Our Pastor

Bishop Donté L. Hickman, Sr.


It was on Easter Sunday in 1987, when Bishop Hickman accepted Christ as his personal Savior and was baptized and fellowshipped into the Gillis Memorial Christian Community Church in Baltimore, Maryland.

Bishop Hickman, being obedient to the call of God on his life to preach the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ, preached his initial sermon on May 2, 1990. Bishop Hickman was ordained in August 1994 at the Gillis Memorial Christian Community Church in Baltimore, Maryland under the leadership of Dr. Theodore C. Jackson, Jr.

Pastor Donté Hickman is a remarkable example of what faith in God can do. Having been raised in a single parent home in Edmondson Village under tremendous peer pressure, it seemed as if Bishop Hickman would become another statistic. He was expelled from three High Schools, living a life that was destined for failure. Nevertheless with the help of God, the church, his faithful mother, and an inner determination, he turned his life around, starting by passing the G.E.D. examination without any preparation or success beyond the tenth grade.

On May 2, 1994, Bishop Hickman earned the Bachelor of Arts Degree from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. On June 6, 1997, he earned the Master of Divinity Degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. And on May 8, 2006, Bishop Hickman earned the Doctor of Ministry Degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Recognizing the need for a new standard and mindset for ministry leadership in today’s culture, Bishop Hickman enrolled in the Executive Master of Business Administration program at the Sellinger School of Business of Loyola College in Maryland.

Bishop Hickman has studied abroad in South and Southern Africa during the Centennial Celebration of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He has achieved certification in Clinical Pastoral Education at the Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, during the summer of the Olympics.

Bishop Hickman has served as the Assistant to the Pastor of Gillis Memorial Christian Community Church of Baltimore, Maryland for three years and served as Senior Pastor in Philadelphia, PA for two years. Being led by the Spirit of the Lord, Bishop Hickman returned to Baltimore to become the fourth Pastor of the Southern Baptist Church.

On Sunday, October 6, 2002, Bishop Hickman was called and presented to the congregation as the new pastor of Southern Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Since assuming the Pastorate of Southern, the church has experienced phenomenal growth. With a focus on church health beyond church growth, Bishop Hickman began his ministry at Southern by teaching the leadership and membership the purpose-driven church model for ministry. He led the congregation in developing a vision and mission statement for the church that balanced the church’s efforts around evangelism, worship, discipleship, fellowship, and ministry leadership. Rev. Hickman led the church in a $1/2 million dollar renovation, initiated a strong marketing program, a television and radio broadcast ministry, developed a ministerial and executive staff, and organized the auxiliaries of the church toward maximizing ministry and outreach.

Dr. Donte’ Hickman has an evangelistic burden for community development and outreach. In 2004, he commissioned task forces from a cross section of the membership to determine the demographic needs of our East Baltimore community to develop a multi-generational strategy of revitalization. Under the mantra of Restoring People and Rebuilding Properties, Pastor Hickman led the church in a major campaign of property acquisition to build another sixty unit Senior Housing facility, a Transformation Center to administer health, workforce development, behavioral counseling, and community services, an Early Headstart Youth Enrichment Center, Affordable Homes, Mixed-use Commercial Development, and Church Expansion to meet the ministry needs of a rapidly growing congregation. The vision is becoming reality.

Continuing to be intentional about evangelism and discipleship, Pastor Hickman led the church in the multi-site ministry concept. In September 2010, he established Southern Baptist Church in Harford County in the Regal Cinema in Belair, Md. And in five short months, Southern Harford outgrew the four hundred seat facility and moved to the Aberdeen High School to double the capacity. In September 2011, he established Southern Baptist Church in Anne Arundel County at the Arundel High School in Gambrills, Md. With the development of these sites, the Baltimore location continued to grow, necessitating a third morning service and a new Saturday Night Live service in Anne Arundel County at the Ridgeway Elementary School in Severn, Md. Today, Southern Baptist Church is one church in multiple locations with five services every weekend and over 3000 members.

Bishop Hickman is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., where he has served as the Chaplain for the distinguished Pi Omega Chapter. As a community leader and entrepreneur, Bishop Hickman was appointed by the honorable Mayor Martin O’Malley to serve as one of the Housing Commissioners for the Housing Authority Board of Baltimore City. And in 2012, Governor O’Malley appointed Pastor Hickman to the Maryland Port Authority Commission. Dr. Hickman has received numerous citations and awards and is most proud to be the recipient of the Baltimore Tuskegee Alumni Distinguished Service Award.

Bishop Donté L. Hickman, Sr. is happily married to the former Miss Danielle Curtis and they are the proud parents of two kingdom-purposed children, Donté’ Lamont Hickman, Jr. and Dawson Luke Hickman.