Our Assistant Pastor

Rev. Dr. Ostein B. Truitt – Assistant Pastor

As Assistant Pastor, Dr. Truitt is an experienced, theologically trained servant leader who left the comfort of being a college professor for 22 years, teaching microbiology, to answer the call to professional ministry in 1999. Since that time, she received an M.Div. from Howard University School of Divinity, a D. Min. from Wesley Theological Seminary, DC and certification in Spiritual Formation from the Transforming Center in Wheaton, Illinois and the Spiritual Guidance Program of the Shalem Religious Institute in Washington, DC.

After serving St John Baptist Church for several years in various lay leadership capacities, in 2003, she was hired as the church’s first female Assistant Pastor. Her responsibilities include pastoral care, teaching, spiritual direction, spiritual formation, and assisting the sr. pastor with preaching and leading Sunday worship services. St John is committed to the spiritual formation of its members so that the church and world might be served by God’s best. Educating the mind is not enough. The heart and will need spiritual formation as well.

If you are at a crossroad in your life and you want to discern where your inner spirit is leading you. If you want to learn how to listen to God every day. If you would like to walk through life’s seasons with confidence, clarity and purpose, schedule a one-on-one session with Dr. Truitt to get the clarity and confidence you need.

For more information call 443-472-2290 or 410-992-6977, ext. 1007
or ostruitt@stjohnbaptistchurch.org


Youth Pastor

Rev. Rickey Bernard Harvey, Jr. proudly serves as the Youth Pastor of St. John Baptist Church. He is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Accounting. During his undergraduate time at RIT, he answered the call to Christian ministry and has since directed his life towards fulfilling the call of God to serve others. Rev. Harvey has ministered to various groups across the width and breadth of the United States, and is most well-known for his preaching ministry. He is passionate shepherding youth and training them to serve Christ.

Reverend Harvey holds a Master of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, where he has served as President of the Black Student Caucus and Baptist Student Alliance there, among other extracurricular roles that he fulfilled. His ministry is a refreshing combination of both traditional and contemporary worship styles, enabling him to have anointed impact on seasoned saints as well as youth and young adults. Through his ministry, youth and young adult ministries have developed strong infrastructures that continue to grow spiritually and numerically.

Within his call to Christian ministry, Rickey nurtures a passion and appreciation for music ministry. He possesses an enthusiastic appreciation for the hymns of the church and devotional songs as well as contemporary praise and worship. A recording artist, he recently released a 4-song EP entitled “The Best I Can Be”, which includes 3 original songs and a medley of hymns that is available everywhere that music is sold digitally. Considering music a universal language, he uses it as another channel through which to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Rev. Harvey is also a contributing author to the recently released book Empower Now: True Stories from 14 Young Minority Professionals. This opportunity to become a published author expanded his frame of reference for how ministry can be done through various mediums, certainly to include preaching, and also to include the publication of literature. He has since authored a personal blog entitled “Junior’s Journal”, on Manhood, Ministry, and More, which can be found at www.RickeyHarveyJr.com.

Those who know him best note that one of the best qualities about him is his sense of humor. With that, though, comes a seriousness about ministry, showing God’s love, and service to others. He affirms the words of Howard Thurman, that “There is a certain grandeur and nobility in administering to another’s need out of one’s fullness and plenty.” Serving others through his gifts and talents, Rickey Harvey, Jr. believes that the best investment anyone can make is offering others hope through help and life through love.

Rev. Rickey Harvey –Youth Pastor


Minister of Music, Director of Creative Arts

Leader Eric Byrd has served as Minister of Music or as a Music Worship Leader for over 20 years. On staff at St John Baptist Church since October of 2010 he oversees 7 choirs, 5 praise team configurations, many musicians, worship technology, dance and drama teams; he leads over 125 staff and volunteers. He is a proficient pianist, singer and composer in both the jazz and gospel fields. As a young 20-something he funded, rehearsed and organized a 5 day tour of Vienna, Austria with a mass gospel choir. He is the composer of St John’s new marketing tag line and theme song “Discover Something New Together”. He has a BA in Music, a Masters degree in music and a Masters in Ministry: Leadership Studies degree from Lancaster Bible College. He is a Grammy Award voter, an independent recording artist and has toured all over the world in both gospel and jazz. Along with his many musical responsibilities he is actively involved in leadership training in both faith based and non-faith based organizations. He has recently launched his first consultant company, VIP Consulting: Leadership Done Well. VIP stands for vision, implementation and process – all of which Byrd personally walks each client through.

For further information on his award winning jazz group, The Eric Byrd Trio can be found at Eric Byrd Trio.

For further information on VIP Consulting information can be found at VIP Consulting.

Eric Byrd – VIP Consulting


Operations Manager

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


Executive Administrative Assistant

Va’sama “V” Williams is an upbeat Administrative and Production professional that comes from a background of small to midsize minority owned businesses to a scale of Fortune Corporations. She has established herself in a variety of mediums as a line and co-producer, to include Print, Motion, Festivals, Galas and so much more. She has developed and enhanced herself over the course of her career to develop a powerhouse of skills abilities and knowledge that makes the calm and cover of being behind the scenes most enjoyable.

Va’Sama Williams – Executive Administrative Assistant


Facilities Manager

Rev. John West is a man of service and has been serving St John Baptist Church as a member since 1982. During this time he has served on a number of ministries, such as Sacred Arts, the Deacon Board, the Voices of Inspiration, and The Gospel Choir. Rev. West was employed at Howard University as a Procurement Specialist for over 24 years helping to secure vital acquisitions for countless events and University initiatives. Currently John is the Facilities Manager for St John and enjoys serving this congregation in room set up, vendor management, event coordination, and maintenance management. Out of all of John’s accomplishments he is most proud of his marriage to his wife (Valerie) and their three daughters (LaKisha, Adrian, and Christina) two son (in loves), and three adorable granddaughters, and one adorable grandson. John tries to live by the motto “I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again”.

Rev. John West – Facilities Manager