Reverend Reginald Lee Bachus Serves as Bethune-Cookman University's Fall 2019 President's Assembly Keynote Speaker
On Wednesday, September 11, 2019 Reverend Reginald Lee Bachus, Associate Pastor of the landmark Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York will serve as the Fall 2019 President’s Assembly keynote at 11:15 a.m. at Bethune-Cookman University. Reverend Bachus is also a founding member of The 400 Foundation, a faith-based effort to advance economic equity in NYC’s development and construction industry. Rev. Bachus has a diverse background in religion, community development and organizing, real estate, and most recently law.
Rev. Bachus is a third-generation Baptist Pastor who has been involved in the faith community since childhood. He grew up in Kansas City, where his academic performance earned him a full scholarship to Prairie View A&M University in Texas. In college, he created a mentor program for black males and started his own media and marketing company. In 2006, following a vision that came to him in a dream, he moved to New Haven to attend Yale Divinity School. During this time, he also commuted on the weekends to work at churches in New York and New Jersey.
Following graduation, Rev. Bachus joined his father as a pastor at Friendship Baptist Church in Chicago. There, he began his community organizing career and alos helped catalyze Austin Coming Together (ACT), a collective impact initiative for social change on Chicago’s Westside. In 2010, ACT birthed a ten-year plan for community change that is still in operation. In 2011, Rev. Bachus accepted a call to the Senior Pastorate of Mt. Ollie Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY. In four years, he led Mt. Ollie to triple its membership, add an additional worship service, and to establish programs to assist local youth, community and NYCHA residents get long overdue repairs.
During this time, Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, Senior Pastor at the Abyssinian Church, took notice of Rev. Bachus’ diverse skill set and leadership promise. Dr. Butts invited Rev. Bachus to join him at Abyssinian, where Rev. Bachus became Associate Pastor in 2015. Soon after, he assumed the additional role of CEO of Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC), which was in severe financial distress and on the verge of closing its doors. Under Rev. Bachus’ steady leadership, ADC has since been stabilized, put back in the black and back on the path of advancing its 30-year mission of faith-based community development.
Through his work at ADC, Rev. Bachus discovered Real Estate Development and Construction as a solution for creating sustained change and economic uplift for black communities. These industries are permanent economies that provide opportunities for employment and economic mobility to persons of all skill levels, educations, and backgrounds. Rev. Bachus recently started attending law school at Hofstra University on a full scholarship so that he could better advocate for the sector’s inclusion of African Americans and founded the 400 Foundation to advance this goal. The 400 Foundation aims to change the current lexicon of career aspirations for children of color and advocates for policy changes to allow minorities more access to jobs, contracts, and capital in development and construction. The 400 Foundation came out the gate with big legislative wins in 2019 and new partnerships with the state legislators.
In October 2017 Rev. Bachus was wed to the former Brittany E. Kess at The Abyssinian Baptist Church. Rev. Bachus is first and foremost a preacher of the Gospel who lives by the creed “woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9.16