Since 1993, Dr. Turner has provided visionary guidance as pastor of St John Baptist Church in Columbia, Maryland. Under his leadership, the Church has grown from a small church with 400 members and a $190,000 budget to a dynamic congregation of more than 1,900 members and a $2.5 million annual budget. He also led a successful capital campaign to build a new $10 million, 30,000 square foot worship and ministry center in 2009. Howard County Magazine voted him Clergy of the Year in 2012.
Rev. Turner is a well-known religious and community leader. As the Director of Continuing Education, he helped launch the Howard University School of Divinity Distance Learning Program for clergy and laypersons across the country. He is a certified professional relationship and executive life coach. He is also a nationally-recognized speaker, providing inspirational sermons and lectures to churches, denominational groups, nonprofit organizations and conferences. He serves and provides leadership on many local boards and commissions, including the Human Rights Commission, PATH, Columbia Downtown Housing Corporation, Community Action Council of Howard County and the African American Community Roundtable of Howard County.
Rev. Turner began preaching at the age of 16 and began to pastor the Western Avenue Baptist Church in Cambridge, MA in 1982, where he successfully led the congregation for 12 years. During that time, he created a national pulpit for the church, inviting well-known pastors to preach for special occasions with a radio ministry and numerous outreach programs.
Rev. Turner’s passion lies in bringing out the best in people and organizations – helping clergy, churches, and individuals realize personal and professional success, resolve issues and achieve purposeful goals.
As a relationship coach, he empowers couples to create positive, sustainable change in their relationships. As an executive life coach, he strives to make successful people more successful, knowing that the best ROI comes from working with people who are already good at what they do.
On a personal note…
Rev. Turner is also committed to his passion for running. He has successfully completed numerous marathons, including the Chicago Marathon, Disney Marathon, Disney 4 Day Dopey Challenge (15 kilometers and 39 miles over 4 days), Atlanta Marathon, New York Marathon, Dallas Marathon, and Baltimore Marathon. He has also served as a pacer for the Charles Street 10 mile race and the Maryland Half Marathon.
"St John Baptist Church is very responsive to our student, family and community needs. The church has always been a model partner for many years.”
"SJBC has a long history of working to ensure the community’s health and well-being. When we were working...to stand up free COVID-19 testing in the community, SJBC was one of the first congregations to raise its hand to volunteer! And when the Health Department asked us to identify a partner for a flu vaccine drive-thru event, SJBC leadership readily agreed.”
"Virtual learning is a challenge for so many. Your thoughtful donations have had a big impact, making life for children just a little easier in a world that has changed in so many ways. It is my hope that our students can learn from your selfless effort and remember to pay it forward one day.”
"St John Baptist Church is an outstanding example of the integral role filled by community partners in nurturing the education and well-being of all children, including many of those who are most vulnerable. A highly valued partner for our school system for many years, SJBC is always prepared to offer enthusiastic support to families in need. The value of its contributions to our schools and community cannot be overstated. The church has donated hundreds of books, shoes, holiday gifts and other resources to support our children and families; volunteered at school events; stepped in to address individual needs; and offered support in countless other ways. Other initiatives are ready to start as soon as school buildings can reopen, including one-on-one mentoring to help struggling children thrive. As Superintendent, I recognize and deeply appreciate the value of this partnership in strengthening the fabric of our school system and school communities, and look forward to many more years of fruitful collaboration.”
"When I think of St John Baptist Church, the term ‘lifeline’ pops into my head. A lifeline for me as a member of this community, a lifeline for the Community Action of Howard County, an organization I am honored to lead, and by extension a lifeline to more than 50,000 people who come to CAC for support. If you walk through the halls of CAC, you can see St John Baptist Church’s footprints at every corner of CAC’s operations. At the Head Start Centers where children and their families receive clothing to keep them warm and food to keep them nourished. At the Howard County Food Bank, where St John donates, sorts, organizes, distributes, and at times delivers food to those in most need. And at the main office where I’m housed, St John Baptist Church and namely Rev. Turner and Rev. Truitt are on my speed dial.
The partnership with St John has housed, fed, and clothed tens of thousands of families in Howard County as well as and helped educate our young children who would otherwise not have access to quality early childhood education. Beyond the tangibles, the indelible impact of St John has been its force of good. The sense, the belief, the deeply seeded knowledge that no matter what crisis rises its head around the corner, we as a community always have St John Baptist Church to lean on. CAC’s Board Chair Oren Saltzman says it best: ‘The faith-based community is a bedrock to the CAC. We thank you for your kindness, generosity and giving spirit. You are an inspiration to all of us.’”