Our Pastor

The Rev. Dr. David D. Mitchell was born in Thomasville, Georgia. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Theology and Ethics from Claremont School of Theology. At Emory University, Dr. Mitchell won the John Owen Smith Preaching Award. He was the first African American to do so.

Dr. Mitchell wrote a published book, Black Theology and Youths at Risk, which was used as a textbook at Emory University. It critically examines the problems and conditions facing youths today and prescribes proactive and innovative ministries that churches and communities can adopt to help youths away from destructive activities and toward a future of hope and fulfillment. Dr. Cornish Rogers of Claremont School of Theology said, “he adroitly outlines a plan for readying African-American youth for authentic liberation that includes social and cultural as well as spiritual deliverance. His focus is on Black youths because they are most vulnerable and in mortal danger of succumbing to the deadly system of DCPC (“Destructive Capitalistic Personality Complex”), which he explains. Finally, he challenges the Black church to lead the struggle.”

Dr. Mitchell has 25 years of experience in the ministry. He was the Pastor of Shady Grove Baptist Church in Cornelia, Georgia and then served as a Chaplain in the United States Navy, retiring after 20 years of service. He served as the Senior Pastor of Congdon Street Baptist Church in Providence, Rhode Island, where he implemented more than 10 new ministries. Dr. Mitchell led the church through a complete renovation of the sanctuary and parsonage. He has delivered sermons, lectures, and speeches in 16 states and 17 countries. Currently he is the Senior Pastor of Mount Gilead Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Mitchell received a vision from God that has been totally embraced by the Mt. Gilead Church family. He developed a strategic plan designed to implement the vision. Furthermore, he organized a Vision Implementation Ministry Team which organized the vision into phases in order to teach and simplify implementation, and assisted every ministry in the development of a strategic ministry plan that connects its ministry to the big picture/vision. Part of Phase I of the vision included the establishment of a Media Center Ministry, the installation of top quality professional audio and video equipment that has enhanced worship, the purchase of additional property, and the development of a five-year plan that focuses on establishing an endowment and raising funds for future church/site for a new church. The ministry at Mount Gilead has done great things for Christ and His kingdom in just 7 short years; it is an exciting time at Mount Gilead.

Dr. Mitchell is one of a very few veterans who had the opportunity to wear every military uniform except that of the U.S. Army. However, he did serve with the Army with Joint Task Force 160 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during the Haitian refugee crisis. He served in the Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Navy, and while in the Navy he served as a Chaplain for the Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

He has extensive training as a counselor and is a certified Prevention Relationship Enhancement Program Instructor, a certified Neurolinguistic Programming Counselor, and a certified Meyers-Briggs Personality Test Administrator.

Dr. Mitchell is a community activist who served on numerous boards in several states. He was the President of the Ministers’ Council of the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island (ABCORI) and was a member of its Standing Committee of Ordained Ministry. He was the Vice President of the Ministers’ Alliance of Rhode Island. He served on Senator Jack Reed’s Rhode Island Veterans Affairs Committee and on the Children’s Crusade of Providence Partners for Educational Excellence Coalition. He was a member of the Providence Mayor’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall of Fame Award Committee. He organized and established the first NAACP chapter in Cornelia, Georgia and organized a local peace council in that city He also instituted the first interracial and interfaith ministerial association in Cornelia, and founded the Northeast Georgia Baptist Ministerial Alliance, an organization of Black Baptist ministers. He served on the Concerned Black Clergy Ministers’ Alliance of Atlanta, Georgia and on the Board of Directors and as the National Chaplain of the National Naval Officers Association (NN0A). He spearheaded an annual city-wide Martin Luther King, Jr. ecumenical service and march for peace and justice in which over 1,000 people of diverse backgrounds participated.

Dr. Mitchell is married to Victoria and has three children. He enjoys reading, exercising, golfing, learning about different cultures, and gaining new insights on God’s word, and is committed to helping others find happiness, meaning, and fulfillment through Christ.