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Rev. Dr. John W. Kinney



1979, Ph.D., Theology and History: Columbia University/ Union Theological Seminary

1978, M.Phil: Columbia University

1972, M.Div.: School of Theology of Virginia Union University

1969, B.A., Social Studies:  Marshall University


During his studies, Dr. Kinney received numerous awards, including at Marshall University, The Outstanding Athlete Scholar, Citizen Award, and recognition as a member of Mid America Scholar-Athlete Teams.

During his doctoral studies at Columbia University, he was recognized as a Fellow of the Department of Religion and as a President’s Fellow. He was also recognized as a Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation.

His alma maters have recognized his contributions in a number of ways, and, in 2010, he received the UNITAS award as an outstanding alumnus of Union Theological Seminary, New York. In 2018, Dr. Kinney was awarded his latest honorary degree from Randolph Macon College.  In that same year, the Association of Theological Schools recognized his stellar career in theological education and honored him with the prestigious Distinguished Service Award.


Dr. Kinney has shared in a teaching career that spans thirty-five years.  He first joined the faculty of Virginia Union University in 1976 and then moved to Chicago Theological Seminary. He returned to the School of Theology in 1981, where he has served in numerous capacities. In 1990 he was selected as Dean of the School, and he served in this position for twenty-seven years. In 2013, he was named Senior Vice President of the University. During his time at Virginia Union University, he has also taught classes at Randolph Macon College, the College of William and Mary, and Union Theological Seminary. In 2018 Virginia Union University celebrated his accomplishments as a teacher and academician and conferred upon him the rank of Distinguished Professor. 

Dr. Kinney has lectured extensively across the breadth of this nation and in Africa.  He has been a featured lecturer at numerous universities and colleges including, Yale University, Duke University, Michigan State University, Howard University, Southern Methodist University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Richmond.  He has also presented at numerous theological schools, including Iliff School of Theology, Bangor Theological Seminary, Shaw Divinity School, Hood Theological Seminary,The Baptist Theological Seminary, McCormick 

Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary, and many others.

He is recognized for his theological constructions addressing the designed harmony in creation and the subsequent fragmentation and separation with particular attention to racism, sexism, and materialism.  His thoughts are included in several publications and crystallized in Baptist Against Racism in an article entitled, “The Theology of Falleness: The Roots of Racism.”

He has been a member of the Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History, and the Society for the Study of Black Religion. He has served the larger community of theological schools and the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada in multiple capacities. He served as a member and chair of the Committee on Race and Ethnicity and as member and chair of the Commission on Accrediting.  In 2006 he was elected Vice-President of the Association and, in 2008, named President of the Association.  Having ended his two-year tenure in June 2010, he served as chair of the Personnel Committee of this organization.

In addition to his service to theological education in the academy, he has invested in several local, state, national, and international churches, associations, and conventions. He is called upon regularly to lead sessions with the Army, Navy, and Air Force Chaplain Corps.  

Dr. Kinney has always wedded his passion for academic excellence with his faith and commitment to the life of the local church. Throughout his career as an educator and administrator, he has functioned as a congregational leader, uniting the academy and the local church while investing in the priestly and prophetic dimensions of ministry.


Having preached and taught throughout this nation, he remains in great demand as a preacher and teacher for congregations and church associations.  He participates in and provide leadership for multiple denominational and interfaith organizations.  He regularly participates in the St. Paul Lenten Series in downtown Richmond and often shares projects with Richmond Hill.

Investing in the academy and church has led to investment in the community where he has served or serves on the boards of the Ashland Youth Association, the Patrick Henry YMCA, the Ministering to Ministers Foundation, The Forum for Theological Exploration, Virginia Credit Counseling, The Virginia InterFaith Center for Public Policy and the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.

Not only has he been active on a local basis, but he has also been involved in global ministries through assisting in the establishment and enhancement of theological education centers in Ghana and Zambia. Through his role as a pastor, he has initiated support for ministries in Kenya, Cameroon, Ghana, and Haiti. 


He has served as pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Beaverdam, Virginia, for more than forty-four years and continues to shepherd a vibrant and dynamic ministry. 

At Ebenezer, under Dr. Kinney, the following activities and ministries have been instituted and accomplished:

Trustees were reestablished

A centralized budget was established

The Financial Board was formed

The Male Chorus was formed

The Young Adult Choir was renamed - “The J. W. Kinney Singers”

The Sunbeam Choir (currently “The Young People’s Choir) was formed

The Senior Choir was renamed – “The Sanctuary Choir”

The Anointed Voices Choir was formed

Regular Church Clean Up Days were established

Diaconate Board was established (Women first introduced to the deacon board)

Numerous Sons and daughters were introduced to the ministry

One EBC Man was licensed and ordained – Rev. Kelvin Mines, Sr.

Fellowship Hall was built and paid for

Anointing Ceremony 

Heritage Festival

Church Wide Educational Institute

First Woman Ordained – Rev. Wanda Tucker

Senior Citizens Day 

Mid-day Bible Study for Seniors

Annual Family Day


The following ministries were established:

         - Hospitality                                       -Young People’s Ministry

         - Worship and Activity                     -Men & Women’s Ministry

         - Christian Education                       -Couple’s Ministry

         - Scholarship Ministry                      -We Care Ministry

         - Drill Ministry                                    -EBC Dance Team

         - Media Ministry                                -Intercessory Prayer Ministry

         - Medical Team                                 -College Day

         - Security Team                             


Nine ministers ordained

Associate Ministers- the first being Revs. Micah and Jackie Madison-McCreary (10+ years)

Currently, associate pastors are:

         Rev. Kelvin Mines, Sr.

         Rev. Celeste Anderson

         Rev. Evette Williams

         Rev. Tammie Pulliam

         Rev. Constance Williams

         Rev. Michelle Chapman-Campbell

         Rev. Kanisha Adkins

         Rev. Brenda Hooker

         Rev. Victoria Pratt

         Minister Clinton Williams


Past Associate Pastors:

           Rev. Stacy Edwards-Dunn

            Rev. Leo Whitaker

            Revs. Laura and Price Davis

            Rev. Brenda Braam

            Rev. Brandi Galloway

            Minister Angel Williams Derricott 


Oct 2, 2005 - Kick-off for our new building program (construction of a new sanctuary/educational wing):

          July, 2007 –New Sanctuary Groundbreaking

          July, 2008 – New Sanctuary Dedication

          March, 2013 – Additional 3+ acres were purchased for the future                Phase III Addition


His extensive service would not be possible without a wife who is also committed to service.  Sharing his life and ministry is Quentina McDaniel Kinney, a retired career educator with the Richmond Public School System.  They enjoy sharing in a ministry at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where she is the Director of Christian Education and where they truly model the principles of service for their three birth children, Earl (Sonja), Erika, Erron (Julie), 22 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren; one god son Marquis Derricott, four God-sent sons (Nathan Jarvis, Daninelle Derricott, Ricky Wilkerson, and Press Rhodes) and one daughter (Traci Winston) along with their families.





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