On Sunday, Nov. 5, the public is invited to hear the Rev. Dr. Allen J. Sims Sr. preach his inaugural sermon as senior pastor of Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. Services begin at 10:30 a.m. at 454 Dexter Avenue.
A native of Montgomery, Sims’s start date is Nov.1, 2023. Sims says his philosophy of ministry mirrors the message of an 18th century hymn, “A Charge to Keep I Have,” which includes the words, “to serve the present age.”
“That is my calling,” said Sims. “And it is a call to each of us – to serve God today, in the world as it is. We may be going through difficult times, but we should never be without hope. God is always with us and in turn, we can be present as we serve one another.
“Dexter is first and foremost, a church family. And I am truly, truly honored to serve that family. Our church is also a global symbol of peace and justice – and a destination for visitors from all over the world. They come here to learn about Dexter’s civil-rights history and its continuing role in the pursuit of equity and equality for
As Dexter’s senior pastor, Sims follows the path of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was the church’s pastor from 1954 until 1960. During King’s tenure, members of the church organized and led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, one of the seminal events of the Civil Rights Movement. Dexter is the only church where King served as lead pastor.
“Dr. Sims brings to Dexter the ministerial and professional experience that we believe will be beneficial to our congregation and this community. We look forward to this new era of our church,” said Addre’ Bryant Jr., presiding chair of Dexter’s Deacon Board.
A licensed social worker with three decades of experience, Sims is also an adjunct professor at Selma University’s Ministry Training Institute, an academic component of Samford University. He has pastored churches in Marion, Abbeville, and Montgomery, Alabama.
Sims achieved a Doctor of Ministry degree in 2013 from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, after successfully defending his dissertation, “Care and Intervention of High Risk African American Males: A Pastoral Perspective.”
He holds two master’s degrees – one in Bible and Pastoral Ministry from Selma University, where he graduated summa cum laude, and another in Christian Counseling from American Christian College and Seminary in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Sims earned a bachelor’s degree in social work at Alabama State University.
Presently, he is enrolled in an online graduate-level Social Work Program at Walden University. Sims is also a veteran. In 1988, he graduated from Auburn University Reserve Officer Training Corps where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He was then stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he served as a lance missile officer.
Sims is married to Marcella Sims and has four children and six grandchildren. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
For more information, contact Nikki Tucker Davis at (334) 424-0003.