Minsters' Conference Officers 2011-2014
(Click on name to read bio.)
Claude Richard Alexander, Jr.
Exec. Dir. / Treasurer
Rev. Debra L. Haggins
Rev. Dwight Riddick
Newport News, VA
Pastor Joseph Conner, Sr.
Dr. Cynthia Hale
Rev. Delman L. Coates, Ph.D.
Dr. Geoffrey V. Guns
Dr. Dennis Proctor
Ellicott City, MD
Dr. Claude R. Alexander, Jr. (President)
Dr. Claude R. Alexander, Jr. has served as the senior pastor of University Park Baptist Church in Charlotte since 1990. During his tenure at University Park Baptist Church, the church has grown dramatically, with membership increasing from 500 to more than 8,000 members.
Under his direction, more than 80 ministries are now available at the church, reflecting the diversity of age groups and the needs and interests of the congregation and community. The church's evangelistic scope has expanded to include a television ministry, a radio ministry and a full service Christian bookstore.
In 2001, Alexander led University Park Baptist Church in the purchase of 54 acres of land and the building of a new $13 million sanctuary and Family Life and Wellness Center. In 2004, the church purchased an additional 46 acres in the South Charlotte area and future plans include senior citizens' bungalows and the development of a residential community.
Alexander's messages are broadcast nationally on The Word Network, The Inspiration Network and XM Radio. He received a bachelor's degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., a Master of Divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass.
Alexander is married to Min. Kimberly Nash Alexander. They are the proud parents of Camryn Rene' and Carsyn Richelle.
Dr. Dwight Riddick (Vice President)
Dr. Dwight Riddick is the senior pastor at Gethsemane Baptist Church in Newport News, Va. Under his leadership, Gethsemane has grown from a mission of 200 members to a church with a membership that exceeds 2,600 members. He has led the church in a multi-million dollar building project in the operation of a Learning and Childcare Center and Christian Academy.
Riddick was formerly the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dendron, Va. He has facilitated workshops and seminars in such area as biblical studies, evangelism, leadership, stewardship and family relations. He has also contributed to the development of published materials for the Baptist General Convention of Virginia's Heritage Series.
A native of Chesapeake, Va., Riddick graduated from Norfolk State University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. In 1991, he received a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Union University's School of Theology in Richmond, Va., and in 2005, he earned his Doctorate of Ministry from Regent University.
Riddick is married to Vera Brite Riddick and they are the proud parents of a son, Pastor Dwight Shawrod, and a daughter, Tiffany.
Pastor Joseph Conner (Secretary)
Pastor Joseph Conner is the pastor of New Beginnings Sanctuary of Praise Church of God in Christ in West Philadelphia. He is the chief adjutant and personal secretary to Bishop Benjamin J. Ravened, Sr. of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ.
Connor founded a successful after-school program for boys, presently co-educational, which has served as a model for similar programs in the West Philadelphia area. He has served as a board member for the Center for Urban Resources, the University of Pennsylvania's Hospital Community Clergy Steering Committee and the Southwest Youth and Family Network of Philadelphia.
Connor is also employed as a social worker for the Philadelphia Prison System. A graduate of Antioch University of Pennsylvania, Conner also attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia where he is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry degree.
Conner is the proud husband to June Conner and the father of Jasmin and Joseph, Jr.
Rev. Debra Haggins
(Executive Director / Treasurer)
The Rev. Debra L. Haggins was named university chaplain and pastor of the historic Memorial Church at Hampton University in 2008, the first female to hold this position in the history of the university.
Haggins previously served as the interim pastor of the historic Queen Street Baptist Church in Norfolk, Va. Prior to that, she served as assistant to the chaplain and faculty advisor to the Student Christian Association at Hampton University. She also had a successful professional career with the Virginia Beach City Public School System and the Norfolk Public School System.
Haggins earned a bachelor's degree in early childhood from Paine College in Augusta, Ga., and a Master of Science degree in secondary school administration and the certificate of advanced graduate studies in higher education administration from Old Dominion University. She earned a Master of Divinity in theology from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. Currently, Rev. Haggins is pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Leadership and Management at Hampton University.
She is the mother of Brian, Steven and Bradley Haggins and grandmother to Isaiah, Kyle, Kayla, Jaden and Bria Haggins.
Dr. Cynthia Hale (Assistant Secretary)
Dr. Cynthia Hale is the founder and senior pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Ga. With an active membership of 5,000, Ray of Hope has been honored by "The 700 Club" as Church of the Week and was also recognized in the book "Excellent Protestant Congregations: The Guide to Best Places and Practice" as one of 300 excellent Protestant congregations in the U.S.
In 2004, Hale established Elah Pastoral Ministries, Inc. a mentorship program that assists in the practical development of pastors and para-church leaders. She serves on the boards of Hollins University, Beulah Heights University and City of Hope Ministries Inc. Hale belongs to the African American Biographies Hall of Fame and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College. In 2008, she gave the opening invocation at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and served as co-chair for Women in Ministry for Obama.
Dr. Dennis Proctor (Historian)
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Dr. Dennis Proctor is the founding president of the Congress of National Black Churches, Baltimore Affiliate and has co-authored "Christians Under Construction" with Dr. Staccato Powell. He has held three pastorates including his current position at the historic Pennsylvania Avenue A.M.E. Zion Church in Baltimore, Md.
In addition, Proctor is the chair of the finance committee of the Philadelphia-Baltimore Annual Conference (Mid-Atlantic II Episcopal District) and an active member of the International Ministers' and Lay Association of the A.M.E. Zion Church. Proctor was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. board of preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga.
He received a bachelor's degree from Livingstone College, a master's degree in pastoral care and counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary and a juris doctorate from The Ohio State University College of Law. Proctor also received a Doctor of Ministry from the United Theological Seminary where he was named a Samuel D. Proctor/Otis Moss Fellow.
Proctor is married to the former Deborah Diane Wilson, and they live in Ellicott City, Md., with their three children Emory II, Dennis Jr., and Diandra Noelle.
Dr. Geoffrey V. Guns (Liturgist)
Rev. Dr. Geoffrey V. Guns is a native of Newport, Rhode Island. He is a leader in serving the Body of Christ in the area of global missions having traveled extensively to Israel, Turkey, Greece, Africa and has led several short term mission trips to Nigeria and Kenya. Dr. Guns has earned the following academic letters: a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Norfolk State University, a Master of Divinity degree from the School of Theology at Virginia Union University, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and the Doctor of Ministry degree from the School of Religion at Howard University in Washington, D.C. In addition, he has served six years as a United States Army Infantry Officer. Since 1983, this senior statesman continues to serve as the Pastor of Second Calvary Baptist Church in Norfolk Virginia. Among his other numerous appointments, Dr. Guns has served as President of the Virginia Baptist State Convention and as the Moderator for the Tidewater Peninsula Baptist Association. He serves as a member of the faculty of the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education. This pastor is the author of two books: Church Financial Management and Spiritual Leadership: A Practical guide to Developing Spiritual Leaders in the Church. Also, Dr. Guns has written numerous bible studies and other training materials for the successful development and edification of Second Calvary and the Body of Christ at-large. Geoffrey Guns is married to the former Rosetta Harding of Richmond, Virginia. They are the parents of two daughters; Kimberly Michelle Cummings and Nicole Patrice. He and his wife have two granddaughters, Kennedy Nicole and Sydney Rae Cummings.
Rev. Delman L. Coates, Ph.D.
Rev. Delman Coates is a graduate of Morehouse College (B.A. in Religion, 1995), Harvard Divinity School (Master of Divinity, 1998), Columbia University (Master of Philosophy in Religion, 2002), and Columbia University (Ph.D. in New Testament & Early Christianity, 2006). His area of specialization is patristic exegesis and interpretation, and his research interests include, the history of early Christian scriptural interpretation, the history of modern New Testament studies and contemporary biblical hermeneutics. Among his published sermons are "From Proclamation To Protest" (The African American Pulpit, July 2008), and "Race Still Matters" (TAAP, Fall 2009). Dr. Coates has also published numerous articles. Since February 2004, Dr. Coates has served as the Senior Pastor of the Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, MD. In seven (7) years, the congregation has grown in excess of 6,500 members. Under his leadership the church has engaged in media advocacy and healthcare reform advocacy. In October 2009, Mt. Ennon was named by Outreach Magazine as one of the 100 Fastest Growing Congregations in the U.S. Dr. Coates is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Morehouse College Board of Preachers, the NAACP, a national advisory board member of the Parents Television Council, and an advisory board member of The African American Pulpit. In the summer of 2008, he was honored by The African American Pulpit as one of the "20 To Watch." He has been happily married to Yolanda Walsh Coates for 15 years. They are the proud parents of two sons, and twin daughters.