Rev. Dr. Sheila L. Johnson-Hunt becomes first female president of the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Pittsburgh and Vicinity

History has been made, and the Rev. Dr. Sheila L. Johnson-Hunt, Ph.D., DMin., is the reason why.

The New Pittsburgh Courier has learned exclusively that she was recently unanimously elected as the first female president of the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Pittsburgh and Vicinity. Dr. Johnson-Hunt is responsible for the overall operation of the ministerium, in addition to leading in the accomplishment of the organization’s purpose, building collegiality, and representing the organization. The African American Baptist denomination is the largest African American denomination in Western Pennsylvania.

The leadership of the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Pittsburgh and Vicinity also includes: Rev. Lisa Richbourg, 1st Vice President; Rev. Theodore Pugh, 2nd Vice President; Rev. Avis Williams, Treasurer; Rev. Dr. J. Van Alfred Winsett, Conference Pastor; and Rev. Barbara Gunn, Assistant Conference Pastor.

Dr. Johnson-Hunt is a native of Dayton, Ohio. She is a preacher, international recording artist, and has served in a number of institutions of higher education as a professor and college administrator. She is affectionately called “Dr. Sheila” or “Pastor Sheila.”

Dr. Johnson-Hunt was licensed to preach at the Second Baptist Church of Leechburg, Pa. and ordained at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church (Rev. Dr. J. Van Alfred Winsett, Pastor) of Pittsburgh.

She grew up learning the precepts of God at the Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church of Dayton, Ohio, (Rev. Samuel N. Winston, Sr. Pastor). A graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Dr. Johnson-Hunt is known for her innovative, yet Biblical-based approach to ministry within the urban context. Dr. Johnson-Hunt earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Western Kentucky University; a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and a DMin. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.


She came to Pittsburgh via CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach) as a campus minister; moved from that position to minister of music; then she was elected as the Executive Pastor of First Baptist Church of Penn Hills (Rev. James E. Hunt, Senior Pastor).

Dr. Johnson-Hunt has served locally as a clergyperson, college/university professor/administrator for over 30 years. She is known as a preacher, mentor, academician and transformational leader who takes seriously her calling to be an ambassador of love, peace, unity and transformation on behalf of the kingdom of God. She and her husband have two adult sons, two daughter-in-laws and five grandchildren.  


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