Bishop Dr. Leroy Gilliard, Jr., is a native of St. Stephens, South Carolina and the seventh of ten siblings. He received his early Christian training in the St. Stephen Baptist Church and graduated from the Russellville High School in 1968. He moved to Baltimore later that same year and began a career in the computer profession at the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, which lasted for twenty-eight years (1968-1996). At BGE, he both developed and managed large computer system projects. Some projects had budgets over twenty-two million dollars. He also served in the military and was awarded The Army’s Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service upon his honorable discharge in 1971.
Bishop Gilliard preached his initial sermon in 1986 and was ordained to the Gospel Ministry in 1988, both at the New Friendship Baptist Church under the leadership of Bishop Ralph D. White. In September of 1989, Rev. Gilliard became pastor of the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, which has increased in membership and ministries under his leadership. The bible study classes, Rev. Gilliard's favorite, have grown proportionately with the church's growth. From 1996 through 1999, Rev. Gilliard served as President of the Maryland Baptist State Convention. He also has held several positions with the National Baptist Convention of America, including Sunday school literature writer and the Economic Development Committee member. He has taught and preached nationally and throughout the Baltimore Metropolitan area.
Bishop Gilliard received his Associate in Arts Degree from Catonsville Community College (1977), the Bachelor of Science from The University of Baltimore (1980), the Master of Divinity from Howard University, Washington, D. C. (1988), and the Doctor of Ministry Degree at Howard University's School of Divinity in the year 1992. Rev. Gilliard's Doctoral Dissertation was written on "The Relationship between Self-Esteem and Socio-Economic Attainment of African-Americans in East Baltimore.” He also has an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Virginia University and Seminary at Lynchburg, Virginia (2005). He has received many awards from local and state officials for his outstanding leadership and interest in the inner city community.
Bishop Gilliard became the overseer of a second church placed under his watchful eyes in 2003, The Greater New St. John Baptist Church. During his pastoral tenure, bishop has provided oversight and covering for several churches in both Maryland and Liberia. He also oversees orphanages and schools in Liberia, including The Dr. Leroy Gilliard, Jr. Institute and the Children‘s Welfare Center. Rev. Gilliard has traveled and preached in several countries in Africa.
On February 14, 2012, three churches in Maryland and five in Liberia elected Bishop-elect Gilliard as their Bishop. This election and elevation to the office of Bishop came to fruition finally Bishop Gilliard hesitated to accept the election for many years. God has placed a great concern on Bishop Gilliard's heart, to provide covering, guidance, and prayers for pastors and churches; and to harvest souls for the Kingdom of God worldwide.
Bishop Gilliard is married to the former Miss Christine Johnson of Baltimore. They have one son, Dan'te (wife, Chelisa), three granddaughters, Don’ya, Sheyenne, and De'arya; and one grandson, Dan'te II. Together with his wife, they also raised several nephews and nieces in their home. Bishop Gilliard loves teaching, but firmly believes that preaching is of most importance. His favorite Scriptures are Psalm 27 and John Chapter 3. Rev. Gilliard firmly believes that we should walk by faith and not by sight, and that nothing is too hard for God. His life’s motto is, “The Lord will make a way, somehow.
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. . Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalm 27:1-2; 14