The Rev. Dr. Bill McGill is Senior Pastor of the Imani Baptist Temple in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Called to the ministry while only a junior in High School, he has been in the preaching ministry for nearly half a century. He also serves as the Executive Pastor of One Church-One Offender, a nationally recognized faith-based alternative sentencing program, is Past-President of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Branch of the NAACP and is a member of the Indiana Advisory Committee of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
Dr. McGill has long been recognized as a leader in the faith community’s response to the various social dilemmas confronting our nation. In November 1993 he was one of 14 clergy invited to a White House breakfast meeting with President Clinton for the specific purpose of developing a faith response to the HIV/AIDS crisis, and was humbled by his request that he offer the invocation. Since April 1999, his focus has been on restorative justice and under his leadership One Church-One Offender has enjoyed a cumulative success rate of 93%. In 2003, the Nobel Laurent Archbishop Desmond Tutu praised his program as one that “brings tears to the eyes of God.”
A frequent keynoter at regional & national conferences, Dr. McGill often suggests that social outreach and the work of the local church are natural ties rather than conflicting ones. It is his contention that “the whole tradition of Biblical theology is wrapped up in the principle of compassion for individuals who are suffering. And like the lepers of old, those suffering from various social and economic ills have been relegated to the very fringes of modern society and God holds the Church responsible for serving as their balm in Gilead.”
Dr. McGill had under-graduate studies at Liberty University and is a graduate of the 2001 Summer Leadership Institute of the Harvard School of Divinity. In 1996, the then Aspen College of the Bible & Theological Seminary awarded him the Doctor of Letters.
A recipient of numerous accolades for his dedicated service to human rights, he was commissioned a “Kentucky Colonel” by Governor Paul Patton of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and an “Arkansas Traveler” by Governor Mike Huckabee of the State of Arkansas; NAACP Distinguished Service Award; Liberty Bell Award-Allen County Bar Association; and, Great Men Award-Indiana/Purdue Fort Wayne.
A prolific writer, his first book “Lessons from the Desert” sold more than 2,500 copies, and his editorials appear frequently in the Journal Gazette.
Lastly, by God’s grace, on Pentecost Sunday 2013, Dr. McGill completed a 40-day water-only fast to stem the tide of violence in his local community. Thankfully, after a total of six separate shootings over Easter weekend, two of which were fatal, the city experienced 42 days without a civilian homicide. He hopes to launch a national campaign of fasting and prayer for “Our Communities Survival and Our Churches Revival.” MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin called it a “remarkable response” to the violence plaguing our nation.