A proud native of the picturesque island of New Providence, nestled in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Reverend Don Darius Butler, was nurtured in the Christian faith in the Pentecostal tradition and professed his hope in Christ as a Baptist. In his formative years, Butler received a clear assurance of a divine call to preach the gospel and gave full evidence of his calling at the Mission Baptist Church of Nassau, where he was later licensed and ordained.
Yielding to the leading of God, the teenage minister moved more than 1,500 miles from his native Nassau, Bahamas, to Nashville, TN, where he matriculated at American Baptist College, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and Theology. His theological studies continued at Vanderbilt University Divinity School as a Kelly Miller Smith Scholar. There he was awarded a Master of Divinity degree with honors, along with the Saint James Academy Award for preaching, and a certificate in Black Church Studies. Reverend Butler later received the Doctor of Ministry degree at Duke Divinity School. He currently chairs the Board of Trustees of his beloved alma mater, American Baptist College.
A member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Reverend Butler is an avid traveler, lover of books and connoisseur of authentic Caribbean cuisine. He is married to Attorney La Keisha Wright Butler – they have been blessed with a daughter, Dahlia Marie.
Reverend Butler honed his pastoral care skills, during a yearlong chaplain residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at Norton Healthcare, Louisville, KY. His compassion and gift for the ministry of pastoral caregiving was further refined during his tenure at Kosair Children’s Hospital.
From 2009 to 2019, Reverend Butler led the Tabernacle Community Baptist Church, an urban congregation in Milwaukee, WI. By the Spirit’s enablement, Butler elevated Tabernacle’s spiritual growth and impact, and renewed its social witness in the city. Specifically, the congregation co-hosted a gun buyback which took more than 300 weapons off the streets. Following the fatal shooting of a third-grader, Tabernacle opened its doors to the city to lament and address the epidemic of gun violence. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Butler elevated the community conversation on gun violence to a national one by hosting a town hall forum at Tabernacle with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of Sandra Bland.
In addition to his pastoral assignments, Reverend Butler has pursued and/or been recognized for ministry in the following contexts:
- Former Board Member, So Send I You, Inc., an African American global missions initiative;
- Former Associate Chaplain, Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office;
- Leader, Milwaukee Associates-In-Ministry, Milwaukee, WI
- New Clergy Program – Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY
- Wycliffe Hall School of Preaching – University of Oxford, Oxford, England, UK
- Martin Luther King, Jr. College of Pastoral Leadership at Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College, Atlanta GA
In February 2019, Reverend Butler was named Pastor of the First Missionary Baptist Church (FMBC), Huntsville, AL, and successor to the 42-year pastoral ministry of its Pastor Emeritus, the Reverend Dr. Julius R. Scruggs, former National President of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. Reverend Butler is blessed to lead the ministry of this thriving church with a rich history and bright future.
Reverend Butler’s writings are published in The African American Pulpit; The African American Lectionary; and Walk Together Children: Black and Womanist Theologies, Church and Theological Education. According to Proverbs 18:16, the gift of this prolific servant of God has made room for him to serve, lecture, teach, preach and bear compelling witness to the matchless power and timeless truth of the gospel in numerous and diverse settings in the Caribbean, across the U.S. and on the continent of Africa.