Dr. B.W. McClendon, Sr.’s magnetic personality, blended with an explosive sermon and expository speaking delivery style has drawn audiences nationwide for more than three decades. He has emerged as one of the most influential spiritual leaders of this generation. As Senior Pastor of the St. James Baptist Church, his priority is expansion through evangelism.
Dr. McClendon was born in Mt. Enterprise, Texas to the late LeRoy & LeOra McClendon. He was raised in a devout Christian family environment with strong moral values. It was these strong and deep-rooted values that led him to answer his call to the ministry.
Dr. McClendon received a Bachelor of Arts from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas; a Political Science Certification from the University of Texas at Tyler; a Masters in Theological Studies and earned Doctorate of Ministries from Perkins School of Theology at SMU in Dallas, Texas. He was Adjunct Professor of Religion at Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas.
He and his lovely wife, Bernetta, founded the Maranatha Marriage & Family Ministries, International to help strengthen marriages and families. They are the proud parents of five wonderful children (one deceased) and grandparents to 11 spry and energetic grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren.
Dr. McClendon has been pastor of the St. James Missionary Baptist Church since 1993. He was the pastor of several churches prior to being called to St. James (in Longview, Marshall and Terrell, Texas). Under his leadership at St. James, he has given birth to several ministries and campaigns. In 1997, he initiated the “United We Build Campaign”, which resulted in the current edifice at 3417 East Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Austin, Texas. This building seats over 2500 congregants and has an extensive number of classrooms and meeting spaces. Another milestone was the creation of the St. James Community Institute for Biblical Studies.
Dr. McClendon served as a Board Member of the Marriage and Family Therapists council and a member of the Texas State Board of Examiners . He is a certified instructor for PREP-Within Our Reach and Family Wellness through the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. In addition, he is Vice President of the St. John District Congress and serves a Chaplain for APD (Austin Police Department). He encourages men to be the “prophet, priest, provider and protector” of their families. His love for preaching the uncompromising Word of God has gained him the notoriety of being “a Pastor with a heart for the people”.