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Biography of 
Reverend Dr. Samuel C. Tolbert, Jr.

Dr. Samuel C. Tolbert, Jr. stands as a stalwart figure in a lifetime dedicated to Christian service, shaping communities, and influencing global networks with his multifaceted leadership. As the esteemed pastor of Greater St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana, for nearly four decades, Dr. Tolbert’s impact extends far beyond the pulpit. His unwavering commitment to spiritual guidance has resonated with Christians across the globe, fostering an unusual sense of community and purpose.

In addition to his pastoral role, Dr. Tolbert has been a transformative force in various leadership positions. Serving as the President of the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. (NBCA), he provides visionary direction to one of the preeminent Baptist conventions.

His role as President Emeritus of the Louisiana Home & Foreign Missions Baptist State Convention reflects a longstanding commitment to missions and the global outreach of the Baptist community. Reverend Tolbert’s presidency of the North American Baptist Fellowship, boasting a membership of over 19 million Baptists in North America as a Division of the Baptist World Alliance, further solidify his position as a key figure in the Baptist landscape.

Additionally, Reverend Tolbert wears multiple hats in various esteemed organizations, further amplifying his impact on both local and global fronts. As the President of the Greater St. Mary Community Development Foundation, he spearheads initiatives aimed at enhancing the well-being of the community. Simultaneously, as the President and CEO of Strategic Faith Leadership Ministries, Reverend Tolbert extends his influence to matters of strategic leadership within the faith community.

Reverend Tolbert’s rich history of leadership includes significant roles such as being the President of the Louisiana Inter-Church Conference, 1st Vice President and General Secretary of the National Baptist Convention of America International, Inc., and a member of the National Board of the NAACP. His influence extends to the regional level as the former 1st Vice President of the Southwest Missionary Baptist Association. These diverse roles underscore Reverend Tolbert’s commitment to holistic community development, strategic faith leadership, and the global outreach of the Baptist faith. His multifaceted contributions continue to shape the landscape of religious, civic, and social initiatives.

Academically, Dr. Tolbert’s journey is marked by a quest for knowledge and theological understanding. Beginning at McNeese State University and the Delta School of Business, he laid the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of education. His Bachelor of Arts degree from the Historic Bishop College in Dallas, Texas, was a stepping stone to further theological studies at Shaw Divinity School and Payne Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity. The culmination of his academic endeavors came with the attainment of a Doctor of Ministry from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee.

Dr. Tolbert’s influence extends into the realm of higher education administration, serving as Chairman of the Board at Simmons College of Kentucky and on the Board of Supervisors for the Southern University System in Baton Rouge, Louisiana which is the only HBCU University System in the country. Additionally, he plays a pivotal role as a member of the Board of Trustees of Fuller Theological Seminary, contributing to the institution’s academic and spiritual legacy across multiple locations.

Beyond his religious and academic commitments, Dr. Tolbert has proven himself as a civic leader with a keen interest in community development. Having served as a Commissioner for the Lake Charles Housing Authority, a representative of District “A” on the Lake Charles City Council for an impressive 12 years, and a member of the Board of the Louisiana Economic Development Corporation, he has actively shaped local policies and initiatives.

Dr. Tolbert’s commitment to civic engagement is complemented by his entrepreneurial spirit. As the President and CEO of Royal Magnolia Enterprises (RME), a consulting and distribution company founded in 2018, he brings a wealth of experience to the business realm.

A member of the esteemed Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Dr. Tolbert seamlessly weaves his commitment to faith and leadership. His role in this historic African American fraternity reflects his dedication to fostering brotherhood and service.

Driven by a deep sense of mission, Dr. Tolbert has undertaken a global journey to fulfill The Great Commission in Matthew 28. Organizing, leading, partnering, and participating in mission trips, he has spread the Gospel of Christ across diverse regions, including the Bahamas, Canada, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Norway, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, Switzerland, and Zimbabwe.

In the tapestry of his personal life, Dr. Tolbert is married to Matilda Edwards Tolbert, a partnership that has endured for almost four decades. Together, they are the proud parents of two daughters, Candace Latrice, and Kayla Monique. Dr. Tolbert’s life is a testament to his enduring dedication to faith, education, service, and the enrichment of both local and global communities