Dr. Kevin W. Cosby
Senior Pastor, St. Stephen Baptist Church
President, Simmons College of Kentucky (A Private Historically Black College & University)
For more than 40 years, Dr. Cosby has served as the Senior Pastor of St. Stephen Baptist Church, the largest African American Church in the state of Kentucky, as well as the largest private employer of African Americans in the state.
In 2005, Dr. Cosby was inaugurated as the 13th President of Simmons College of Kentucky. In 2007, he led the once fledgling college to reclaim its original campus, lost during the Great Depression, and has since expanded to three campus locations. Under Dr. Cosby’s visionary leadership, the college earned national accreditation from the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) and expanded its degree programs. Dr. Cosby uncovered the rich history of Simmons, which was established by former slaves, and in 2014, Simmons was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Historically Black College & University. During his first decade there, Dr. Cosby refused to take a salary to stabilize the college and returned more than $700,000.
Dr. Cosby was the convener of The Angela Project, so named after the first enslaved person to step off the slave ship in Jamestown, VA in 1619. The Angela Project was a three-year conference that led up to the 400th year commemoration of Slavery in America in 2019. Dr. Cosby explained, “The purpose of The Angela Project was to reengage the church in activism, to get back to our roots as proponents of justice.”
He is one of our nation’s most influential leaders: He was inducted into the Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians at the Kentucky State Capitol (2015); At the request of Muhammad Ali, he served as one of the eulogists at his Funeral (2016); and he was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers of Morehouse College (2017).
Dr. Cosby has an earned Doctor of Ministry degree and is pursuing his second doctorate – a PhD at Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, OH.
He has a new book that will be released this fall–A Biblical Commentary on the American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS), entitled: “Getting to the Promise Land”, published by Westminster John Knox Press.
Dr. Cosby is married to the former Barnetta Turner. They have two adult children.