The Nineteenth Street Baptist Church named Rev. Dr. Darryl Roberts as its new pastor. Roberts vowed to continue the church’s legacy in the vanguard of social change and justice.

Rev. Dr. Darryl Roberts preaches at Mt. Welcome Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur, Ga. He said he plans to keep fighting for social justice and change from the pulpit of Nineteenth Street Baptist Church here he was recently installed. (Courtesy photo)

“It is a great privilege and honor to serve as the pastor of Nineteenth Street,” Roberts, 41, told the AFRO. “I want to learn lessons from their leadership of my predecessors, I can’t stand in their shoes, but I want to build on their commitment to promote inclusive leadership and spiritual growth of all of God’s children.”

Roberts received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Ethics from Emory University. He also earned a Juris Doctorate from Boston College Law School, a Master of Divinity degree from the University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Grinnell College in Iowa. Roberts is a graduate of the Morehouse College of Pastoral Leadership and has served on the executive boards of Atlanta’s Concerned Black Clergy and the Atlanta Missionary Baptist Association and DeKalb County’s NAACP. He is also the recent recipient of the In The Spirit Award, the NAACP Religious Affairs Award and the Gospel Choice Chosen Award for his commitment to public service.

“My commitment to social justice is unwavering and has deep roots,” Roberts said.

Before coming to D.C., he served as the senior pastor for five years at Mount Welcome Missionary Baptist Church, Decatur, Ga. Roberts was also an assistant pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King gave his first sermon.

“One of the church’s greatest challenge is how do we continue to be relevant and responsive to the needs of young people,” Roberts said.” Young people are not the church of tomorrow they are the church of today.”

Nineteenth Street Baptist Church was founded in 1839 in the nation’s capital. The church remained on the corner of 19th and I Streets, N.W. for 135 years until it moved, January 26, 1975, to its present location at 4606 Sixteenth Street, N.W.

Roberts, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, is married to Laura Morgan Roberts. They are the parents of two children, a daughter, Anaiah, and a son, Isaiah.