Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley
2018 Exemplar Award
The Rev. Dr. Gerald L. Durley was born in Wichita, Kansas; grew up in California, and graduated from high school in Denver, Colorado. He was recruited to play basketball for Tennessee State University where he became a student leader in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. Upon earning a degree in psychology, Dr. Durley became one of the first U.S. Peace Corp volunteers to serve in Nigeria. Upon leaving Nigeria he relocated to Switzerland and played basketball for a National Swiss team while completing post graduate studies. After arriving back in America, Dr. Durley was gravely disturbed by the decaying moral, social, cultural, and family value systems throughout the nation. This concern compelled him to enroll at the Howard University School of Divinity and to earn the Master of Divinity. After 25 years of service, he retired as the pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church and is currently the Pastor Emeritus.
While serving as pastor, he became intensely involved in the climate change, global warming, and environmental justice movement. Rev. Dr. Durley now combines the disciplines of faith and science with the lessons learned as a civil/human rights advocate from the 1960’s. He believes that God created a perfect ecologically balanced world for humans to care for, but we are destroying it at an alarming rate. He asserts that for the environment to be saved, the educational, scientific, business, political, and faith communities must seek common solutions.
He has been married for almost 50 years to his wife, Muriel. They have two children and four grandchildren. His autobiography, I Am Amazed, is available at Amazon.