Dr. Otha Gilyard,
President Ohio Baptist General Convention Inc. | Senior Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church
Dr. Gilyard was born on a farm in Brickeys, Arkansas. He attended public schools and graduated from A.M.P. Strong High School in Marianna, Arkansas. His college work was put on hold while he served in the military from 1966-1969. He then continued his education and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Gilyard’s degrees are from Princeton Theological Seminary (Masters of Divinity) and Union Theological Seminary (Master of Sacred Theology). His earned Doctorate Degree came from Chicago Theological Seminary.
He was awarded the prestigious Merrill Fellowship to study at Harvard Divinity School and has received Honorary Degrees from Lee Bible College (Memphis, TN) and Kalamazoo College (Kalamazoo, MI). In 1971, Dr. Gilyard accepted the call to Second Calvary Baptist Church in Hopewell, NJ. In 1975 he accepted the call to Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Kalamazoo. On December 1, 1993, Dr. Gilyard formally became the Pastor-Elect of Shiloh Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio. He is married to Frieda Gilyard, has one daughter, Karla Jackson, and is the proud grandparent to Kareem and Margeaux Jackson.