BUCKHANNON, West Virginia – Rev. Dr. Vance P. Ross ‘79, a native of Bluefield, West Virginia, will give the address at West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Baccalaureate Ceremony Friday, May 6 at 7 p.m. in Wesley Chapel.

Ross currently serves as Senior Pastor of the Historic Central United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ross founded the United Methodist Convocation for Pastors of Black Churches and served as its Design Team Chairman for 22 years. He worked in the denomination’s Discipleship Ministries Agency as Deputy General Secretary, Associate General Secretary, Director of Annual Conference Relationships and Director of Evangelism.

In addition to serving at Central, Ross is a Doctor of Ministry Faculty Mentor at United Theological Seminary, Course of Study Faculty at Candler School of Theology, a member of Concerned Black Clergy, Atlanta and North Georgia Black Methodist for Church Renewal Advocacy Chairman. He also serves as Chairman of the North Georgia Annual Conference Commission on Religion and Race.

From 2011-2015 Ross served as Senior Pastor of the Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tenn. From 1998-2004, he pastored the First UMC of Hyattsville, Maryland, then the largest international and multi-cultural UMC in the Northeast.

Ross earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government/Youth Services from West Virginia Wesleyan College. He is an honor graduate of Gammon Seminary (ITC) and in 2015 earned the Doctor of Ministry degree at United Theological Seminary. A contributor to several books, including  “I’m Black, I’m Christian, I’m United Methodist,” he is also working on two projects for 2022 publication.

Ross is the husband of the Rev. Bridgette D. Young Ross, former Dean of the Chapel and Spiritual Life at Emory University, Atlanta. He has three adult children: Kristina, Alyssa and Bryant and two grandchildren, Christopher and Jaylie.

West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC) is a private, four-year residential liberal arts college in Buckhannon, West Virginia. A tradition of excellence for more than 130 years, West Virginia Wesleyan is home to 14 Fulbright Scholars. The Princeton Review ranked Wesleyan one of its 2022 Best Colleges in the Southeastern Region of the United States. U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best College Rankings designated Wesleyan a “Top 20” Best Value – Regional Universities (South) and one of the “Top 75” Regional Universities (South). WVWC offers students more than 40 majors and 40 minors; graduate programs in athletic training, business administration, creative writing, and nursing; 22 NCAA Division II athletic programs; multiple performing arts groups; and more than 70 organizations. Founded in 1890, the College is closely affiliated with the United Methodist Church and abides by the Wesley doctrine that emphasizes service to others. For more information, visit wvwc.edu.