MLK COMMISSION Knoxville, Tennessee
MLK COMMISSIONKnoxville, Tennessee

Bishop Rudolph W. McKissick, Jr.

The 2023 Memorial Service Keynote Speaker,


Keynote Speaker - MLK Memorial Tribute Bishop Rudolph W. McKissick, Jr.

Bishop Rudolph W. McKissick, Jr., is Senior Pastor of the Bethel Church, located in Jacksonville, Florida. McKissick returned to Bethel in 1995 to share leadership with his father, and has since succeeded him as the sole Senior Pastor of the church. Under our Bishop’s leadership, Bethel has become known as The Bethel Experience; a worship known for his vibrancy, energy and diversity. His teaching has resulted in a church that has transitioned into a church where generations worship. 


Bishop McKissick is a powerful messenger of God who has been afforded many national platforms for proclamation,among them being the morning preacher at the prestigious Hampton University Ministers and Musicians Conference as well as the featured conference preacher in the evening; the conference preacher at the John Malcus Ellison Convocation at Virginia Union University (Now the John Ellison/Miles Jones Convocation) and being inducted into the Morehouse School of Religion Board of Preachers. Bishop has also served as a professor at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio in the capacity of doctoral mentor, where students have been selected to sit in a learning cohort, sitting under his academic mentorship as they work towards their earned Doctor of Ministry degree. 


In the United program, McKissick has graduated five doctoral classes.


The musical blessing and vision of Bishop McKissick, Jr., has resulted in the production of five CD’s by the Word and Worship Mass Choir of the Bethel Church. All five CDs have received national critical acclaim, with the project entitled, “The Right Place” debuting at No.5 on the Billboard charts, and The Recovery debuting at No.2.


Bishop McKissick is also the author of several books as well as an accomplished musician with several national, critically acclaimed music projects.

Bishop McKissick, Jr. also serves on various boards, which include being a board member of the National Action Network, founded by Rev. Al Sharpton.

Bishop is best described as an overcomer and a testimony to God’s healing power. He was told by doctors he would never sing again after undergoing a twelve hour spinal fusion that affected his vocal chords. He is also a cancer survivor.


Bishop McKissick, Jr. holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Jacksonville University with a double major in the field of music: one in Opera and the other in Sacred Church Music, with a minor in pipe organ performance. He holds the Master of Divinity Degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Religion at Virginia Union University, and the Doctor of Ministry Degree from the United Theological Seminary. Bishop McKissick has been awarded the honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from both Bethune Cookman University as well as Virginia Union University. He is also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., as well as Sigma Pi Phi Boule (pronounced BOO-LAY).


He is married to the former Kimberly Joy Nichols and they are the proud parents of three beautiful children; Jocelyn, Janai (pronounced JANAY) and Joshua.

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission
Post Office Box 155

Knoxville, Tennessee 37901-0155



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