Senior Minister Emeritus
John W Waters, Ph.D.
The son of the late Henry and Mary Waters, born in Atlanta, Georgia during the Great Depression; the ninth of ten children. Educated in the public schools of Atlanta, graduating with honors from Henry M. Turner High School.Received a BA degree in Chemistry from Fisk University. The S.T.B. degree, cum laude, School of Theology, Boston University Ph.D. degree in Biblical Studies, Boston University; Certificate, University of Geneva (Switzerland) Certificate of Pastoral Care, the Divinity School, Howard University. Additional studies at Atlanta University (Natural Sciences), Georgia State University (Philosophy, Government, Business Administration, and admitted to the MBA program), Divinity School at Harvard University, and University of Detroit (Business Administration). US Army (honorably discharged 1963). Licensed to preach in 1963 at The GreaterSolid Rock Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia. Ordained to the Gospel Ministry at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Boston,MA, May 1967.
Religious Leader of the Year, Concerned Black Clergy (2000);Recipient of the first Faculty Lecture Series Award at the Interdenominational Theological Center [ITC (1978/79)1, Class of 1981 Distinguished Faculty Award at the ITC; Citation, Morehouse School of Religion (1986); Rockefeller Doctoral Fellowship in Religion (1969/70), The National Fellowship Fund in Religion (1968-70); Frank D. Howard Fellowship at the School of Theology, Boston University (1967/68); Protestant Fellow, the Fund for Theological Education (1965-67); Distinguished lecturer, Institute for Christian Thought, John Courtney Murray Newman Center, Port Huron, MI. (1975).
Senior Minister 1980-2005; Senior Minister Emeritus 2005 to present, The Greater Solid Rock Baptist Church, Riverdale, Georgia. Since 1984, Senior Vice President, Primerica Financial Services, College Park, Georgia. Former President of the Clayton County Ministers Conference; Moderator, The Council of Overseers, New Era Baptist Convention Center; member of the Board of Directors, Atlantic College and Theological Seminary, Nassau; member of the faculty of the Congress of Christian Education, New Era Baptist Convention of Georgia; member of the Fairburn Baptist Association; member of the American Academy of Religion; the Society of Biblical Literature; the American Association of University Professors; International Society of Theta Phi; member of the National Association of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.).Minister as Interim, Friendship Baptist Church, Atlanta GA, 2007-2008; Minister ad Interim Fellowship Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN 2008-2009.Instructor, Southwest Institute of Biblical Studies, Atlanta GA 2006 to present.
Past teaching experiences: science and mathematics, the Atlanta Public School System; administrator, Army Education Center, Ulm, Germany; permanent supply teacher, Experiential Elementary School, Boston, MA; associate professor (tenured) of Religion and director of Center for Black Studies, University of Detroit; adjunct professor, Seminary Without Walls, Shaw University; instructor, School of Theology, Boston University; adjunct professor, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Morris Brown College; professor and chairperson, Interdenominational Theological Center, member Doctoral Review Committee, Institute for Advanced Studies in Education, Walden University.
Past organizational and church experiences: Minister, Myrtle Baptist Church, W. Newton, MA (1969); minister of religious education and assistant minister, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Boston, MA (1965-1969); chairperson, South Atlanta Joint Urban Ministries; member, Board of Directors, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity; treasurer, Prison Ministries with Women, Inc.; vice president, South Metro Ministers Fellowship, Atlanta; organizing convener, Michigan Black Studies Association (1974); member of the Board of Directors, Southeast Michigan Ethnic Heritage Studies Center, Detroit; representative, National Alliance of Businessmen/Atlanta University (1978-81); faculty representative to Boardof Trustees, Interdenominational Theological Center ( 1980-84); president, The University of Detroit Chapter of the AAUP; interviewer for the Fund for Theological Education (1972-83); member, the Board of Governors, University of Detroit Faculty Club; faculty member for the Congress of Christian Education, Progressive National Baptist Convention; member of the faculty of the Black Leadership Conference Southern Baptist Convention; and many others over the years.