our pastor

Dr. Weldon M. McWilliams IV, Senior Pastor
A Trailblazer in Education, Activism, and Faith

Meet Dr. Weldon McWilliams IV, an esteemed pastor, profound academician, and a vanguard in community transformation. Graduating from the Wappingers Central School District in 1997, Dr. McWilliams has since navigated an illustrious path, marked by academic excellence and societal impact. He holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from SUNY Stony Brook (2002), an M.A. in African American Studies, and a Ph.D. from Temple University (2010).

Dr. McWilliams' academic journey led him to Dutchess Community College, where he enlightened minds as an Associate Professor of History. His commitment to societal upliftment is evident through his foundational roles in pivotal organizations like the Rockland Clergy for Social Justice and the Black Lives Matter chapter in Rockland/Orange County. A dedicated member of the Spring Valley, NY branch of the NAACP, Dr. McWilliams has always been at the forefront of advocating for justice and equality.

Rev McWilliams and his family

In a spiritual journey paralleling his academic pursuits, Dr. McWilliams was installed as the pastor of Christ Temple Baptist Church in Paterson, NJ, in May of 2018. Under his guidance, the church has not only grown in membership but also in its outreach and impact on the local community.

Dr. McWilliams' vision transcends the walls of the church. In 2019, he convened a groundbreaking meeting to forge a Black political agenda in Paterson, leading to the birth of the grassroots organization 'Platform Over Party'. His advocacy for a Living Wage and Guaranteed Income in Paterson is a testament to his unwavering commitment to economic justice, earning him an appointment on the city's Guaranteed Income Task force. His efforts culminated in the launch of a Guaranteed Income Pilot in Paterson in July 2021, a significant milestone in the fight against poverty.

Currently chairing the Department of Black Studies at SUNY New Paltz since 2021, Dr. McWilliams continues to shape minds and inspire future leaders. His research delves deep into Black Liberation Theology, the African American religious experience, Black Manhood, and Political and Social Movements.

A proud father of four and a sought-after speaker nationwide, Dr. McWilliams' narrative is not just of academic and spiritual leadership, but of a life dedicated to societal transformation.

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