The Rev. Dr. Ruby C. Gilliam with Deacon Grant, her husband. (Photo Credit: Kamau High)

The Rev. Dr. Ruby C. Gilliam, senior pastor and founder of Divine Wisdom Christian Center Baptist Church, in Randallstown, was not raised as a Baptist but wound up leading a Baptist church.

“I actually grew up Methodist. I left the Eastern Shore of Virginia to go to college in 1968 in St. Louis, Missouri. My roommate introduced me to someone who was Catholic. I would go to church with her on Saturday evening,” she said. “There was a Baptist church around the corner and I would go the Catholic one on Saturday and the Baptist one on Sunday.”

Following college she moved to Baltimore. ”I joined Morningstar Baptist Church in Catonsville, Maryland. I was there for 30 years before leaving. I just watched that church grow from 250 members to now over 4,000 members.”

On founding Divine Wisdom seven years ago, Gilliam said, “God woke me up a Monday morning about 5 a.m. He told me to go across the street, I live across the street from the church.  I’m always obedient when it comes to God. He led me into this building. I was like, ‘what’s in here?’ I said, ‘what do you want me to see?’ We called, and the manager said if you can hang with me until October where you can have your offices, a sanctuary and a fellowship hall.”

There are more than 10 churches within a 5 mile radius of Divine Wisdom, including six in the business plaza where it is located.

The church’s rolls have been growing recently, with 75-80 members showing up on Sundays. Membership in the church, which started seven years ago, is primarily Black, with members from Africa, Jamaica as well as Whites.

Gilliam holds a Doctorate of Ministry from Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio, where she did her dissertation on African American women in prophetic leadership. Before that, she attended St. Mary’s Seminary & University Ecumenical Institute of Theology, Baltimore, Maryland, where she did her studies in church ministries and Christian education.

“I had no I idea I wanted to be a pastor until 2006 when God called me to be a pastor. I always thought I would serve a senior pastor,” she said.

The Rev. Dr. Ruby C. Gilliam will be celebrating her sixth pastorial anniversary on Sept. 27 with services at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Divine Wisdom is located at 9990 Liberty Rd, Randallstown, Maryland 21133. For more information call 410-655-4445.