Human & Civil Rights Activist
Rev. Dr. Gregory James Edwards is Founder and Senior Pastor of the Resurrected Life Community Church (RLCC) and President and CEO of the Resurrected Community Development Corporation (RCDC). Under his leadership, both RLCC & RCDC have experienced exponential growth, evidenced by membership, financial self-sufficiency, and employment creation. His contextual approach to urban ministry--based upon an understanding of the intersectionality of spiritual growth, educational empowerment, economic self- sufficiency, and community development--led to the creation of the
Resurrected Life Children’s Academy, the James Lawson Freedom School, and the Campaign for Change community organizing initiative.
A frequent lecturer at colleges and universities, he has presented to the faith-based, corporate and nonprofit sectors, has been featured in TIME Magazine, and has served as Guest Chaplain to the Pennsylvania State Senate. As a professional musician, he is a musicologist specializing in Black Sacred Music and Jazz as well as an endorser for Selmer Saxophones.
Dr. Edwards serves on numerous local and regional boards, including Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley. He is Board President for the Allentown Jazz Festival, and POWER NORTHEAST ( P ennsylvanians O rganized to W itness E mpower and R ebuild) which was instrumental in pushing the Allentown School District to recognize its racial toxicity,replace its superintendent, and ultimately hire a replacement committed to equity as a critical ingredient for not only healing its toxic environment but building towards success. Additionally, he co-chairs the Water Fountain Project, a
regional task force comprised of African-American and Latinx political and community leaders committed to addressing educational and economic inequities in the greater Lehigh Valley.
During his 2016 trip to Liberia, West Africa, Dr. Edwards was enstooled as Chief by the National Council of Elders of the World-Wide Missions of Liberia, and the people of Grand Bassa.
In 2016, Dr. Edwards was inducted into the inaugural class of the Martin Luther King, Jr. College of Pastoral Leadership at Morehouse College, for his exemplary leadership in advancing Martin Luther King’s Beloved Community through peace, truth, justice and nonviolent direct action. In 2017, during their Sesquicentennial celebration, Morehouse further honored Dr. Edwards, inducting him into the college’s prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers .
A graduate of Geneva College (Bachelor of Science in Urban Ministry Leadership), the University of Delaware’s Graduate School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs (Certification in Community Economic Development), Drew University (Master of Divinity), and the New Brunswick Theological Seminary (Doctor of Ministry in Transformative Justice and Public Policy), Dr. Edwards has been awarded the NAACP Man of Vision Award, the Peace Pilgrim of the Year Award, theCommunity Development Award by the Allentown Human Relations Commission, the William Gray III Leadership Award, and the prize for Multi-Cultural Church Leadership from Drew University, where he simultaneously served as President of the Theological Student Association and the Black Ministerial Caucus.