Reverend Ralph W. Emerson, Jr. was called to preach in June 1978 and was ordained in December 1979. He became the Assistant Pastor of RSBC in 1989. After only one year, he was called to be the Senior Pastor in June 1990. Rev. Emerson has led the church from 200 members to approximately 3,000 at present. To address this increased attendance he instituted 8:00 A.M services in 1992.
Rev. Emerson has four degrees including an Associate of Arts in Recreation Administration from Contra Costa College (1963), a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation Administration from San Jose State University (1968), a Master of Public Administration from California State University-Hayward (1980), and a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary and Biola College (1982).
He has served on the Board of Directors for several organizations including the United Way, Aids Outreach, Red Cross, and the Food Bank. He currently serves as Chairperson for John Peter Smith Pastor’s Council and Healthy Moms-Healthy Babies- Healthy Community (H3), Board Chairman of John Peter Smith Board of Managers, and a member of the University of North Texas Health Science Center Dean Steering Committee.
Pastor Emerson worked for the cities of Compton, Houston, and Fort Worth. Prior to pastoring Rising Star, he was an active member of Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Los Angeles and New Faith Baptist Church in Houston where he led various ministries including young adults and youth, and marriage counseling and bible study respectively.
He has been married to Gladys Emerson, Vice President of Continuing Education at Tarrant County College-South Campus, for 35 years. They have been blessed with 3 children and 6 grandchildren.