counseling and Men’s Ministry at First Baptist Church of Glenarden. 

He and his wife Lezlyn are former life coaches of the Washington Redskins and they regularly work with pro athletes to help them build strong marriages. His Turn the Page system has helped numerous leaders and organizations such as the Corning, NFL, NBA, Chick-fil-a, AOL just to name a few.  It has also been featured on CNN International, BET, NBC’s Viewpoint, Essence, Washington Post, Ebony and other media outlets.  He and Lezlyn have been married 29 years and have three sons – JP, Jordan and Joel.  

Phillip Pointer

Senior Pastor
Saint Mark Baptist Church
Little Rock, AR

Dr. Phillip L. Pointer, Sr. is the Senior Pastor of the St. Mark Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. Before coming aboard at St. Mark, Pastor Pointer served as the Senior Pastor of St. John Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA. In October 2005, he led the merger between St. John Baptist Church and Providence Baptist Church. This historical consummation formed the Providence St. John Baptist Church.  Pastor Pointer earned

a Master of Divinity Degree from The Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia and he received his Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He and his wife, Keya have three children; Gabriela, Phillip, Jr., and Elijah.

E. Dewey Smith, Jr.

Senior Pastor/Teacher
House of Hope Atlanta/ House of Hope Macon

Sean Taylor

St. John Missionary Baptist Church
Euless, TX

Melvin Wade

Pastor Emeritus
Mount Moriah Baptist Church of Los Angeles, Inc.
Los Angeles, CA

Matthew L. Watley

Executive Minister
Reid Temple AME Church
Silver Spring, MD

Matthew Lawrence Watley serves as the Executive Minister and Managing Minister of Reid Temple AME Church under the dynamic leadership of Rev. Dr. Lee P. Washington, Senior Pastor. In 2006, Reid Temple opened a second worship center and in 2015 a third location was established in the District of Columbia and Reid Temple AME Church became “One Church in Three Locations” and Rev. Watley gives spiritual leadership to the North and Washington D. C. locations. Watley joined forces with his father, Rev. Dr. William D. Watley to co-author Poems of a Son and Prayers of a Father.  Rev. Watley is the author of a new book Ignite — 50 days of prayer that will change your life. Rev. Watley holds a BA in Political Science and a Masters of Divinity from Howard University in Washington, D.C.  He also has an Executive Masters in Leadership from Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business and a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from The George Washington University.  He is presently pursuing a doctorate in Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. He is married to the former Shawna Francis, Senior Policy Advisor with Holland & Knight LLP and they are the proud parents of a beautiful daughter, Alexandra Elisabeth.

Maurice Watson

Senior Pastor
Metropolitan Baptist Church
Washington, D.C.

Dr. Maurice Watson is the sixth pastor of Metropolitan Baptist church in her 150-year history.  His first pastorate was at St. Mark Baptist Church in Little Rock, where he served for 7 years. In November 1988, Dr. Watson accepted the call to pastor the Salem Baptist Church in Omaha, Nebraska, where he served for 15½ years.  In 2004, Dr. Watson accepted the senior pastorate of Beulahland Bible Church in Macon, Georgia. His leadership took Beulahland to a second location in Warner Robins, Georgia in February 2005. At the renewed urging of the Holy Spirit, Dr. Watson accepted God’s call to Metropolitan Baptist Church.  He preached his first sermon as Metropolitan’s Senior Servant on January 4, 2015. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas; earned a Master of Arts Degree in Theology from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska; and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. He is an author and recipient of numerous honors. Pastor Watson is married to Janice and they are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters.

Ralph Douglas West

Senior Pastor
The Church Without Walls
(Brookhollow Baptist Church)
Houston, Texas

Ralph Douglas West is the Pastor and Founder of The Church Without Walls (Brookhollow Baptist Church, Houston, Texas).  He first preached as a sixteen year old in his native Houston.  The Church Without Walls began with 32 members and now embraces thousands of families meeting each Sunday. Pastor West is affectionately known as PAS.
Pastor West holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, AL; a Master of Divinity degree with Biblical Languages from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, TX; and a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion and Philosophy from Bishop College, Dallas, TX.  Pastor West has also completed advanced studies at Cambridge and Oxford Universities and received an Honorary D.Div. degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center at Morehouse School of Religion, Atlanta, Georgia and Paul Quinn College, Dallas, Texas.