Rev. Dr. Semaj Y. Vanzant, Sr. is a trained theologian who brings to the pastorate an intimate commitment to his calling that is reasonably demonstrated through forward-thinking leadership, organizational and motivational skills. He graduated Magna Cum Laude, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Minor in Psychology from Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania, and his Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey. Pastor Vanzant received his Doctor of Ministry degree from St. Paul’s School of Theology. His Ordination for Ministry was received at Church of the Redeemer Baptist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania via the American Baptist Churches, USA, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Wayne E. Croft, Sr.
Pastor Vanzant served in a “Transition Into Ministry” program for two years at The Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, New York. During this time he focused on evangelism, developed an assimilation process, successfully brokered relationships between the church and community organizations, established a young adult ministry, and worked extensively with youth. His repertoire of sermonic presentations is extensive having preached all across the United States as well as Liberia, Africa, and Jerusalem, Israel.
In 2011 Pastor Vanzant was asked by the Oklahoma Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church to pastor a church re-start. The church grew in leaps and bounds, seeing an increase of over 300% in worship attendance, outreach, and other significant areas of ministry. Pastor Vanzant was a true change agent bringing this ministry through a transition of its core values with the goal of becoming a relevant and vital ministry.
Pastor Vanzant is currently serving as the lead pastor-teacher at Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park, NJ where already they have experienced growth in many areas especially discipleship and worship.
Pastor Vanzant is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He is united in the bonds of Holy Matrimony with Carla Renee and is the proud father of Semaj Jr. and Seth.