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SENIOR PASTOR
     
 
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Darrell A. Drumwright, M. Div.
Senior Pastor

Pastor Darrell Antonio Drumwright is a native of Nashville, Tennessee and is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society for the Study of Biblical Literature, Harvard Club of Middle Tennessee, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, Nashville Alumni Chapter, where he was named Young Brother of the Year in 2003. He was also named 2005 Nashville Pastor of the Year by Brothers United Ministry, A Top 40 Leader under the Age of 40 in Tennessee by the Tennessee Chapter of the NAACP, and saluted by Dr. Bobby Jones in January 2007 on his international television broadcast. Further, he is a graduate of the Leadership Nashville Class of 2014, and on November 8, 2014, the Minerva Foundation, Incorporated, honored him with the Dr. Dorothy Brown Humanitarian Award.

Pastor Drumwright completed his undergraduate studies at Tennessee State University (TSU) in Nashville, where he earned a Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, in Sociology. His collaborative work with TSU faculty entitled "Seniors’ Mental Health and Pastoral Practices in African American Churches: An Exploratory Study in A Southern City" was published in the December 1998, Vol. 40, No. 2 Edition of the Review of Religious Research.

He later matriculated at the Divinity School at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.  While there, in 1999 he was named a Hopkins Shareholder, one of the nation’s oldest endowed fellowships given to divinity school students who show ministerial promise in the Harvard community.  Further, while attending divinity school, Pastor Drumwright served as the Minister to Young Adults and the Assistant to the Pastor at New Hope Baptist Church in Boston, MA.  Pastor Drumwright earned his Master of Divinity from Harvard in June 2000.

After returning to Nashville from Cambridge, MA, Pastor Drumwright served as the Assistant to the Pastor under the leadership of the founding pastor of The Temple Church (Temple), Bishop Michael Lee Graves. He also served as a faculty member at American Baptist College from 2001 - 2007, giving instruction across the liberal arts disciplines.  He is currently a member of the college’s Board of Trustees.   In April 2004, he was awarded a full fellowship and admitted to the Ph.D. program in History at Vanderbilt University, Nashville. In August 2004, Bishop Graves named Pastor Drumwright as his successor.  In December 2004, he became the Senior Pastor of The Temple Church.  In addition to his leadership of The Temple Church, Pastor Drumwright is a faculty member at Tennessee State University in the Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy where he teaches courses in Religious Studies. Because of Pastor Drumwright’s breadth of knowledge and God-given abilities to spread the Word and to connect with all generations of people, he has preached and lectured in numerous parts of the country.

Under Pastor Drumwright’s leadership, The Temple Church has accomplished much and experienced tremendous growth numerically, spiritually, and financially. One of the most remarkable accomplishments occurred in 2011 when Temple became a debt free congregation after approximately $6 million in capital debt was completely eliminated.

Further, on average, 250 plus members have been added each year of his pastorate. The property adjacent to the church was purchased, thus becoming Temple Village, which provides more staff office space and houses the Temple Second Harvest Food Bank satellite emergency food box program. Major capital projects and renovations also have been accomplished including securing a new church sign, purchasing a new church bus, undertaking the monumental task of rerouting the external water drainage flow, external and internal painting of the entire church, replacing all Narthex doors, replacing and restoring ground water drainage flow on the east side of the church, expansion and renovation of classroom space to meet the increasing ministry demands, purchasing conference style tables for the Phillips Chapel and Conference Center, renovating the Bishop Michael Lee Graves Executive Suite, remodeling Narthex and gymnasium bathrooms, adding technology upgrades to aid in worship and ministry, recapping the stone tower of the church, making repairs and renovating the Temple kitchen, rewiring external and internal electrical units throughout the church property, replacing the sanctuary and gymnasium roof, replacing air and heating units throughout the church, and conducting a complete renovation of the Temple Academy Pre-School playground. To accommodate the growth of the church membership, the parking lot has been expanded twice during his tenure.  The administrative office underwent a complete renovation and was renamed the Lady Eleanor Graves Administrative Complex in honor of Temple’s founding mother. Additionally, to encourage and aid ministry effectiveness, the Deaconess Mary Jane Southall Resource Room was developed and named in honor of Temple’s longest serving deaconess.

Likewise, staff positions and ministry offerings have increased under the leadership of Pastor Drumwright. The Minister of Evangelism, Minister of Family Life, Minister of Congregational Care, Minister of Assimilation, and Director of Marketing and Communications have become formal ministry positions. The Saturday J and C Breakfast Bible Study, Thursday Help and Hope Bible Study, and a formal Men’s Bible Study have all been added to foster Christian Education. The Bishop Michael Graves Leadership Academy and the Lady Eleanor Graves Leadership Academy were established to provide essential and important training and exposure for young men and women in their critical development years. The First Impressions Ministry was established to address needs that impact the aesthetic of the church. The John and Dorothy Snipes Leadership, Excellence and Development Winter Workshop was instituted to foster the development and impact of Temple leaders. Each workshop now culminates with the Dr. Jackie Fleming Hampton Black Church HIV, AIDS, and STI Awareness Luncheon which continues to highlight these issues and their resounding impact on minority communities. 

Embracing the increasing impact and role of technology, Temple began streaming its worship on the church website, and via the Marketing and Communications Ministry, the Temple App was developed enabling individuals to view worship and keep informed, engaged, and connected to the ministry at Temple. Moreover, Temple has continued to build upon its commitment to outreach.  In addition to the established relationship between Second Harvest Food Bank, Temple’s Missions Ministry was able to return to the country of Haiti doing the work of medical missions. The Temple Day of Service that encircles the city of Nashville with critical community engagement initiatives has become a hallmark of Temple’s yearly Founder’s Day celebration. The ACTS Ministry implemented an HIV awareness and testing component to its phenomenal ministry offerings. Furthermore, Cupcakes for the Cause, which celebrates local school educators; Pizza Party Pandemonium, which celebrates academic achievement in our local schools; Cancer Care, which provides snacks to patients in local chemotherapy facilities; and the Agamos Ministry which ministers to those whose spouses have passed away, have all become part of the Temple ministry lifeline. Temple also has established a partnership with Robert E. Lillard Elementary School through the United for Hope program of Operation Andrew. A formal tutoring ministry component also has returned weekly during the school year to address the academic needs of Temple and community students.

Pastor & First Lady

He is married to Latonya T. Drumwright and they are the parents of two sons, Demarkus and Damarius, and the grandparents of one grandchild, Braxton.

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The Temple Church is one of Nashville’s trailblazing churches where a balanced ministry is provided for the whole person and the whole family. We are a diverse congregation that is embracing and compassionate.

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