Safe Harbor Gathering 2009 Speakers | Schedule | Register Now

Dr. Donald Hilliard, Jr.

Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr. serves as the senior pastor of Cathedral International—The Historic Second Baptist Church in Perth Amboy, NJ. Dr. Hilliard’s willingness to “Say Yes!” to the Lord has fostered his ability to provide leadership in the exponential growth of the church over the last 25 years. Now, “One Church in Three Locations,” the Cathedral International has expanded its ministry to serve the specific needs of three different locations in New Jersey: Cathedral International in Perth Amboy, Cathedral International in Asbury Park, and Cathedral International in Plainfield. Cited by the American Baptist Churches (USA) as a model for church growth, Cathedral International is a multifaceted, relevant church with many of its members traveling from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Cathedral International reaches the lives of many people with 60 ministries operating on its’ three campuses. By way of the internet, Cathedral International now also reaches across the globe via Cathedral International will soon break ground on 100 acres in Cranbury, NJ to erect its new edifice - The Gateway Cathedral International.

Dr. Hilliard’s transformational mindset is reflected in the numerous community development initiatives established under his leadership. He is the Founder and CEO of the Cathedral Community Development Corporation (CCDC), an umbrella organization providing a variety of outreach services to the local community. “Jennifer’s Joy in the City” is a childcare educational center. The “Cathedral Community Counseling Center” provides mental support for both the church and the community. The “Cathedral Bible Institute” in partnership with Oral Roberts University and Somerset Christian College provides insightful biblical education that deepens the student’s level of commitment and service to the Kingdom of God. The “Cathedral Family Life Center” houses a banquet center, library and a creative dance center while the SPOT Youth Chapel provides space for various youth and young adult activities.  In total, the Cathedral and the CCDC own nine properties, several of which offer worship, educational and economic empowerment opportunities. These efforts produced “Cathedral Village”, affordable housing units that were sold to first time homeowners.  The church has been cited by the city and state as a major catalyst for the renewal and development of the City of Perth Amboy. Click here for Dr. Hilliard's full Bio.

Rev. Michele Bazin

Reverend Michele Bazin, is the Senior Pastor of New Horizon Baptist Church, located in Groveville, New Jersey.  Pastor Bazin proclaims the word of God with a practical, energetic, insightful, humorous, and charismatic preaching style.  She has ministered as far north as First Hopewell Baptist Church, Newark, and as far west as Emmanuel Baptist Church in San Jose, California, and she also has had the honor to minister and preach in Cape town, South Africa.  She is dedicated to spreading the good news of the Gospel to everyone she meets.  She is native of Newark, New Jersey and received her call to preach in 1997 under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Donald Hilliard, II  of the Cathedral International Church of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, where she was licensed to preach the Gospel in 2003.  She has served faithfully for over twenty years in the areas of Youth Ministry and Pastoral care before her call to Pastor in 2004.

Pastor Bazin earned her B.A. degree in Social Work and English from Rutgers University, and has beeb employed by the Essex County Division of Citizen Services for the past twenty-five years serving presently as a Social Work Administrator.  She furthered her education by attending New Brunswick Theological Seminary where she earned her Masters of Divinity and is currently rolled as a candidate for a Doctor of Ministry degree.

Reverend Bazin is married, she has one daughter, and is a grandmother of one.  She is most grateful for the Lord that continues to guide and stretch her ministry and for the people of God that pray and lift up her arms in support and encouragement.  If she was to sum up her ministry in a sentence, it would be, “Because I have been blessed, I am going to be a Blessing.  To God be the Glory for the great things he has done.”

Rev. Cedric C. Johnson

Rev. Cedric C. Johnson is a Ph.D. candidate in pastoral theology at Princeton Theological Seminary.  He holds the M Div. degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and the MSW degree from the Hunter College School of Social Work.  His research and teaching interests include spirituality and mental health, trauma and identity development.  He has over fifteen years of clinical experience as a psychotherapist working in the fields of community mental health and substance abuse treatment.  Ordained as an elder in the Church of God in Christ, he works as a consultant for pastors and congregations in New York and New Jersey on issues related to individual, couples and family therapy.  He also provides discrete and private counseling services for pastors, executives and other leaders.


Dr. Deniece Reid

The Reverend Deniece Reid is a native of Westfield, New Jersey.  She attended the Westfield public school system and is a graduate of Westfield High School.   

She has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Upsala College; a Master of Social Work degree from Rutgers University; a Masters of Arts in Theological Studies degree from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary; and a Doctorate of Ministry Degree from Drew University as a Hilliard Fellow.  She is also an adjunct professor at Drew University and Somerset Christian College, a certified Addictions Counselor, an Associate of the Family Therapy Institute of New Jersey and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

Reverend Reid presently serves as a staff pastor at Cathedral International in Perth Amboy New Jersey where Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr. is the senior pastor, and executive Director of the Cathedral Community Counseling Center. Reverend Reid was licensed to preach the Gospel in 1985 at Bethel Baptist Church in Westfield, New Jersey.  She was ordained in the Christian Ministry in 1996 at Cathedral International.  She also served as Assistant pastor of New Hope Church/Training Center at Rutgers University.

Since 1973, Reverend Reid has been employed by various social service/mental health agencies and educational institutions in New Jersey.  She has had vast experiences working with youth, families, communities in the capacities of Youth Ministry Coordinator, Individual/Family Clinician, Substance Abuse Clinical Coordinator and Clinician, Community systems Coordinator and Professional Consultant.

She has also conducted numerous seminars/workshops for organizations, ministries and churches on various topics and issues such as marriage and family, parenting, additions, grief, cultural sensitivity, lay counseling and leadership program development from a Clinical/Biblical perspective.

She is the recipient of various awards for her church and professional services, including Outstanding Young Woman of America – 1976 and the National Cultural and Economic Diversity Award from the American Family Therapy Academy – 1997.

Reverend Reid is a contributing author of a chapter entitled “Addictions, African-Americans and The Christian Journey” in the book Bridges to Recovery released in March 2000.

Reverend Reid gives God All the Glory for her life experiences and accomplishments.  Jesus Christ is her Lord and Savior and the Holy Spirit is her teacher of all truth.

“When I think of the goodness of Jesus and all He has done for me, my very soul cries out Hallelujah! I thank God for saving me.”

The Reverend William D. Watley, Ph.D.

The Reverend William D. Watley, PhD. Is the beloved Senior Pastor of the historic St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Newark, NJ.  Under his leadership, St. James has grown spiritually, numerically, and financially.  Membership has tripled, the number of weekly worship services has doubled, and the annual church income has increased by 700%.

Dr. Watley’s ministry is characterized by a multifaceted approach that aims to provide holistic care to those he serves.  To this end, he established the St. James Social Services Corporation which oversees a daily feeding program and food pantry that dispenses over 89,000 meals annually, a clothes closet that distributes over 20,000 articles of clothing per year, an Intergenerational After School Care Program and Safe Haven Summer Peace Camp for children, as well as various emergency service, mentoring, literacy and employment training programs for adults.  Dr. Watley is the visionary and founder of St. James Preparatory School, a state of the art Christian middle and high school for grades 7-12 with a 100% college acceptance rate and the only high school built from the ground by the AME Church during the 20th century.  He was instrumental in forming a partnership between New Jersey Medical School’s Department of Family Medicine, University Hospital and St. James Church to bring the University Center for Family Medicine to the St. James Prep campus. In addition, Dr. Watley is the chairperson of the Board of Directors for the 220 unit St. James Towers.

Dr. Watley is an innovative worship leader who has made the Wednesday “Sweet Hour of Praise” Service world renowned for its dynamic worship and inspirational messages.  This service has become a model for the other ministries across the nation.  Now in its sixteenth year, the service has grown from a one worshipper to nearly eight hundred weekly.  Most recently, Dr. Watley has launched his 1 church in 2 locations initiative by adding a contemporary, multi-cultural Sunday worship service which is held at the Movie Theatre in Cedar Grove Shopping Mall.  In addition, a ministry was implemented to execute Dr. Watley’s vision for a global ministry. has made weekly worship services, sermons, bible studies, and prayers easily accessible to the masses via the internet where viewers from over 45 countries regularly log on.

A preacher par excellence, Dr. Watley’s homiletical ability is both nationally and internationally recognized.  He has the distinction of being the Conference Preacher for the Hampton University Minister’s Conference for two consecutive years as well as a Conference Lecturer.  At the invitation of the Church of God in Christ, Inc., Dr. Watley preached to over 20,000 people at their annual International Holy Convocation.  He was a lecturer for the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church’s Pastor’s Conference held at Philips School of Theology.  Dr. Watley has preached at the Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, as well as Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Men Are Builders Conference.  Moreover, Dr. Watley has preached on the continents of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America in addition to the island nations of Cuba, Barbados, Bermuda, and Trinidad.

A mentor and educator, Dr. Watley served as President and Distinguished Professor of Religion of Paul Quinn College in Waco, Texas.  He was a visiting professor at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New York Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary as well as a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Payne and Turner Theological Seminaries.

A prolific author, Dr. Watley has written sixteen books and has authored several booklets and articles throughout the past two decades.  He is the founder and C.E.O. of New Seasons Press, the publishing division of William Watley Ministries.

In January 2002, Dr. Watley was the first African American to be appointed Chief Executive Officer and Secretary of the New Jersey Commerce & Economic Growth Commission responsible for implementing considerable aspects of New Jersey’s economic policy.  He led the first trade mission from New Jersey to South Africa and convened the first state-wide conference on Commerce for New Jersey’s business community.  Over 1500 business persons participated.

Dr. Watley has served as both a member and officeholder for several prominent organizations over the last twenty years.  An ecumenical leader, Dr. Watley served as the Associate General Secretary of the Council on Church Union (COCU), a member of the Missions Unit for the World Council of Churches (WCC), and a member of the Governing Board for the National Council of Churches (NCC).  He served on the Board of Directors for Beth Israel and Horizon/Mercy Hospitals, the United Negro College Fund and the Fund for Theological Education.  In addition, he was a member of the Advisory Boards for First Union Bank, the African American Pulpit, and the Interpreter’s Bible Commentaries.

Dr. Watley received his Bachelor of Arts in Theology from St. Louis University and a Master of Divinity from the Interdenominational Theological Center.  He received a Master of Philosophy and his Doctor of Philosophy in Ethics from Columbia University. He holds a Doctor of Divinity from Payne Theological Seminary, and in addition, completed post-doctoral work at the Ecumenical Institute in Celigny, Switzerland and Harvard’s Institute for Education Management.


More Information