SINCE 1979, THE REVEREND DR. KEVIN W. COSBY has served as Senior Pastor of St. Stephen Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Due greatly to his practical and dynamic Bible teachings, the congregation has grown from 500 to approximately 14,000 members, and has been recognized by Outreach magazine as one of the 100 largest churches in America (2010) and Emerge magazine as one of six “super churches” of the South. During his tenure at St. Stephen, the church has transformed from the “little church on the corner” to a multi-faceted institution that includes a 1,700-seat worship center, a cutting-edge $4 million inner-city family life center and a 1,000-seat worship facility in Jeffersonville, Indiana. In October 2013, Dr. Cosby began a satellite church in Hardin County, Kentucky. During the first Sunday’s service,
seventy people united with the church.
The thread of God’s hand is interwoven into the tapestry of Dr. Cosby’s life and ministry. The providence of God is seen most clearly in Dr. Cosby’s ministry in the resurgence of Simmons College of Kentucky (SCKY). In 1997, the Lord led Dr. Cosby to encourage the church to purchase the original four-acre campus of Simmons University (now Simmons College of KY) and convert the property into a lifestyle enrichment campus.
In 2005, Dr. Cosby was named the 13th President of Simmons. Two years later, because of his obedience to God’s guidance to purchase Simmons’ original campus a decade earlier, the college returned to their original campus. In the ten years of his tenure, he has refused more than $700,000 in salary from the college. Under his visionary direction, SCKY was granted accreditation by the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) in early 2014. Through President Cosby’s leadership, the college applied for official status as one of the nation’s Historically Black College & Universities (HBCU). In April 2015, Simmons College of Kentucky was officially designated the 107th HBCU. To God be the glory!
A staunch proponent of education, Dr. Cosby earned a Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Eastern Kentucky University, Bellarmine University and Campbellsville University.
He has held administrative and teaching assignments at Kentucky State University, the University of Louisville, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary. Additionally, his exceptional oratorical skills have garnered lecture engagements at universities and institutions all over the world, including Harvard University.
Dr. Cosby has authored five highly-acclaimed books: Get off Your But!: Messages, Musings & Ministries to Empower the African-American Church; As They Went; Treasure Worth Seeking; Who’s Your Daddy?: Life Lessons from the Prodigal Son and Loyal to the Royal. He has been a contributing writer to a number of books, journals and periodicals.
He has been the subject of many national articles and documentaries, which consistently list him among Kentucky’s most influential leaders. His 2007 selection as Louisvillian of the Year is a tribute to his outstanding contributions to the community. He was ranked #1 of the Top Ten Religious Leaders in Louisville by Louisville Magazine in the October 2011 issue. In the spring of 2012, he was inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni at Eastern Kentucky University. In February 2015, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights inducted Dr. Cosby into the Kentucky Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians at the state capitol. He is the 56th African American accorded this honor.
Although Dr. Cosby has achieved many notable accomplishments, he is most known for his intense commitment to serving the Lord through improving the lives of others.
Dr. Cosby is married to the former Barnetta Turner; they are the parents of two adult children.