Isaac Olatunji Jr., Ph.D., was ordained to the Gospel ministry at the Gulf States Conference office on May 13, 2020.
Olatunji was born in New York City to Isaac and Carmen Olatunji, and raised in the Washington, D.C., area. He received Christ as his personal Savior and Lord at age 17, and asked for the Lord to reveal the truth of the last days. In answer to this prayer, a childhood friend who happened to be an Adventist shared the Adventist message with him. In addition to this, he began to read Adventist literature that had been in his home that was sold to his mother through a literature evangelist five years earlier. These influences led him to become a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church through baptism on June 2, 1990.
While attending the seminary at Andrews University in 1995, Olatunji received a call from the Southwest Region Conference, where he pastored for five years and planted a church in LaPlace, La. Following his time there, he returned to Andrews and completed his M.Div. in 2002. Olatunji continued his studies while working in Oklahoma with several churches, including another church plant. In 2005, he earned a Ph.D. in Bible and theology from Louisiana Baptist University, and began working for Oakwood University as a volunteer guest chaplain. His chaplaincy role eventually led to an instructor position in the School of Religion at Oakwood. In 2012 and 2013, he earned another Ph.D. in leadership and organizational change, and a post-doctoral certificate from Walden University.
In 2013, Olatunji accepted a call from Gulf States to pastor the State Line Church in Ardmore, Ala. Since that time, the church membership has doubled, and they were able to purchase the building they had been renting, and paid it off in four years.
Olatunji, married to the former Desiree Vernon, is raising niece and nephew Goldyn and Aaron, is stepfather to Brandon Vernon, and grandfather to Blake Vernon.
Gulf States | July 2020