Who is John C. Richards, Jr. ?
Servant. Leader. Pastor.
I've heard one of my friends describe me as calm in the midst of chaos with the ability to approach difficult conversations and tasks with wisdom and grace. I wear many hats and each of them helps me to do just that. I am the Connections Pastor at an amazing church. I serve as the co-founder of a catalytic organization formed in the wake of Ahmaud Arbery's death. My work has been featured in Time Magazine, The Washington Post, NBC, and NPR.
I am the board chair of The Witness, Inc., an organization committed to helping Black Christians flourish. I teach at a Historically Black College and help develop future leaders and change agents. I am a licensed attorney and attended Morehouse College for undergrad and Howard University for law school. And I have a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. Here's what best sums me up: A Bible nerd with a heart to change local communities. I love Jesus and Justice. And I work hard to leave this world a better place than I found it.
I've had the privilege of being married to a wonderful woman for the past 13 years. She is my rock, and I can't think of anyone else to navigate this life with. My wife, Sheridan, is a leader's leader and always touches the lives of others around her in significant ways. She's an Enneagram 3 (which means she's driven and loves getting things done), so sometimes I have to be a good husband and reel her in. But her drive and tenacity are what she leads with in everything she does. Whether it's being a mother, senior leadership, or ministering to God's people, Sheridan is a gift I love to share with others. So y'all are welcome!
Sheridan and I have two children, John III and Shiloh. John is our raging introvert with a heart of gold. He bleeds compassion and thinks about others more than he thinks about himself. I can't wait to see what God has in store for him as he cultivates his passion for STEM-related activities. Shiloh is our little firecracker. Her mom always tells her, "You're going to lead people one day." And I couldn't agree more. She's taken on her daddy's lawyer tendencies and has a position on everything. And I love it. There's no doubt that we have two future social engineers on our hands. And I'm grateful for it. These are my people and I lean on them to help bring me joy as I navigate tough spaces and advocate for justice in local communities.
Serving as a Speaker
I believe the world is hungry for leaders who are full of grace and truth. I think both are key to thriving in today’s virtual world. My writing, teaching, and preaching are filled with them. And my life's work is filled with them both. Phillip Brooks has said that preaching is the communication of truth through personality. And I couldn't agree more. My personality? Truth and grace. Leading through serving. That's what this site is all about. And that's what I'm all about. To see what I’ve been up to, browse my site, learn more about my mission, and discover what it really means to lead through serving.
What they've said about what I've said (or wrote)...
“John, in his quest to deliver a practical understanding of the Word of God, excavates the text for gems that others are afraid to discover.”
Dr. Brianna Parker
"With the Spirit’s help, John gives us content that is theologically sound, engaging, applicable, and edifying."