Coming full faith circle

New pastor at Greater Mt. Moriah Baptist

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 9/7/2023, 6 p.m.
The Rev. Donté McCutchen has taken the pulpit at Greater Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, adding to an already busy schedule.
Rev. McCutchen

The Rev. Donté McCutchen has taken the pulpit at Greater Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, adding to an already busy schedule.

The energetic 38-year-old Richmond native already is pastor of the 150-member Love Cathedral Community Church that he founded in 2015 in South Side.

A former city Health Department employee, he also is the full-time wellness coordinator at Virginia Union University, with responsibility for improving the health and well-being of students.

Still, he said he was eager to shoulder the responsibility of leading Great Mt. Moriah, the church he grew up in.

Raised by a grandmother in the Gilpin Court area of Jackson Ward, Rev. McCutchen said that the church at 913 N. 1st St. was just a few doors away from where he lived, and he regarded the pastor, the Rev. Kenneth E. Dennis Sr., until his death in February 2021, as his mentor.

“I have a lot of emotion about becoming the pastor of the church in the neighborhood where I was born and raised,” Rev. McCutchen said. “The community protected and shielded me as I grew up. Now I have an opportunity to continue the legacy of this church as an important resource,” particularly as a food distribution site five days a week.

He said the Love Cathedral grew out of his service to Greater Mt. Moriah, creating a bond between the two churches, each of which he said lists about 150 members on the rolls.

One top goal, he said, is to begin rebuilding the Greater Mt. Moriah congregation that began to shrink after more than two years without a pastor.

He took the pulpit Aug. 20 and now preaches Sunday services at 10 a.m. at Greater Mt. Moriah and then drives across the James River to lead the noon service at Love Cathedral located at 3120 Hull St.

Rev. McCutchen also wears other hats.

He leads the Heart for the City nonprofit that he created at Love Cathedral and chairs the Healing, Educating and Loving People or HELP Community Advisory Board. He also is active in the Richmond Chapter of the James Cleveland Gospel Music Workshop of America and serves on the board of the Richmond Boys Choir.

A graduate of Virginia Union, he earned his master’s of divinity at the university’s seminary in 2018 and was licensed to preach by the Rev. Marvin Jefferson of Christian Deliverance Fellowship Ministries.

Before starting his current VUU position earlier this year, Rev. McCutchen had been part of the Richmond City Health District staff since 2008. He was part of the team that investigated communicable diseases. He also helped create a night clinic through the Minority Health Consortium and served as a trauma health coordinator for adults and youths impacted by gun violence.

Meanwhile, another Jackson Ward church, historic Ebenezer Baptist, has begun the search for a new pastor following the departure of Dr. Adam L. Bond, who is now an assistant professor of religion and African-American studies at Baylor University in Texas.