Our Senior Pastor
About Pastor Robert A.F. Turner
Rev. Dr. Robert A.F. Turner is a gifted preacher, pastor, community leader and change agent with over 30 years of professional experience. His passion lies in bringing out the best in people and organizations -- helping clergy, churches, and individuals realize personal and professional success, resolve issues, and achieve purposeful goals.
Rev. Turner holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Boston University, a Master of Divinity degree from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from New York Theological Seminary with a concentration in Church Based Community Development.
As a preacher and pastor, Rev. Turner successfully served as pastor of the Western Avenue Baptist Church, Cambridge, MA for 12 years. In 1993, he was called to pastor St John Baptist Church in Columbia, MD. Since then he continues to provide visionary leadership, manages a high performance staff, equips members called to the ministry, serves as a change agent in the community, and preaches clear, well organized, spiritually transforming sermons. In 2009, they successfully designed, financed and completed construction on a 30,000 sq. ft., ten million dollar state-of-the-art church.
As a community leader, Rev. Turner has tirelessly worked for social justice and the strengthening of the broader community. He has served as an advisor to many elected officials and provided a valued, faith-based perspective on the board of directors for several community organizations. He has received multiple awards for outstanding community service, and in 2012, was voted Clergy of the Year by Howard County Magazine. He currently serves the community in the following capacities:
- Columbia Downtown Housing Corporation: Member, Board of Directors; Founding Member
- Healthy Howard: Vice Chair, Board of Directors; Founding Member
- Howard County Human Rights Commission: Commissioner
- People Acting Together in Howard (PATH): Clergy Chair
- African American Community Roundtable of Howard County: 2nd Vice President, Board of Directors; Founding Member
- African American Coalition of Howard County (AACHC): President, Founding Member
- Community Action Council of Howard County: Newly Appointed Board Member
- MD IAF: Executive Board Member
As a partner and parent, Rev. Turner approaches his family commitments emphasizing dedication to service. He is married to Dr. Kimberly Moran, and together are raising their two children. As parents, they model a love for people, and a commitment to excellence. This is always evident in Rev. Turner’s passion for his work, and in his proven track record of leading those with whom he works to greater success.
Rev. Dr. Robert A.F. Turner – Senior Pastor
Rev. Janelle Bruce, Esq., serves as the Youth Pastor to over 300 at St John Baptist Church and is the proud mother of one son – Jaron. As a pre-teen and teen, Janelle witnessed on the streets of Washington, D.C. It was in this capacity that God developed her love for people and justice. As one of seven children, Janelle knew what it meant to share, support, and sacrifice for others. God used this foundation to develop her spiritual gifts and love for all people.
In 2007, Janelle graduated Magnum Cum Laude from the University of Maryland, College Park. In 2010, she graduated with a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. She then received her Master of Divinity from Howard University School of Divinity in December, 2014.
Janelle desires to see all people, and particularly young people, walk in the grace, joy and transforming power of God. Her ministry is guided by Micah 6:8 – He has told you what is good and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with God? Janelle loves being a servant leader and believes in people living lives of purpose!
Rev. Janelle Bruce –Youth Pastor
Vera J. Miles joined St John Baptist Church as the Operations Manager in 2007. She has over 20 years combined in the administrative/management fields. Her prior experience in for- profit organizations lends to her expertise in areas of human resources, building management, and budgeting and finance. Vera works closely with the pastors, staff and trustee board to ensure that church policies and procedures are effective and followed. She demonstrates a passion to strive for excellence in what she does and is always willing to assist others to achieve the same. Vera is a dedicated professional and can be counted on to get the job done. In her spare time a few of the activities she enjoys are reading, attending festivals, and spending time with family and friends.
Vera J. Miles – Operations Manager
Rev. Sadie Woolford, Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care
| TRUSTEE MINISTRY
| DEACON MINISTRY
Deacons are ministers, not administrators. Their role is to “come beside” their pastor, to assist him in ministering to the congregation and community. The ministry of Deacon is one of witness, sympathy and service. The duty of a Deacon is to care and nurture, to be a friend and comforter, to share the joy and wonderment of God’s grace, love and blessings with all that they serve.