2023 CDF Proctor Institute Leadership

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Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.


Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.

Theologian, pastor, and civic leader, the Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., is one of America’s most influential leaders. He was born in La Grange, Ga., in 1935. Reverend Moss earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, his Master of Divinity degree from Morehouse School of Religion/Interdenominational Theological Center, and his Doctor of Ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary.

In 2008, Reverend Moss retired from Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, OH, following 33 years of distinguished service. Prior to this service, he held pastoral positions at the Mount Olive Baptist Church in La Grange, Ga., the Providence Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga., the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Lockland, Ohio, and as co-pastor with Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Ga.

Reverend Moss has actively advocated for the achievement of education, civil and human rights, and social justice issues for all his adult life. He has been jailed in Georgia, Ohio, and Washington, D.C., in Civil Rights, Human Rights struggles.

His board memberships include The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Foundation. Dr. Moss served as chair of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees for over 10 years. Morehouse named its newest dormitory suites in his honor. He served as a board member and regional director of SCLC during Dr. King’s tenure as founding president. He also served as a national board member and trustee of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change.

His work in the international community has taken him to Hong Kong, Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, West Africa, South Africa, India, and Israel. He served as an advisor to former President Carter at Camp David, and in 1994, he was the special guest of former President Bill Clinton at the Peace Treaty signing between Israel and Jordan. He served on President Obama’s White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership Council.

Reverend Moss is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Role Model of the Year Award from the National Institute for Responsible Fatherhood and Family Development in 1992 and the Leadership Award from the Cleveland chapter of the American Jewish Committee in 1996. He was inducted into the 2007 International Civil Rights Walk of Fame Class. In 2004, Dr. Moss was bestowed the unique honor of the Lyman Beecher Lectureship on Preaching at Yale University.