Rev. Jimmie Ray Hawkins

Director of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness

Rev. Jimmie Ray Hawkins serves as the Director of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness in Washington, DC.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies from North Carolina Central University (Durham, NC); a Master of Arts in Christian Education from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (Richmond, VA); and a Master of Divinity from the Interdenominational Theological Center/Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary (Atlanta, GA).

For twenty years he served as the pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Durham, NC, 1996-2016.  Between 1992-1996, he served as the senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian, Holmes Memorial and Trinity Presbyterian Churches in Virginia (Peaks Presbytery).

He served as Treasurer on the Church World Service global board and as a board member of the National Council of Churches. He was a board trustee with Union Presbyterian Seminary. He is a tri-chair of the Washington Interreligious Staff Community and the Heads of Washington Offices. He has chaired several interfaith /ecumenical and non-profit boards.

His community ministry includes being a leader for the Moral Monday Movement since its onset in 2013. He has participated in three actions of civil disobedience protesting the actions of the NC General Assembly to curtail voting rights, refusal to expand Medicaid, HB2 and other draconian legislation. He served as a member of the NC NAACP Executive Committee and has been active in justice advocacy throughout his ministry. He is engaged with the Poor People’s Campaign and participated in a direct action at the Supreme Court in 2017.

His book, Unbroken and Unbowed: A History of Black Protest in America, published by Westminster John Knox Press, came out in February 2022.

He is the son of Elsie L. and the late James P. Hawkins. He is married to Sheinita Hampton Hawkins and they have two children: Kaela Renee and James Hampton.

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