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About Reverend Kenneth Darryl Ray Clayton

Kenneth Darryl Ray Clayton is the Senior Pastor of the St. Luke Baptist Church of Paterson, NJ. A native of Paterson, he is the oldest of three children born to Vivian Clayton and the late George Clayton and is a product of schools of this city.
At an early age, he confessed Christ as his personal savior, was baptized and became a member of the Shiloh Baptist Church of Paterson. In April of 1988, he acknowledged his call to the preaching ministry, and was subsequently given license to preach by the Shiloh Church on September 18, 1988.
In 1990, he united with the Calvary Baptist Church of Garfield, NJ, under the pastoral leadership of the Rev. Dr. Calvin McKinney. In 1991, he was added to the church staff in a full time position.
Rev. Clayton is a graduate of Upsala College of East Orange, NJ where he earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. He graduated from New York Theological Seminary where he earned the Master of Divinity degree, in 1997. He is currently enrolled at New York Theological Seminary pursuing the Doctor of Ministry degree with a focus on preaching.
He is active within the ranks of the Baptist denomination having served in a variety of capacities within the national, state, and local levels of the Baptist family. He is past president of the United Missionary Baptist Convention of NJ, Inc. and in 2014 was appointed to serve as the statistician of the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. He is also an Executive Board Member of the Hampton University Ministers Conference.
In 1994, he was selected to serve as the Special Assistant to the Editor of the National Baptist Voice, the official organ of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. and in 1995, he served as the Assistant Editor of the Voice, for one year. In addition, Rev. Clayton has also written for the New York Beacon, and the New Jersey Christian Chronicles. He is also a contributor to Living Under an Imposed Sentence: Imprints from the Preaching Life of Dr. Charles E. Booth, and the Soul of Manhood, a book of sermons for men.
In 1996, Rev. Clayton was called to serve as the Assistant Pastor of the St. Luke Baptist Church of Paterson, NJ then under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. A. M. Tyler. He began service to St. Luke on Easter Sunday of 1997. At Rev. Tyler’s death, Rev. Clayton was named Acting Pastor and on Wednesday, October 22, 1997 the St. Luke Church officially extended the call to Rev. Clayton to serve as the sixth (and youngest) pastor in their history.
Under his leadership, St. Luke has experienced significant qualitative spiritual, and physical growth as the St. Luke Church emphasizes worship, discipleship, fellowship, outreach, and service as its primary purposes.
In addition to developing a full time staff to accommodate the needs of this growing congregation, Pastor Clayton has postured the congregation to begin serving through ministries that extend beyond the walls of the church building into the Paterson community. The church gives significantly to home and foreign missions, and provides financial assistance to students, and a wide-range of institutions and organizations.   In addition, they sponsor a church supported food and clothing pantry (CHRISTHOUSE). The church is seen weekly in the Paterson area through a church sponsored television broadcast, “Determined”, featuring the preaching/teaching ministry of Pastor Clayton. Several local partnerships allow the church to sponsor an After School Program, Summer Camp, and a meaningful partnership with an adjacent Public School. In collaboration with the Children’s Defense Fund St. Luke opened Paterson’s First Freedom School in 2010. The creation of the St. Luke Community Development Center (CDC) has resulted in housing development, rehabilitative programs, and other vital community renewal programs including the Summer Youth Employment Program, that partnered with area businesses to provide meaningful summer employment to youth. In 2007 he led the congregation in building a school on the continent of Africa. St. Luke also hosted a satellite site for Felician College under his leadership.
Widely traveled, Rev. Clayton has preached extensively throughout the country.
Realizing that he is a servant of God and God’s people, Rev. Clayton is an advocate for human rights and social justice. He was the first African-American male to be appointed a Commissioner on the Board of the Passaic County Technical and Vocational High School, where he served as Vice-President. He also formerly served as member of the Board of Commissioners for the Passaic County Board of Social Services. He presently serves on the Board of Commissioners of the Paterson Parking Authority where he formerly served as President. He has been featured in local and national media outlets for his advocacy in our community. He is a life member and current President of the Paterson Branch NAACP.
In addition to a broad preaching ministry, he is also a frequent teacher and lecturer.
He has served as an Adjunct Professor for Palmer Theological Seminary’s (formerly Eastern Baptist Seminary) Certificate in Christian Ministry Program. He is the recipient of numerous awards and citations too numerous to mention. Among his many notable honors, was his 2006 induction to the prestigious Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College of Atlanta, Georgia, and his invitation to be the Keynote Preacher for the 2003 Martin Luther King Celebration at Connecticut College’s Harkness Chapel (New London, CT). In 2012 Rev. Clayton was privileged to participate in a White House Briefing for selected community leaders from around the country and he was also honored to have been present to hear President Barack Obama deliver his third State of the Union Address to the 112th Congress on January 24, 2012.


Rev. Clayton is the proud father of twin sons Kenneth and Kendrick. He prides himself as, “A Pastor Determined to Know Christ and Make Him Known.”

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