OUR PASTOR

Biographical Sketch of Reverend Leonard O. Griffin

The Reverend Leonard O. Griffin is a May 1999 graduate, with a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry and a Minor in Religious Education, from the illustrious Morris College, Sumter, South Carolina ranking third (3rd) in a class of 186. He is an honor graduate of the prestigious Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRCDS) , Rochester, New York earning the Master of Divinity in May of 2002.

He and his beautiful wife, Wandalyn Kenner Griffin, have been blissfully married since 1991. They are the very proud parents of three (3): Samuel DeLeon (deceased) , Kandy JaNay and Kemuel James-Owen Griffin! Pastor Griffin also is the youngest son of eight (8) children born to Alma and the late Glasglow S. Griffin, Sr of Edgefield, South Carolina and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Navy Reserves.

Pastor Griffin entered the ministry on January 19, 1992 by preaching an introductory sermon at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, Johnston, South Carolina. He was ordained by the Simmon Ridge Samaritan Baptist Association, Edgefield, South Carolina on July 25, 1993.

He has served as Pastor of the Fairmount (Williston, SC) and Zion Field Missionary Baptist Churches, (Aiken, SC). While attending CRCDS, Pastor Griffin was very active on the ministerial staff of Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Rochester, New York. Upon graduation from CRCDS, Pastor Griffin served as the 5th Pastor of Southern Missionary Baptist Church (SMBC), Syracuse, NY, June 16, 2002 - January 30, 2005.

During his tenure at SMBC, Pastor Griffin was very active in the community and in the North Eastern District Baptist Association. While there, Pastor Griffin organized a Wednesday Noonday Bible Study in addition to the Wednesday evening Bible Study. Christian Education was a major focus, as Leadership training for all leaders was instituted, New Members' Orientation was revitalized, and training for Sunday School Teachers was implemented. Many ministries were reinvigorated and/or added. More than eighty (80+) persons joined or restored membership with SMBC during his tenure!

Pastor Griffin graduated from The Diversity Leadership Academy, the educational division of The American Institute for Managing Diversity. Their purpose is "to equip leaders from various community sectors with the leadership skills and competencies to effectively manage diversity".

Christian Education is a hallmark of his ministry. Pastor Griffin currently serves as the Director of the Morris College, Charleston Extension Certificate Class educating aspiring Lay Leaders, Licensed and Ordained Ministers. He serves as an Instructor with the Charleston County Baptist Sunday School Congress and the National Baptist Congress of C.E. He has risen to serve as the Chairman of the Home Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. Additionally, he is the Dean of the SC Baptist Congress of Christian Education, and was recently elected Vice Moderator of the Charleston County Missionary Baptist Association.

Since March 6, 2005, Reverend Griffin has served as the 7th Pastor of the Historic Morris Street Baptist Church, 25 Morris Street, Charleston, SC. A thirty-five member Strategic Planning Committee has completed a strategic plan, which the congregation adopted for implementation, for the future of this nearly 152 year-old congregation! Over 25 ministries have been created or revitalized under this plan.

Notable among the ministries created is the church's partnership with the Charleston County School District named "The Social Butterflies". This community outreach to so-called "at-risk" 12-14 year-old girls seeks to increase the participants' sense of self-worth, perspective toward education, and to develop and define short and long term goals. The ultimate purpose is to help them become self-sufficient, motivated adults!

In the Fall 2014, the MSBC completely repainted the exterior and installed closed circuit security surveillance for the interior and exterior! Most recently, the church added the first Part Time Financial Secretary in the history of MSBC. Five (5) Deacons have been Ordained under his leadership. Also, the first female Chairperson of the Trustees' Ministry, Ms. LaPonda R. Greene, was installed in November 2014! In April 2017, the MSBC Food Bank Ministry was resurrected after an over (20) year hiatus and has served nearly hundreds of persons and/or families since being in operation! Pastor Griffin's motto is: When we learn better, we live better!