Bishop Donald Hilliard Jr.serves as the senior pastor of Cathedral International—The Historic Second Baptist Church in Perth Amboy, NJ. Dr. Hilliard’s willingness to “Say Yes!” to the Lord has fostered his ability to provide leadership in the exponential growth of the church over the last 31 years. Now, “One Church in Three Locations,” Cathedral International has expanded its ministry to serve the specific needs of three different locations in New Jersey: Cathedral International in Perth Amboy, Cathedral International in Asbury Park, and Cathedral International in Plainfield. Cathedral International reaches the lives of many people with over fifty ministries operating on its’ three campuses. Through the facilitation of the gospel via Streamingfaith.com Cathedral International now reaches millions of homes across the globe.
Dr. Hilliard transformational mindset is reflected in the numerous community development initiatives established under his leadership. He is the Founder and CEO of the Cathedral Community Development Corporation (CCDC), an umbrella organization providing a variety of outreach services to the local community.
Dr. Hilliard is the author of thirteen books on a variety of relevant topics. His most recent book, “Midlife, Manhood, & Ministry,” with Rhoda McKinney-Jones was released in April 2013 and, his book on family entitled, “55 and Counting,” was released in November 2013.
In 2006 after a life-threatening illness, Dr. Hilliard reinvented himself again by resurrecting his gift of painting by creating original pieces of art through his abstract expressionistic company, Pulpit to the Palate Art. His premier collections of over 70 original pieces include the recently exhibited “Let Go, Let Gesture: Abstract Ascension” series at the Dragonfly Fine Arts Gallery in Martha’s Vineyard as well as “Divine Liturgy in Abstract” and “From the Pulpit to the Palate” series.
Dr. Hilliard’s creativity does not stop with his gift of painting, but now extends into the theatrical arts arena. In April 2013, Dr. Hilliard’s first theatrical production, “Stop the Funeral” debuted at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, NJ. “Stop the Funeral” was written in an attempt to create a sense of urgency of what we must do to change the mindset of the often misguided, misunderstood and sometimes forgotten youth.
Ordained into the Gospel ministry by the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. in 1978 and consecrated a Bishop under the hand of Bishop John R. Bryant in 1995, Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr. is the Presiding Prelate and founder of the Covenant Ecumenical Fellowship and Cathedral Assemblies (CEFCA). He also currently serves as the Founder and President of the Pastor’s Leadership Alliance Network.
Passionate about education, Dr. Hilliard is the former Group Convener and Mentor of the Donald Hilliard Fellows Doctor of Ministry Program, and visiting professor of Church Renewal at Drew University Theological School in Madison, NJ. In December 2012, Dr. Hilliard partnered again with Drew University Theological School as an Affiliate Associate Professor with the establishment of the Hilliard/Sweet Concentration as part of the Doctor of Ministry Program.
Dr. Hilliard earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern College (now Eastern University), St. David’s, Pennsylvania, the Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ, and an earned Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio, as a Dr. Samuel D. Proctor Fellow. He is also the recipient of various honorary doctoral degrees.
“What you see over the last 31 years has been a divine leap of faith,” said Hilliard, who partners in ministry with his wife, the Reverend Phyllis Thompson-Hilliard. They are the proud parents of three wonderful daughters and a son-in-love, and are the newly ecstatic grandparents to their first grandson.
Bishop Hilliard is a servant of God who continues to “Say Yes” to the Lord’s call on his life, and by doing so has positively affected the lives of thousands with his gift to turn a glimmer of hope into opportunity.