REVEREND DR. RONNIE C. KING, Senior Pastor of the Grace Missionary Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee, was born and raised in Coldwater, Mississippi. The son of a public worker (Jonah King, father) and retired Mississippi public school educator (Elizabeth McGhee King, mother), King is the youngest sibling of four.
Upon graduating from Coldwater High School, King enrolled in Northwest Mississippi Community College for two years and later continued his education at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). He graduated from Ole Miss with a degree in Political Science. While at Ole Miss, King announced his calling to the ministry. Torn between attending law and seminary schools, King selected Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology, Dallas, Texas, to further his ministerial studies. He was granted a full fellowship and graduated three years later with a Masters in Theology.
As a young man in his early twenties, King took the leap to serve in the United States Navy as a Chaplain. He rose from the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade (0-2) to a Captain (0-6), becoming one of the most respected and leading Naval Officers. His duties included ministering, visiting and preaching on several continents and in more than 42 countries. While in the Navy, he earned a second Master's degree (Master of Science) from The National Defense University, National War College in National Security Strategy. The double masters in Theology and National Security Strategy were the perfect union to do greater ministry work worldwide. His duel degree afforded him more opportunities to share with his parishioners and military comrades his original “daily meditations” and “thoughts for the day”. The “meditations” and “thoughts” were in such demand that within three years, they had been passed on to more than 2,000 readers. At the insistency of his brother, Curtis, King decided to put them in a book. “My Golden Nuggets: Life Changing Devotions and Meditations” was published in 2011 and has received notable praise from such distinguished Americans as The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson, U.S. Congresswoman from Texas. One of King's many military highlights was to conduct the service and give the eulogy for the first African-American officer of the United States Marine Corps, Frederick Clinton Branch, in Quantico, Virginia.
After 30 years of faithful and dedicated service in the armed forces, counseling members of the military, civilians, Department of Defense and families of fallen veterans, and pastoring several congregations, King retired with an Honorable Discharge. Commendations came from U.S. governors, senators, Congressional members and Presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, William ‘Bill’ Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He was presented numerous options within the federal government and to become a senior pastor of various American churches. After much prayer, consultation and deliberation with family and friends, King accepted the position of Director of Ministry at Grace Missionary Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Rev. Dr. Coleman Crawford, Jr. sought King out to become his successor as senior pastor upon his retirement. Within two-years, King became the Co-Pastor and after Rev. Crawford’s demise in March 2017, he accepted the role of Senior Pastor.
Never one to rest too long, King enrolled in the doctoral program at United Theological Seminar. In 2017, he received his Doctor of Ministry degree in “Prophet Congregational Leadership” with a concentration in “Past, Present, Future: A Biblical Succession Module for Pastors in the Black Baptist Church."
King is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and has one son, Nigell.