“Opportunity and Opposition are partners. They are the two tracks the train runs on. They are constants, you need both to get you where you’re going.”
Bishop Joseph L. Garlington, Sr. is the presiding pastor of Covenant Church of Pittsburgh, a large multi-racial, a cross-cultural Christian community which he and his wife Barbara founded in 1971.
Covenant Church of Pittsburgh has been a model for racial healing and reconciliation for more than forty-eight years. Through the auspices and energy of Covenant Church, they launched Reconciliation! an international network of churches and ministries for which he is the Presiding Bishop.
As the Senior Pastor and visionary of Covenant Church, a ministry located in the heart of Wilkinsburg, he launched an outreach in the late 1980s to recover Horner, an abandoned junior high school which was located one city block from their worship center. This initiative has now become Hosanna House, a world-class, award-winning community center, enjoying partnerships with government, businesses, financial institutions, foundations, and churches. This and other numerous outreaches to the local and international community have positioned Bishop Garlington as a recognized leader in the faith-based community.
Bishop Garlington served from 2000 to 2018 as president of Building United of Southwest Pennsylvania, an ecumenical coalition of bishops and clergy in the southwestern and western Pennsylvania corridor. Through the synergy of this partnership with local and financial institutions and foundations, they saw genuine fruit from President George W. Bush’s faith-based initiative which provides home-ownership for low and middle-income families.
Bishop Garlington is an accomplished musician, recording artist, author, and scholar whose life and work has touched countless thousands throughout the world through radio and TV. He is a popular speaker at national and international conferences. He is internationally recognized in the religious community for his work and ministry in many churches in South Africa where he has traveled since 1979.
Bishop Garlington consults for pastors, churches, and organizations that are eager to develop similar models of racial reconciliation and healing as they have at Covenant Church of Pittsburgh. He has been married to Barbara Williams Garlington for more than forty-eight years. They share life with seven grown children, thirteen grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.