Alvin C. Bernstine (Reverend Dr.)
The Reverend Dr. Alvin C. Bernstine is a fourth generation Baptist preacher. He was born in Oakland, California, receiving his primary education in the Oakland Public School System. It was seen quite early that Alvin had promise, and was accelerated by skipping the second grade. He went from the kindergarten to the second grade. However his academic brightness was frustrated by family struggles and the drama of the sixties. As a result, he barely completed the requirements for a high school diploma.
After several years as an entrepreneur, he decided to return to school in Sales and Marketing at Laney College, Oakland, CA. In 1977, he responded to God’s call to ministry and radically changed his interests. He transferred to Bishop College, Dallas, Texas, graduating in 1981 at the top of his class, Magna Cum Laude. He continued studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School, of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. In 1984, he received the Masters of Divinity Degree, with a concentration on Preaching and Biblical Studies, receiving the distinction of the Florence Conwell Preaching Honor. He furthered his studies as a Dr. Samuel Dewitt Proctor Fellow at the United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio. In 1995 he received the Doctor of Ministry Degree, with his dissertation project focusing on “Preaching that Enhances the African American Family: Homilies on the Jacob Narratives.”
Dr. Bernstine served as the Director of Family Ministry at the Sunday School Publishing Board from 1991 to 1995. While employed there, he wrote numerous journal articles on Family Ministry related issues, and manuals to assist Christian education. He also submitted for publication, As For Me and My House: Redemptive Words for the Black Family. His most recent publication is entitled, Ministry in a Disaster Zone: The Seven Cross Sayings of Jesus.
Dr. Bernstine has been privileged to serve as pastor of three wonderful congregations. He served the Olivet Missionary Baptist Church, Nashville, Tennessee, from 1984 to 1993. While there, he doubled the church’s ministry budget and led the church to purchase and establish the Whiteside-Parks Family Life Center, the first family life center operated by a black church in Nashville.
From 1993 to 2006, he served the Mount Lebanon Baptist Church, Brooklyn, New York. He led the Mount Lebanon Baptist Church in the establishment of relevant ministries, a major building restoration project, and in the year-long celebration of a century of Christian service, in 2005.
Dr. Bernstine has been given the tremendous honor to serve the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, which represents the primary Christian community in which his family was nurtured. His immediate predecessor, Reverend Dr. Abraham Henry Newman, was used by God to spearhead Pastor Bernstine’s educational pursuits at Bishop College. Currently, he is shaping the vision of ministry around the theme, “A Ministry That Saves Lives.”
Dr. Bernstine delights in the nurture of his four wonderful children, and enjoys life through travel, family, boating, chess playing, and reading.