Pastor James Cornell Ward has led Antioch-Lithonia since 1995, after previously pastoring two congregations. Pastor Ward readily admits he is a country boy from Abbeville, Alabama and a late bloomer, whom God has blessed tremendously. His anointed preaching addresses the issues and challenges of today and provides Biblical answers in a positive, uplifting way. Under his leadership, Antioch-Lithonia has made significant strides in spirituality, education, administration, and technology. A visible display of his visionary leadership and administrative skills is the present facility which sits on twenty-three acres of prime land on Rock Chapel Road.
Educationally, Pastor Ward earned a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College with a double major in Philosophy and German Literature. While at Morehouse, he earned sufficient academic credits to qualify for a minor in music. He also earned a Master’s of Divinity degree from the New Orleans Baptist Seminary and an honorary doctorate from the Mississippi Baptist Seminary.
Pastor Ward is better known in certain circles as a choral composer. He is a member of several elite national and international choral societies and has collaborated with world-renowned composers including Victor Johnson, Mark Hayes and Heather Sorenson. His compositions have been published by major publishing houses such as Lorenz, Hal Leonard, and Shawnee. His compositions have won several prestigious awards for artistic excellence.
Like most senior pastors, Pastor Ward sits on several non-profit boards and has been cited many times for his civic and community involvement. Considered by many to be a “walking encyclopedia,” he is a frequent guest lecturer at several universities and schools of theology.
Pastor Ward has been married to the former Idell Clark of Laurel, Mississippi since 1975. They are blessed with three grown children and six grandchildren.