Faith Leader, Social Engineer, Entrepreneur, Idea Maker, Communicator, and Friend are just some of the words that describe Charles Jenkins who is a leader widely respected and revered for his generous heart, innovative thinking, contemporary leadership, diverse influence, business savvy and holistic approach to social change and large-scale community development. Jenkins lives a lifestyle of giving.
For the past 13 years Jenkins has been widely known as the Senior Pastor of the historic Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago, a rapidly growing multi-location congregation founded by civil rights pioneer Reverend Clay Evans. Under Jenkins’ leadership at Fellowship, each year thousands of individuals in need are fed, clothed and impacted through various outreach efforts.
Jenkins is also Founding President of Fellowship Educational and Economic Development Corporation (FEED), a 501c3 that focuses on education, community development, job creation, public safety, and urban renewal in Chicago inner-city neighborhoods. FEED is currently leading a $26 million effort known as The Legacy Project estimated to produce 400 new jobs creating a socioeconomic oasis to enhance Chicago’s Southside. Under the FEED umbrella, Jenkins also founded Gladiators, a mentoring program that focuses on teaching young African-American men how to fight to win in life. Additionally among many efforts to curb Chicago’s violence, Jenkins convened street gang founders to broker strategies for intervention and peace.
Jenkins’ service to others spans beyond his local context to global efforts. He has traveled internationally serving the poor alongside leaders of Charity Water, who build clean water wells around the world and with World Vision who feed and educate millions globally. In 2010, he convened recording artists such as Common, Lalah Hathaway, Donald Lawrence, Marvin Sapp and others along with national leaders for a benefit known as Chicago’s Hope for Haiti which raised over $150,000 for victims of the devastation.
He is also a GRAMMY® award-winning songwriter, multi Stellar award-winning recording artist, music producer, author and connector. Jenkins is the founding CEO of Inspired People LLC, a music company conglomerate committed to globally inspiring people through music, fashion, resources, and enriching events. In 2012, under his indie label, Jenkins spun the company’s first project “The Best of Both Worlds,” which debuted the #1 Christian Album in America on iTunes and Amazon, while also becoming the #1 gospel album on Billboard for 3 weeks. Additionally, from this highly acclaimed album came the global mega hit “Awesome” penned by Jenkins which remained #1 on the Billboard Gospel charts for over 5 amazing months becoming an international anthem for music lovers.
Jenkins’ leadership further extends to the public sector where he serves on a number of community, corporate, educational and governmental boards. Jenkins is a sought after voice who has been a featured speaker on widely respected stages including the International Business Dinner during 2011’s National Prayer Breakfast Week at The White House and The Inaugural Prayer Service of President Barack Obama in 2013.
A graduate of Moody Bible Institute and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Jenkins has also received countless awards and citations for his service including being inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers and Scholars at Morehouse College, being selected as one of Black Enterprise Magazine’s Urban Business Game Changers under 40. Jenkins is also a recipient of The Gift of Hope’s highest honor, The Lifesaving Partner Award for leading thousands to become organ donors in Illinois saving countless lives.
A man of balance, Jenkins is married to Dr. Tara Rawls Jenkins and has 3 beautiful children Princess, Paris, and Charles III. Jenkins loves Jesus, loves his family, loves serving and helping others and enjoys a good cup of decaf coffee. Charles Jenkins lives by his own personal mantra “Don’t Box Me In!”