About Us

Our Staff

Rev. Willie Francois III, DMin.

Program Director

Willie Dwayne Francois III serves as Senior Pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Pleasantville, New Jersey and President of the Black Church Center for Justice and Equality—a national think tank and policy advocacy organization.

New York Theological Seminary appointed Francois as the Director of the Master of Professional Studies Program at Sing Sing and Bedford Hills Correctional Facilities and Associate Professor of Liberation Theology. His second book, titled Silencing White Noise: Six Practices to Overcome our Inaction on Race, was released August 2022 through Brazos Press.

Francois’ pastoral activism takes shape around racial equity, economic justice, and criminal justice reform. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Religion, holds a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, and earned a Doctor of Ministry from Emory University.

He serves as a commissioner of the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of the New Jersey State Department and national co-chair of the Social Justice Commission of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.

Francois co-authored the book Christian Minister’s Manual: For the Pulpit and the Public Square for All Denominations—the most progressive and comprehensive clergy resource and the first interdenominational manual written for Black clergy in 56 years. He also has bylines in HuffPost, The Hill, Religion Dispatches, Sojourners and The Christian Century concerning a range of matters pivoting around race, class and religion in America.