Baccalaureate 2012

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.

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.  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.  His board memberships have included The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Foundation.  Dr. Moss served as the Chairman of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees for over ten years.  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, Taiwan, Japan, West Africa, South Africa Israel, India and Switzerland. He served as an advisor to former President Carter at Camp David and in 1994 he was the special guest of former president Clinton at the Peace Treaty signing between Israel and Jordan.  He formally served on President Obama’s White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership Council.  In 2009, he co-lectured with Rajmohan Gandhi, the Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, during a multi-city tour of India illuminating the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi..

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 was twice named by Ebony Magazine as one of America’s Greatest Black Preachers.  He also holds six 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. Alpha Phi Alpha, the Shriners,and Rainbow/Push to name a few.

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 Boulé, to name a few.  He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show to discuss Current Trends in Religion.  In 1997, in conjunction with University Hospitals Health System and Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, Dr. Moss provided the vision to establish the Otis Moss, Jr.-University Hospitals Health Center that offers a wide range of medical services to the greater Cleveland community.

Reverend Moss is married to Mrs. Edwina Hudson Moss and is the Father of Kevin Moss, Daphne Moss (deceased) and Otis Moss, III.  Together they are the proud grandparents of five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.