Bishop Lawrence L. Kirby is a native of Atwood, TN, graduating from Atwood High School. After graduation, Pastor Kirby attended American Baptist College in Nashville, TN, earning a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in Bible and Theology; Scarritt College in Nashville, TN earning a M.A. (Master of Arts) in Evangelism; Memphis Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN, earning a M. Div. (Masters of Divinity); and Trinity Evangelical School in Deerfield, IL, where he is furthered his studies in the Doctorate in Ministry (D. Ministry) program. He was consecrated Bishop of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church on September 28, 2002.
He has pastored churches in Aberdeen, MS (Pilgrim Rest Baptist) and Milan, Tennessee (New Hope Baptist). For the past 38 years, since June of 1981, he has served as Senior Pastor of Wisconsin’s oldest registered predominantly African-American Church, St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Racine, Wisconsin, organized in March of 1857.
Since Bishop has been in Racine, the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church has grown to be one of the largest and most progressive churches in Wisconsin. Under his leadership, they have built a sanctuary, a Senior Citizen Housing Complex, and a Multi-purpose garage (housing four coach buses, three church vans, and equipment). They have also operated and run during his tenure a Day Care facility, The Hope House (a boy’s group home), The Miracle Center (an event venue/center), The Mercy House (for food and clothing) and a 44,000 square foot school that houses Racine Head Start Program.
Currently, Bishop Kirby is a lecturer in the National Congress of Christian Education, an auxiliary of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc, and a member of the Executive Board of the eight-million-member organization. He has served in the State Convention as Vice President-at-large for three terms. His travels have taken him throughout the world to more than forty (40) countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America and throughout the Caribbean. He is often called upon as a guest preacher, evangelist, lecturer and teacher.
He is married to the former Dr. Reneé Marie Sartin (June 30, 1979), and they have two children: Minister Lawrence L. Kirby II (Chandrika); Charisse Marie Kirby, and three grandchildren (Kennedy, Marley and Reggie), and one great-grandchild (Riley Jay Kirby).
1. Led approximately 3600 souls to Christ who have come to the church through Christian Experience, baptism or rededication. Many are still here while some have gone to other churches in Racine. Many have been trained and have moved across the country. He has encouraged more than 400 college students. They have been assisted through prayer and/or financial assistance.
2. Preached an average of 50 weeks a year for a total of 5000 sermons.
3. Taught Bible Study for a total of 4000 Bible Study classes.
4. Preached approximately 600 funerals.
5. Blessed and dedicated numerous infants to Christ.
6. Performed approximately 350 weddings.
7. He has been blessed by God entrusted to train and nurture His preachers. He has licensed trained, discipled and/or ordained 70 or more ministers.
8. Preached more than 600 Revivals and has lectured and led thousands to Christ across America and around the World.
9. Hiring of the Church Staff and formalizing the everyday ministry.
10. Started numerous ministries (some are still in existence):
Adjutant & Armor Bearer Ministry
AGAPE Soul Food Ministry
Benevolent Fund Ministry
Christian Education Ministry
Craft and Nutrition Ministry
Email and Newsletter Ministry
Evangelism Outreach Ministry
First Friends & New Members Ministry
Godparents Ministry (GodFathers/GodMothers)
Good Samaritan Ministry
Harvest Outreach Ministry
Home & Foreign Mission Ministry
Jail & Prison Ministry
Mercy House Ministry
Ministry to Armed Services Personnel
Ministry to College Students
Miracle Center Ministry
Missionary Society Ministry
Music Department Ministry
Nurse’s Guild Ministry
Operation 2000 (Family Life Center & The Hope Academy)
Pastor Helper’s Ministry
Praise Dance Ministry
Prayer Chain Ministry
Public Relations & Marketing Ministry
RAP (Rebound Alternative Program, Re-Entry Program)
Real Talk Ministry (for Ex-Offenders)
Scholarship and Education Ministry
Women’s Fellowship Ministry
Young Adults Ministry
Youth Department Ministry
11. Instrumental in the building of the following:
1986 – The building and dedication of the New Sanctuary and church.
1986 – The opening of the Mercy House. The Mercy House has served approximately 8000 families.
1987 – The Renovation and rededication of the J. B. Bailey Educational Center
1987 – The opening of St. Paul Child Development Center
1991 – The opening of St. Paul Garden Apartments
1995 – The completion of the Multi-purpose Garage
2000 – The purchase of the Miracle Center and Banquet Hall
2005 – The purchase of the Family Life Center
2005 – Hope House Boys Group Home
12. He is the founder, president and presiding prelate of F.O.C.C.U.S. (Fellowship of Christian Churches United in Service) International Fellowship.
13. He is also founder of:
St. Paul Child Development Center
St. Paul Housing Development Corporation
The Good Samaritan Inc. Charities
St. Paul Community & Economic Development Corporation
Truce International (The Organization for the Violence No More Initiative)
The Godfather/Godson Club of Racine
Founding member of the National Godfathers/Godmothers Incorporation
Early Childhood Development Scholarship Program
Excel – Youth Outreach
STANZ Program at Winslow Elementary School
The Youth Employment Program
L. L. Kirby Overcoming Ministries
14. His Board of Directors’ seats and other committee appointments include:
Board of Directors of the Racine United Way
Board of Directors of the National Baptist Convention
Probation and Parole of Southeastern Wisconsin
Board of Trustees of American Baptist College, Nashville, TN
The International Commission of Global Peace and Non-Violence