Meet Pastor | WeAreBethel
Meet Pastor: Bishop Darren A. Ferguson
Born and raised in the village of Harlem and in the Bronx, NY, Darren A. Ferguson is known as a leader for this generation – a preacher, teacher, singer, motivational speaker and social activist. He serves as the 7th Pastor in the 102-year history of Bethel Baptist Church in Orange, NJ. He was recently appointed as the Reentry Coordinator for the City and will provide both services for returned citizens as well as create both Credible Messenger and Rites of Passage programs for the city. He served as the inaugural Director of Graham Windham’s Unlimited Potential program, for criminal justice involved 16 and 17 youth and also served as the Director of their Hunts Point Beacon Program. He is the National Director of Public Relations for Healing Communities, USA – providing training and technical assistance for houses of worship to become “Stations of Hope” for the formerly incarcerated.
Over the last 20 years, he has served in organizations such as LaGuardia Community College. the Osborne Association, the Interfaith Center of New York, SUNY College at Old Westbury, The Children’s’ Village and as Youth Director for The National Action Network. He ministered for 5 years as Youth Minister at Harlem’s historic Abyssinian Baptist Church and is a former Team Chaplain for the WNBA’s New York Liberty. He serves as president of the Board of Directors of Fathers Incorporated, a national clearinghouse for responsible Fatherhood.
Dr. Ferguson had the honor of helping to lead the charge during the national campaign for the Fair Chance Act, wherein returned citizens will be given a fair chance at employment. He helped the law get passed in New York City in the Summer of 2015 and served as chair of a White House meeting on Recidivism, Gun Violence and Police Brutality during the Obama Administration. A graduate of New York Theological Seminary’s (NYTS) Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry Programs (2009, 2017). Bishop serves as an adjunct/group leader for the Supervised Ministry Program at NYTS. In response to a surge of gun violence in NYC during the summer of 2012, Ferguson launched the Starve the Beast campaign – enlisting clergy of all faiths, community leaders and families in a coordinated effort to reduce gun violence, community apathy and recidivism.
He has received numerous awards, including the NY City Male Involvement Consortiums “Father We Cherish” Award in 2001, the first ever “Amos Award” from Sojourners Magazine/The Call To Renewal, Inc in 2002 (an award also given to President Obama in 2006). He was honored as one of 2005’s top business and community leaders in the tri-state area by the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the New Bronx Chamber of Commerce, the Christopher (Notorious B.I.G.) Wallace Memorial Foundation, along with Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus. He has been honored several times for his work in the areas of Youth Advocacy and Civil Rights by the New York City Council. In 2010, he was honored with the “House of Justice” Award by Rev. Sharpton’s National Action Network. July 15th, 2015, the day of his ordination to the Episcopacy was marked as “Bishop Darren Ferguson Day” by NYC Public Advocate Letitia James. Most recently, he was honored by Bethel Baptist Church as one of their Men of The Year after serving as pastor for less than 6 months.
Dr. Ferguson has published an autobiography, entitled “How I Became An Angry Black Man: From Prison to the Pulpit” – which is currently being revised for reprinting. Most importantly, he is a proud and devoted father to his daughter, Naia, and a loving husband to his beautiful wife, Kim. Darren Ferguson speaks the plain language of the people, both young and old. “I have truly been redeemed,” says Ferguson, “and if I can be a part of the redemptive process of spiritual healing for just one boy, girl, man or woman, then I have been obedient to my calling.”