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Dr. C. Dexter Wise III

Dr. C. Dexter Wise III’s passion for youth began in him as a youth in Baltimore, Md. There, he sang along with his siblings in a gospel group called The Wise Singers, which was led by his mother, Rev. Virginia Wise. He accepted the call to preach at the age of twelve, was licensed to preach at 16 and ordained to the gospel ministry at 19. He excelled as an AAU gymnast at the Druid Hill Ave. YMCA from the age of 8 to 15 and was a four-year varsity diver at Loyola High School in Towson, MD.


After winning a full scholarship for diving to the University of PA, he not only graduated Cum Laude in three years, but also taught gymnastics to inner city youth at the West Philadelphia YMCA and the downtown YWCA. While a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School, (from which he graduated at the top of his class Magna Cum Laude), and Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, he was the Youth Minister at the Union Baptist Church in Cambridge, MA.


At 23, Dr. Wise became the pastor of The Ebenezer Baptist Church in Providence R.I, and while there was awarded the Rose Butler Brown Award for Community Service by the students at Brown University. As the Pastor of the historic Shiloh Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio, at 27, he was selected as one of Columbus Ohio’s Ten Outstanding young people under 30. During his tenure there, he became one of the first Christian rappers as the Rappin’ Reverand and released his hit rap song I Ain’t Into That which became the #1 R and B song in Detroit, MI and #14 on the dance charts in London, England.


Other outgrowths of his Rappin’ Reverend ministry were an album called: Crack Attack and books: Be a Man, and I Ain’t Into That. Also as the Rappin’ Reverend, he completed a 90 day tour to 50 Columbus schools and got over 18,000 commitments from children to live drug free, crime free and alcohol free for the rest of their lives. Furthermore, he was heard three times every day for several years on WVKO radio sharing his famous ABC’s of Effective Parenting which were based on the book he wrote with the same name.


He earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH and developed the I’m A Leader program which was initially completed by over 200 teens in a summer work program. It is an eight-part video series which trains young people of all ages to embrace and demonstrate leadership. Under his leadership, Faith in Action, Inc. was awarded an $800,000 grant to offer a five year after school program partnering with Mifflin Middle School. He responded to a request from the KIPP football team’s coach for a mentor and met to motivate the team after practice on Thursdays before their Friday night games. He continues to speak at schools, churches, conferences, and other places around the world where youth can be found to motivate and encourage them to lead positive and productive lives.


Do you know where your children are? is just the latest in the long line of his efforts to reach young people. Here, his hope is to simply raise this question, spark conversation, and facilitate actions which will help us all raise a generation of young people who not only know where they are, but where they are going.


He and his wife of more than 50 years, Dr. Shirley D. Wise, live in the Central Ohio area, have four adult children and nine grandchildren to keep them both forever young!

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