Pastor Vernon named BPACF Black Professional of the Year

James W. Wade III | 8/21/2013, 10:41 a.m.
Dr. R. A. Vernon is the founder and senior pastor of “THE WORD” Church, a multi-site ministry with over 20,000 ...
Rev. R. A. Vernon, BPACF Black Professional of the Year for 2013

The Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation (BPACF) has announced that Rev. R. A. Vernon has received the prestigious recognition of Black Professional of the Year for 2013.

Vernon is the 31st Black professional from Northeast Ohio to receive this distinguished honor in the organization’s history. Each year, BPACF conducts a selection process that begins with the soliciting of nominations from the corporate, public, and faith-based sectors.

“The process begins with nominations gathered from the general community. A Nominee Review Committee is formed, made up of past and present leadership of BPACF as well as past Black Professional of the Year honorees. That committee then presents a cohort of the top three candidates to the board of trustees of BPACF and a final candidate is selected” said Marcella Brown, the executive director of BPACF, about how the process unfolds.

Dr. R. A. Vernon is the founder and senior pastor of “THE WORD” Church, a multi-site ministry with over 20,000 members between five locations. A respected spiritual leader, philanthropist and humanitarian, he is dedicated to creating and providing programs, resources, and services to help the less fortunate.

He is resolutely committed to unconditional outreach and leads the culturally diverse congregation of “THE WORD” CHURCH with integrity and excellence.

He is the author of three books: “Blessing Behind Closed Doors,” “Size Does Matter: Moving Your Ministry from Micro to Mega,” and his most recent book for singles, “Dr. R.A. Vernon’s 10 Rules of Dating.”

Vernon founded “THE WORD” Church on love, God’s Word, and a passion for helping people. It continues to operate with this same spirit of purpose over a decade later. As a result, “THE WORD” CHURCH has become one of the fastest growing churches in the region and continues to experience remarkable growth.

Vernon has a diploma of Theology, a Master of Arts in Practical Theology, and a Doctorate of Ministry with a concentration in church growth from Ashland Theological Seminary. He is honored to be married to First Lady Victory Vernon and they have five children.

With names such as Arnold Pinkney, Margot Copeland, Mayor Frank Jackson, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Carole F. Hoover to mention a few, Vernon joins an elite group among Cleveland’s best as BPACF’s Black Professional of the Year.

The Annual Scholarship and Awards Dinner to honor Vernon will be held on Oct. 19, at the new Cleveland Convention Center.

The tradition of raising awareness and providing scholarships and grants remains the primary thrust of the Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation (BPACF). BPACF, an outgrowth of BPA, was established in October 1985 after the gala revenues reached $25,000. It was then that the BPA leadership determined the need to create a separate, tax-exempt organization. The focus was to raise scholarship funds to assure that high school graduates had an opportunity to advance to higher education.

BPACF scholarship recipients attend Ohio colleges and universities. Eligible students must be African American, demonstrate financial need, be preferably from the Cleveland and surrounding areas, and maintain at least a 2.6 grade point average. While not a requirement, we encourage our scholarships recipients to return to Cleveland.

The Black Professional of the Year Award is given to an individual in Northeast Ohio who is a “high achiever” in their profession and a role model for African American youth. The selection criteria include a review of the individual’s professional contributions, civic engagement, personal standards/ethics, and visibility. All individuals nominated are scored in each of these areas and the final candidate is the person who receives the highest total score.