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Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr.
Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr.
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. His 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. The “Cathedral Community Counseling Center” provides mental health support for both the church and the community. The “Cathedral Family Life Center” houses a banquet center, library and a creative dance center. Cathedral International has been cited by the city and the state as a major catalyst for the renewal and development of the City of Perth Amboy, NJ.
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.
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. His paintings grab your attention with brilliant use of color and shapes with the purpose of speaking to your mind and soul while creating rare moments of introspection.
Dr. Hilliard’s creativity does not stop with his gift of painting, but 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 to a sold-out crowd featuring Marvin Sapp. “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, and has gained momentum as a movement to end senseless violence in our streets.
Dr. Hilliard is the author of 14 books on a variety of relevant topics. His most recent books, “Midlife, Manhood, & Ministry,” was released April 2013 and “55 and Counting,” was released in November 2013. As the son of the late Alease Elizabeth Crawford Hilliard-Chapman and the late Donald Hilliard, Sr., Hilliard credits his parents for providing a stable and loving home where education and hard work were emphasized. On February 28, 2014, he launched the Donald and Alease Hilliard Chapman Foundation in honor of his parent’s legacy.
“What you see over the last 37 years has been a divine leap of faith,” said Hilliard, who partners in ministry with his wife, the Reverend Phyllis Thompson-Hilliard, BA, MA. They are the proud parents of three amazing daughters, all whom have earned under graduate and graduate degrees, a son-in love, and their one and only grandson, Joseph Donald.
Bishop Hilliard is a servant of God who is comfortable in Cathedrals and storefronts, as well as corporate board rooms, and he continues to say “Yes” to the Lord’s call on his life. By doing so, it is evident that he has positively affected the lives of thousands with his gift to turn a glimmer of hope into opportunity.