Rev. Willie Barnes, Jr., Ph.D. is the senior Pastor of Saint Paul A.M.E. Church.


He is an anointed preacher, teacher, motivator, and pastor, committed to delivering a relevant and contemporary message focused on faith, encouragement,and empowerment.


From an early age, Rev. Barnes discerned that his life would be rooted in ministry and service. This led him to formally acknowledge his calling to ministry during his time at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, Rev. Barnes entered the Master of Divinity degree program at Yale Divinity School (YDS).


In 2012, after completing seminary studies at YDS, Rev. Barnes began his pastoral ministry with an appointment to Bethel A.M.E. Church, in DeLand, FL. During his time there, he led this historic congregation through a period of growth, rebranding, and community-focused ministry.


From 2013-2018, Rev. Barnes served as pastor of Mount Zion A.M.E. Church in Daytona Beach, FL. During this time, in addition to his pastoral ministry, Rev. Barnes also held positions as adjunct professor of religion at Bethune-Cookman University and University Chaplain at Stetson University in DeLand, FL.


From 2018-2021, Rev. Barnes also served as the pastor of Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church in Downtown/Overtown Miami, FL. Here, strategic partnerships were formed, structural renovations were completed, and community outreach was increased.


In November 2022, Rev. Barnes was assigned as the 36 th pastor of Saint Paul A.M.E. Church, Jacksonville, FL where he hopes to continue the legacy of leadership cultivated by his predecessors. In the spring of 2022, Rev. Barnes graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Ph.D. in sociology. His dissertation was entitled “Multiracial but not Post Racial: The Reproduction of Racial Ideology and Processes in a Multi-racial Church.” Rev. Barnes academic interests include race, religion, and social inequalities.


He is the proud husband to Rev. FranShon Reid-Barnes, a sixth generation A.M.E. preacher and entrepreneur and the father to Harleaux Marie Reid Barnes.