Black History Month celebrated with a distinguished speaker. The Atlantic Institute facilitated an exciting and inspirational speech by Bishop Rudolph W. McKissick of the Bethel Baptist Institutional Church.
Program was made possible with gracious help of UNF Interfaith Center and Istanbul Cultural Center at Student union Auditorium.
Bishop McKissick’s invaluable insights to African American experience and his personal journey through civil rights movement made the night very special. In additional to delicious homemade cooking provided by Istanbul center Q&A session of the night was lively and educational. Special thanks to all volunteered for their efforts.
Who is Bishop McKissick, Sr.?
Bishop Rudolph Waldo McKissick, Sr. is Pastor Emeritus of Bethel Baptist Institutional Church, located in Jacksonville, Florida. On January 31, 2014, Bishop McKissick, Sr., retired after 47 years as the Senior Pastor. However, he now serves as Pastoral Counselor and serves at his leisure.
Bishop McKissick, Sr., is the longest serving Pastor in the church’s history. He was raised from a child in Bethel, served in the Choir, Male Chorus Choir Director, Assistant Church Clerk, Church School Teacher, Assistant Deacon and Deacon, before the Lord called him to Pastor his beloved Bethel. He believes the measure of his success in ministry is accredited to his love for people and his hands-on ministry style. His longevity in ministry is attributed not to anything he’s accomplished, but to those he has served and continues to serve.
During Bishop McKissick, Sr.’s tenure as pastor, an Educational Building was erected which now bears the name of “Rudolph W. McKissick, Sr.” A city block of property was also purchased which currently houses the Main Sanctuary and Family Life Center. The Jacksonville City Council recognized his many noteworthy accomplishments and renamed a portion of Hogan Street as Rudolph McKissick, Sr. Boulevard in his honor.
A passionate scholar and lifelong learner, Bishop McKissick, Sr. earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Edward Waters College and received Honorary Doctoral Degrees from Bethune Cookman University and Edward Waters College. He has also received advanced training at Tuskegee Institute, the Music Institute of Columbia University, Princeton University and Luther Rice Seminary.
Bishop McKissick, Sr., sees his greatest accomplishment after 47 years of Pastoring, is the people – not the buildings. “It is a blessing to see those you’ve mentored play integral parts in ministry at the church and across the nation,” Being a people’s person, you learn how to treat people, love people and care for people. And, that gives you a Shepherd’s heart.” His perpetual journey has crafted a lifetime filled with respect and adoration across the nation, as well as, unimaginable blessings and irreplaceable experiences. He is comfortable in his salvation and confident in a risen Savior, absolute, with no equivocations. His obedient spirit and total reliance on the Holy Spirit have afforded him the opportunity of preaching, teaching, and ministering for over 50 years.
Bishop McKissick, Sr. is married to the former Estelle Teresa Lee Williams, a noted retired school administrator, for over 51 years. He is the father of one son, Bishop Rudolph W. McKissick, Jr. (Kimberly) and the grandfather of three: Jocelyn, Janai and Joshua (The Trinity).