Rev. Dr. Keith Derrick Tillett is the pastor of the Simon Temple A.M.E. Zion Church, Fayetteville, North Carolina. He has served as pastor of Simon Temple since November of 2021.

Born in Portland, Maine, he spent the formative years of his life in San Diego, California, as an active member of Logan Temple A.M.E. Zion Church.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Livingstone College, Master of Divinity degree from Hood Theological Seminary, and Doctor of Ministry degree in preaching and leadership from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

While in seminary, Dr. Tillett served in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference. He pastored the Rhynes Tabernacle A.M.E. Zion Church in Bessemer City, North Carolina, and Zion Wesley A.M.E. Zion Church, in Troutman, North Carolina. At both churches, he sought to leave them better than he found them. The church finances increased, and physical improvements were made to both charges. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Dr. Tillett served as the director of admissions for Hood Theological Seminary.

Dr. Tillett served in the New Jersey Annual Conference (Camden District) for 21 years as the pastor of the St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church. One of the most difficult experiences of Dr. Tillett’s ministry was in August of 2008 when St. Paul’s ceiling collapsed, and the sanctuary was declared unusable. The challenge was to keep the flock together during its season of transition and uncertainty. In the midst of this season, the membership remained committed to kingdom building. And in 2010, God opened an opportunity of hope for the purchase of a million-dollar facility on 3 ½ acres of land in Ewing, New Jersey. This included a major renovation and building project, the purchase of a house and nearly two acres of land adjacent to the church property. On the conference level, Dr. Tillett served as the chair of the Finance and Nominating Committees, was a member of the Admissions and Program Committees, and was a Conference Trustee. On the Camden District, Dr. Tillett served as a member of the Finance/Budget and Admissions Committees.

Despite maintaining a demanding schedule, Dr. Tillett is a loyal family man and diligent provider. He is a devoted husband to Kerri Thompson-Tillett, an attorney/administrator at a leading institution of higher education. He is the proud father of Kyndal Elaine, a junior scholar/cheerleader at Hampton University, and Keith Derrick, II, a junior scholar/athlete at Jack Britt High School. In his spare time, Dr. Tillett enjoys reading, working out, movies and sports.

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