Reverend Dwight Ford is an innovative leader, author, thought-provoker, and public theologian. He is affectionately known as “The People’s Pastor,” for his commitment to vulnerable populations and impoverished communities. His service to society is a seamless merging of the “theological why” with “a practical how.” His life is a constant leap of faith across pulpits, platforms, and pavement as he endeavors to transform present-day realities into tomorrow’s opportunities.
He was born in Crystal Springs, Mississippi and primarily reared with his parents, Dwight and Alma Ford, in Rock Island, Illinois. Upon graduating high school, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. His six-year military career included Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm service tours. He earned various awards and was listed in the top ten percent of enlisted Marines. After transitioning from the military, Rev. Ford earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Illinois University, with a concentration in Business Management and Leadership; where he was honored as Western University’s College Scholar for superior academic achievement.
He continued his academic endeavors by earning a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. As a student, he was selected to represent the School of Divinity in the Annual President’s Report, the winner of the esteemed Billings Preacher Award, elected President of Harambee (student organization for students of African descent), and co-founded the Charles G. Adams Lecture Series. Additionally, he served as the Program Coordinator for Harvard Divinity School’s Summer Leadership Institute (an intensive program to train pastors and leaders in community and economic development).
He was the Executive Director of Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership in Omaha, NE; an organization with the mission of “eliminating the causes of poverty by strengthening individuals, families, and communities through self-sufficiency initiatives in Douglas and Sarpy Counties.” He has fostered partnerships with Fortune 500 companies, faith-based institutions, colleges and universities, city and state government, public schools and concerned citizens around the goal of regionally reducing the poverty rate. Reverend Ford has also led the charge to build sustainable social enterprises by launching several for-profit revenue generating projects; transportation services, t-shirt and silk screen services, and created a staffing company to employ men and women re-entering society through the agency’s Returning Citizens’ Project (a 13 week employability program for ex-felons). His passion to build self-sufficiency in impoverished communities can be summarized in his words, “poverty is indeed persistent. It’s problematic in so many ways, but I chose to believe that poverty does not have to be permanent! Children born today in the socio-economic basement will be able to reside on the balcony of tomorrow’s opportunity.”
In August of 2007, Reverend and Mrs. Sheva Ford relocated to plant Grace City; a Christ-Centered, Faith-Empowered, Action-Focused, Community-Impacting intentional urban church plant in Omaha, Nebraska. An ordained Baptist minister of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., he can be found traveling throughout the United States as a minister of the Gospel and public speaker to churches, colleges, and community organizations. He provides professional services of consultation and implementation strategy for church and community projects. He has shared the platform with premier preachers, world-renowned educators, distinguished speakers, and political representatives.
Currently serving as the Director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center of Rock Island, IL, Reverend Ford is the author of Never Easy, Always Necessary; Rediscovering the Ministry of Jesus Christ in an Era of Crisis and Complacency (The Beckham Publications Group 2011). Valued for his thought-provoking and at times candid critique about the Christian status quo, he offers a fresh look at the mission of Jesus Christ expressed through pulpits, platforms, and pavement. Never Easy, Always Necessary, has been reviewed and endorsed by theologians, chaplains, and pastors. The book is declared a must read for anyone serious about Christian service and community transformation.
He is happily married to his wife, Sheva, and together they share life, ministry and the vision of serving the church and underserved populations of the world.
Obtained from http://revdwightford.com/Bio.html 12/21/12