Bishop Rudolph W. McKissick Jr.
Bishop Rudolph W. McKissick, Jr., is Senior Pastor of the Bethel Church, located in Jacksonville, Florida. McKissick returned to Bethel in 1995 to share leadership with his father, and has since succeeded him as the sole Senior Pastor of the church. Bethel is the oldest existing Baptist church in the state of Florida, founded in 1838, and yet remains a thriving, vibrant and growing congregation. Bishop McKissick is a powerful messenger of God who has established himself nationally as an outstanding preacher, teacher, theologian and academician. His preaching prowess has afforded him many national platforms and accolades. McKissick has served as a professor at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio in the capacity of doctoral mentor, where students have been selected to sit in a learning cohort under his academic mentorship as they work towards their earned Doctor of Ministry degree. Bishop McKissick, Jr. holds a Bachelor's Degree from Jacksonville University with a double major in the field of music: one in Opera and the other in Sacred Church Music, with a minor in pipe organ performance. He holds the Master of Divinity Degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Religion at Virginia Union University, and the Doctor of Ministry Degree from the United Theological Seminary. Bishop McKissick has been awarded the honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from both Bethune Cookman University as well as Virginia Union University. In June of 2008, he was consecrated and elevated into the high office of Bishop in the Lord's church by Bishop Paul S. Morton. Bishop McKissick, Jr. serves on various boards, which include being a board member of the National Action Network, founded by Rev. Al Sharpton and the Advisory Board of the College of Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance at Florida State University. Bishop McKissick is the author of several books as well as an accomplished musician with several national, critically acclaimed music projects, including "The Recovery", which debuted at number two on the national billboard charts. In July of 2010, McKissick's book, "God's Got My Back" reached number one on the Independent Publishers Book chart. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., as well as Sigma Pi Phi Boule (pronounced BOO-LAY). He is married to the former Kimberly Joy Nichols and they are the proud parents of three beautiful children; Jocelyn, Janai (pronounced JANAY) and Joshua.