Pastor John K. Jenkins Sr. has been preaching the Good News since he was licensed as a minister at 15 years old. From an early age, he developed a love for the Lord and felt a call to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
His pastoral journey began in February 1987 when he was called to serve as the senior pastor at Union Bethel Church in King George, Va. Nearly three years of pastoring at Union Bethel proved to be the training ground for his upcoming assignment. In October of 1988, Pastor Jenkins learned of the passing of his pastor and mentor, Dr. John W. Johnson, from his home church at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden.
One year after Dr. Johnson’s passing, Pastor Jenkins returned to First Baptist to become the seventh shepherd. The fruit of his biblically based teaching is evidenced in the growth of church membership from 500 to more than 10,000. Today, an average 11,000 people attend weekly Sunday services between two campuses located in Landover and Upper Marlboro, Md.
A tech-savvy minister, Pastor Jenkins embraces technology to reach souls in a global way. All four of First Baptist’s Sunday worship services, Tuesday night Bible study and church events are streamed live via the church website. Pastor Jenkins also ministers to 7,000 viewers who tune in each week online.
With the support of his wife, Trina, and their loving family, Pastor Jenkins is able to expand his ministry beyond the walls of First Baptist. In addition to his role as senior pastor, he is a trustee at Bethel University and board chairman for Project Bridges and The Skinner Institute. The Skinner Institute was founded in 1992 by the late Reverend Tom and Dr. Barbara Skinner. He also serves as a board member for the Greater Prince George’s Business Roundtable, National Association of Evangelicals and a local hospital. For two years, Pastor Jenkins served as vice president/executive director of National Ministries with Converge Worldwide. He was formerly on the boards of Great Dads, Teen Challenge and a local bank.
Under the leadership of Pastor Jenkins, First Baptist founded SHABACH! Ministries, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) arm of the church in 1996. Today he serves as chairman emeritus for SMI, which provides clothing, food, education and other resources to more than 11,000 people in the Washington, D.C., area.
He has traveled across the world preaching and teaching the masses about the love of Jesus Christ. And after pastoring at First Baptist since 1989, he remains steadfast in his quest to “develop dynamic disciples.” He is recognized as a catalyst to help individuals grow into lifelong Christian disciples who follow Jesus Christ. Pastor Jenkins believes that these individuals will impact the world on behalf of the Lord, thereby strengthening families and healing broken hearts along the way.
In 2001, Pastor Jenkins added another credential to his resume when he received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Southern California School of Ministry in Inglewood, California. After becoming a licensed pilot in 2002, he takes great delight in flying.
Even with his many obligations, Pastor Jenkins holds his role as family man as the highest treasure. He and his wife are the proud parents of six children and one granddaughter.