In 1967, the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pointed Rev. Bibbs out of a huge crowd during a service at Wayman African Methodist Episcopal Church which is positioned right in the heart of the former Cabrini-Green Housing Projects of Chicago. During his message Dr. King asked him to come forward to make an illustration in his sermon. At that very moment – Dr. King was challenging the audience to take responsibility for the promising future of the next generation and to bring pride back to their community. That moment left a lasting impression on Alvin’s life – especially after Dr. King shared a prayer of blessing over his life at the end of the church service alongside of his parents and four siblings.
What drives you to do what you do? “Every day that I wake-up as a Justice, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (JEDI) Advocate I cannot help but think about the stewarding responsibility placed upon me by the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to serve as a champion for Racial Justice Reform in a divided world that continues to marginalize men, women, and children of color daily throughout this nation. I am convinced that the only way we will experience the Beloved Community that Dr. King so eloquently preached and dreamed of is through elevating the value of love and welcoming all racial groups around the decision-making table in the pursuit of healing, reconciliation, and solidarity within the nation that we all care so deeply and passionately about.”
Rev. Alvin C. Bibbs, Sr. is a highly sought-after motivational speaker, author (Crazy Enough to Care: Changing Your World Through Compassion, Justice, & Racial Reconciliation, InterVarsity Press) and serves as an organizational coach/facilitator to congregations, corporations, and not-for-profit organizations across North America. Along with currently serving as President & CEO of the Justice Journey Alliance™, Leadership Foundation of Chicago.
The Justice Journey Alliance™ vision is to reach an ever-increasing population divided by race and injustice. Rev. Bibbs also serves as the Community & Faith Engagement Officer for Together Chicago providing leadership to enlist local churches in Chicago to organize Gospel Justice Centers throughout the city.
Most recently on September 25, 2020, Rev. Bibbs co-founded a national initiative called Beyond Words: Count Us In Movement which is a multi-city ecumenical movement in which faith leaders and pastors are taking direct action to address structural injustice and systemic racism. Rev. Bibbs is the Co-Founder and Visionary Leader of Beyond Words: Count Us In. Rev. Bibbs is also the Founder & Lead Visionary for the THR!VE Pastors Cohort in Chicago. The mission of the THRI!VE Pastors Cohort is to position pastors in Chicago for amplified and holistic engagement by providing cutting-edge and practical resources to enable healthy and sustainable local churches.
Furthermore, in the fall of 2021, Rev. Bibbs joined the One America Movement in a contracted role to launch a geographical hub in the city to address toxic polarization as the Chicago Outreach Manager. The One America Movement vision is to build a resilient, strong, and united country working together to solve our common challenges.
Prior to the above, Rev. Bibbs served as the Multi-Cultural Regional Director for the Willow Creek Association in South Barrington, IL.
He joined Willow Creek Community Church in 1996 as the Executive Director of Extension Ministries (the Compassion & Justice Missions Outreach for the church).
Rev. Bibbs holds a Master of Arts Degree in Christian Leadership Development & Organizational Management from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. Rev. Bibbs has three amazing, gifted, and spiritually surrendered sons Alvin C. Bibbs, Jr., Brandon Q. Bibbs, & Devin L. Bibbs.