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Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.

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Information about Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.

Profile image of Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Pastor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Maroon, Scarlet, White
Favorite Food:
Greens, Cornbread, Vegetables, Fruit
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Western United States, Arizona, Florida, Georgia
Favorite Quote:
Keep On Keepin' On.

Birthplace

Born:
2/26/1935
Birth Location:
LaGrange, Georgia

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Pastor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Maroon, Scarlet, White
Favorite Food:
Greens, Cornbread, Vegetables, Fruit
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Western United States, Arizona, Florida, Georgia
Favorite Quote:
Keep On Keepin' On.

Birthplace

Born:
2/26/1935
Birth Location:
LaGrange
See how Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Theologian, pastor, and civic leader the Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. is one of America’s most influential religious leaders and highly sought-after public speakers. A native of Georgia, Moss was born on February 26, 1935, and was raised in the community of LaGrange. The son of Magnolia Moss and Otis Moss, Sr., and the fourth of their five children, he earned his B.A. degree from Morehouse College in 1956 and his masters of divinity degree from the Morehouse School of Religion/Interdenominational Theological Center in 1959. He also completed special studies at the Inter-Denominational Theological Center from 1960 to 1961 and earned his D.Min. degree from the United Theological Seminary in 1990.

From 1954 to 1959, Moss served as pastor of the Mount Olive Baptist Church in LaGrange, Georgia. From 1956 to 1961, he also served as pastor of Atlanta’s Providence Baptist Church and therefore, simultaneously led two congregations from 1956 to 1959. From 1961 to 1975, he pastored the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Lockland, Ohio, and in 1971, he served as co-pastor, with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr., at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. In 1975, he was called to pastor Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, where he continues today.

Moss has been involved in advocating civil and human rights and social justice issues for most of his adult life. Having been a staff member of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he currently serves as a national board member and trustee for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change. His work in the international community has taken him to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan as a member of a clergy mission in 1970, and to Israel in 1978. In 1994, he was the special guest of President Bill Clinton at the peace treaty signing between Israel and Jordan, and, in that same year, he led a special mission to South Africa.

Moss is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including Human Relations Award from Bethune Cookman College in 1976, The Role Model of the Year Award from the National Institute for Responsible Fatherhood and Family Development in 1992, Leadership Award from the Cleveland chapter of the American Jewish Committee in 1996, and an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from LaGrange College in 2004. In 2004, he participated in the Oxford Round Table in Oxford, England, and was a guest presenter for the Lyman Beecher Lecture series at Yale University.

Moss is married to the former Edwina Hudson Smith. They have three children, Kevin, Daphne (deceased), and Otis, III.

See how Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of the Otis Moss interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Otis Moss lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Otis Moss relates his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Otis Moss discusses his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Otis Moss talks briefly about his maternal and paternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Otis Moss describes the custom of receiving religion via a network of churches and preachers in the rural South
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Otis Moss talks about the meaning of the baptism ritual
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Otis Moss remembers his baptism as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Otis Moss discusses baptism as a rite of passage into adulthood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Otis Moss names his siblings and details the family structure after his mother's death
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Otis Moss talks recalls the smells that remind him of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Otis Moss discusses his early education and the teacher who influenced him
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Otis Moss talks about learning race pride in the Jim Crow South during his youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Otis Moss refutes the notion that black education was inferior to white education during segregation in the South
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Otis Moss recalls his experiences at Morehouse College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Otis Moss discusses the political climate during his years at Morehouse College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Otis Moss talks about going forward with the Civil Rights Movement despite fear and intimidation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Otis Moss explains the importance of voting rights to the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Otis Moss talks about the impact of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Otis Moss discusses the level of family support he and others received as political activists
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Otis Moss talks about his personal affiliation with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Otis Moss comments on the Civil Rights Movement after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Otis Moss discusses the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Otis Moss briefly details his pastoral assignments through the early 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Otis Moss briefly details his professional activities with his church, the King Center and Operation Push
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Otis Moss clarifies numerous civil rights organizations' acronyms
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Otis Moss recounts his decision to pastor at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Otis Moss explains the practice of using the appropriate words when naming Baptist churches
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Otis Moss discusses the ways in which Olivet Institutional Baptist Church serves its community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Otis Moss comments on the Black Church and its involvement in the 2004 Presidential election
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Otis Moss talks about the Black Church and its involvement with faith-based initiatives
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Otis Moss discusses the importance of his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Otis Moss talks about his son who is also a successful minister
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Otis Moss discusses his goals for the future
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Otis Moss expresses his hopes for the future for Olivet Institutional Baptist Church
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Otis Moss explains the symbolism of the Sankofa bird
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Otis Moss talks about the forces that impact our daily lives