Rev. Dr. Steve Bland Jr.

Senior Pastor, Liberty Temple Baptist Church, Detroit, MI

Speaker | 2023 Ideas Summit

Rev. Dr. Steve Bland Jr., is the Senior Pastor of Liberty Temple Baptist Church; a large, thriving congregation of over 1,800 members in Detroit, Michigan. Liberty Temple Baptist Church, located in Northwest Detroit, has grown by several hundred members in the past 19 years under Pastor Bland’s dynamic leadership, and offers vibrant worship, insightful teaching, inspiring preaching, and over 51 comprehensive ministries that meets the holistic needs of the church, family, and surrounding Winship community we serve. He is the Chairman of the Board of the Liberty Temple Community Development Corporation and the Liberty Transformation Resource Center (LTRC), a community-based technology center that has specialized programs & services for the Northwest Detroit area. He is the former Senior Pastor of the Pilgrim Baptist Church of Rockford, Il. from 1990 – 2004.

In May of 2005, Dr. Bland earned and received his Doctor of Ministry Degree at the Samuel D. Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, VA. A student of the late Dr. Miles Jerome Jones, his Doctoral thesis addressed “How to Transition Traditional African American Congregations” that are stagnant or in decline into becoming vibrant, relevant ministries. Dr. Bland received his Master of Divinity Degree in Pastoral Theology & Pastoral Care in 1989 from the Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Kansas with Special Studies Masters Classes at the Samuel Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in 1988-89. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy in 1982 at Northern Illinois University and a Music Minor.

Dr. Bland is the Senior Advisor and Immediate Past President of The Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit & Vicinity (2020-2023), Immediate Past Moderator of the Michigan District Baptist Association (2012-22), and the Immediate Past President of the Michigan Progressive Baptist State Convention (2018-2022). He is the esteemed Recipient & Class Speaker of the 14th Annual Michigan Chronicle Men Of Excellence Class of 2022. He is Special Chaplain to the Wayne County Sheriff and Co-Chair of the Breakfast Club Think Tank.

He served as Chairman of Leadership Development and a Board Member of the Progressive National Baptist Convention; a Board Member of AAMLC (African American Ministers Leadership Council) of PFAW based in Washington D.C., Chair of the Religious Affairs Committee for United Way of Detroit, member of the Inter-Faith Coalition of Detroit, the DMC (Detroit Medical Center) Ministerial Advisory Council, and is the Michigan State Lead for the Faith United to Save Democracy organization. He has been an Adjunct Professor of Homiletics (Preaching) and Urban Ministry at Ecumenical Theological Seminary; Vice President and Chairman of the Social Justice Commission of the BM&E State Convention; Chairman of the Political Action & Strategic Planning Committee of the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit & Vicinity; and Board Member of the Central Baptist Theological Seminary. He still serves on several other boards and committees nation-wide.

A noted social commentator and community activist, Dr. Bland has led and consulted with many community based social and political groups that promote activities such as Get Out the Vote, Justice Reforms, etc. He served as the founding Convener for the Rockford Area Ministerial Alliance; representing over 300 churches of all races, cultures and denominations in the greater Rockford area, addressing a myriad of community concerns, and the Rockford Ministers Fellowship which annually hosted the Martin Luther King City-Wide Celebration & helped to obtain a favorable Federal ruling on Desegregating Rockford Public Schools, resulting in a multi-million-dollar remedy. He was Chairman of the Board for the Pilgrim Village Community Development Corp., a nonprofit faith-based organization. He was on the Mayor’s Task Force & Superintendents Advisory Board of Rockford, IL.

Rev. Dr. Steve Bland, Jr., served on the National Board of Directors of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. from 1996 – 2006. He was the distinguished First National President of the Young Pastors and Ministers Department of the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. from 1996-2000, during which the Department grew from 0 to over 2,100 members. Pastor Bland also served as the 2nd Vice President of the Baptist General State Convention of Illinois until moving to Detroit. He also served as President of One Church One Child for the State of Illinois as well as being a member for 14 years: an organization responsible for the adoption of over 100,000 children. He was Vice President of African American Religious Connection serving with the Rev. Dr. Clay Evans.

Dr. Bland is a well renowned speaker, lecturer and revivalist. He is an effective workshop clinician on various subjects such as Leadership Development, Equipping Members for ministry, etc. He has hosted a gospel radio show in Rockford called “Rappin’ with the Rev.” and a Community Issues show called “What’s Goin’ On!” He is the past Dean of Greater Rockford District Assoc., and Chairman of the Board, Rockford Ministers Fellowship School of Religion. He served a Kansas City Accounting firm from 1982-1985 until entering full-time ministry. He was the Minister of Music, Youth Pastor and Assistant Pastor to the late Rev. Dr. Mac Charles Jones at the St. Stephen Baptist Church of Kansas City, MO (1983-1990); joining under the late Dr. John W. Williams. He is a native of Chicago, Illinois and lived 4 years in Galesburg, IL where his father pastored Bethesda Baptist Church.