SOMERSET, N.J. – Scholar, social justice advocate and Rev. Danté R. Quick, Ph.D., has been elected as the fourth senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (FBCLG) and will succeed the Rev. Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr., a prominent preacher who once served as New Jersey’s Secretary of State and is known internationally as the founder of the dfree® Financial Freedom Movement.
FBCLG Deacon Lawrence M. Hibbert, chair of the Pulpit Search Committee, announced that FBCLG elected Dr. Quick on May 22, 2021, after Pastor Soaries extended his tenure beyond the announced November 15, 2020 retirement date to lead the church through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Pastor Soaries, who will officially retire as of June 30, 2021, will preach his farewell sermon on June 27, 2021 and Pastor Quick will transition to the church over the next several months while an interim pastor provides service,” Hibbert said.
Quick, who has pastored the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Vallejo, California since 2010, earned his Ph.D. in Philosophical and Systematic Theology with a focus on African American Studies at the Graduate Theological Union. He received a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, and an undergraduate degree in Political Science with a concentration in pre-law from Morehouse College.
“Pastor Quick is laser focused on the Word of God and is absolutely the best person to guide First Baptist in these times of societal transition and to build on the extraordinary success of Pastor Soaries,” Hibbert said. “This was a long journey, as we started this process in 2019, yet a fruitful journey. We’re excited by Pastor Quick’s many gifts and his ability to take our church to the next level.”
Rev. Soaries, who has kept in touch with Rev. Quick since he attended First Baptist while a seminary student, praised the congregation’s selection.
“Pastor Danté Quick is a brilliant and talented young preacher who knows how to meet people where they are and help bring them closer to God,” Soaries said. “He’s extremely thoughtful and deliberate. He’ll be an excellent asset to First Baptist, and to all of New Jersey.”
Quick, who has accepted God’s call to pastor FBCLG, said God does not allow His servants to stay too comfortable where they are but challenges them to grow in service. “I wasn’t looking for a new opportunity, but I am very much looking forward to joining First Baptist in their next chapter,” Rev. Quick said. “Just as I expect Friendship Missionary to continue to flourish without me, I know we can build upon FBCLG’s strong foundation built by Pastor Soaries and those who came before him.”
Quick accepted his call to ministry under the pastorate of the Reverend Dr. Aaron L. Parker of the Zion Hill Baptist Church in Atlanta and has since served three churches, including Friendship, New Liberation Presbyterian Church in San Francisco and ITC/Faithfactor, a Presidential Initiative of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. His scholarship is focused on the theology of Howard Thurman and the political philosophy of Ralph Bunche en route to the construction of an African-American political theology.
Quick is originally from Washington, D.C. and, secularly, has served in the offices of Mayor Marion Barry, Congressman John Lewis and Governor Zell Miller. He also served as the legislative representative for the Atlanta Board of Education. In these capacities he has addressed audiences at the National Conference of Black Mayors, The World Conference of Mayors and the National Conference of Black Men. He also served as the special programs administrator for the Fulton County District Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia.