Theologian, pastor and civic leader, the Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. is one of America’s most influential leaders. He was born in La Grange, GA in 1935. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, his master of divinity degree from Morehouse School of Religion/Inter-denominational Theological Center and his doctor of ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary.
In 2008, Reverend Moss retired from Olivet Institutional Baptist Church located in Cleveland, Ohio following thirty-three years of distinguished service. Prior to this service, he held pastoral positions at the Mount Olive Baptist Church in La Grange, GA, the Providence Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA, the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Lockland, OH and as co-pastor with Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA.
Reverend Moss has been actively involved in advocating for the achievement of education, civil and human rights and social justice issues for all of his adult life. He has been jailed in Georgia, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. in Civil Rights, Human Rights struggles.
His board memberships have included The Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Cleveland Foundation. Dr. Moss served as Chair of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees for over ten years. Morehouse named it’s newest dormitory suites in his honor. He served as board member and Regional Director of SCLC during Dr. King’s tenure as founding president. He also served as national board member and trustee of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change.
His work in the international community has taken him to Hong Kong, Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, West Africa, South Africa, India and Israel.
He served, as an advisor to former President Carter at Camp David and in 1994 he was the special guest of former President Bill Clinton at the Peace Treaty signing between Israel and Jordan. He served on President Obama’s White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership Council.
Reverend Moss is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Role Model of the Year Award from the National Institute for Responsible Fatherhood and Family Development in 1992 and the Leadership Award from the Cleveland chapter of the American Jewish Committee in 1996. He was inducted into the 2007 Class of the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. In 2004, Dr. Moss was bestowed the unique honor of the Lyman Beecher Lectureship on Preaching, Yale University. He also holds eight honorary degrees from colleges and universities in Ohio, Georgia, and Arkansas. Morehouse College recently named their newest dormitory suites in honor of Dr. Moss.
His service to Ohio and the United States has been recognized by Governors of Ohio, the Ohio House of Representatives, Ebony Magazine, the Cleveland Press, the Call and Post, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Black Professional Association of Cleveland, the American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland, Project Love: Remember the Children Foundation, The Cleveland Jewish Committee and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Dr. Moss is a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (Boule), to name a few. He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show to discuss Current Trends in Religion.
In 1997, as pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in conjunction with University Hospitals Health System of Cleveland, he was the visionary in establishing the Otis Moss, Jr. University Hospitals Health Center that offers a wide range of primary and specialty care medical services.
Reverend Moss is married to Mrs. Edwina Hudson Moss and they are the parents of Kevin Moss, Daphne Moss (deceased) and Otis Moss, III. They are also the proud grandparents of five grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.