Apostle Jamie T. Pleasant, Ph.D., a modern day polymath, is the founder and Chief Executive Pastor of New Zion Christian Church in Suwanee, Georgia. He currently serves as the Dean of Graduate Education at Clark Atlanta University. He is also a tenured Full Professor of Marketing at Clark Atlanta University’s School of Business. Notably, he is the first faculty member in the university’s history to be accepted into Mensa International, the world’s largest and oldest high IQ society for individuals who have scored in the 98th percentile or above on an intelligence test.
Dr. Pleasant is the first African-American to graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) with a Ph.D. in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing, earning that degree in August 1999. He is a 2016 recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from former President Barack Obama for volunteer and community service. He was awarded the “Game Changer” Educator Award by Reverend Jesse Jackson at the 2019 Rainbow PUSH International Convention. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, Marketing Studies from Clemson University and an M.B.A. in Marketing from Clark Atlanta University.
Under his leadership, New Zion has grown from three members when it started in 1995 to well over 700 in weekly attendance, with a focus on economic and entrepreneurial development. God gave him the vision to establish a Biblically based economic development initiative for New Zion Christian Church. He remains at the pulse of the economic business sector.
As a result, Apostle Pleasant is in constant demand to train, speak and teach others at all levels in ministry and the private sector about business and economic development across the country. He has created numerous cutting edge and industry leading ministerial, business and economic development classes and programs, along with SAT & PSAT prep courses for children ages 9-19. He founded The Financial Literacy Academy For Youth (FLAFY), where youth between the ages of 13-19 attend 12 week intense classes on financial money management principles. At the end of those 12 weeks, they receive a “Personal Finance” certificate of achievement. In 2015, he established The Young Leadership and Success Academy that teaches young people between the ages of 10-21 how to invest, make presentations and start and operate businesses. Other ministries he has pioneered include The Wealth Builders Investment Club (WBIC), which educates and allows members to actively invest in the stock market, along with the much celebrated Institute of Entrepreneurship (IOE), where participants earn a certificate in entrepreneurship after three months of comprehensive training in all aspects of starting and owning a successful competitive business. The main goal and purpose of IOE is that each year one of the trained businesses will be awarded up to $10,000 start up money to ensure financial success.
Apostle Pleasant has met with political officials such as former President Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela. He has performed marriage ceremonies and counseled numerous celebrated personalities such as Usher Raymond, Terri Vaughn, and many others. Several gospel music artists have performed at the church, including Tiff Joy. Each year, Apostle Pleasant conducts chapel services for Clemson University's football team and is a spiritual and personal friend to its two-time national championship head coach, Dabo Swinney.
As a modern day civil rights leader, he is a close aide to Reverend Jesse Jackson and serves on the Board of Directors of Rainbow PUSH Inc. (Atlanta) and Director of Education and Economics. He serves on the Board of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (Atlanta Urban) and after the Columbine High School shooting, he founded the National School Safety Advocacy Association. His latest foundations include the Young Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) and the African American Consumer Economic Rights (AACER).
He has authored several books that include: Prayers That Open Heaven, Capturing and Keeping the Pastor’s Heart, Powerful Prayers That Open Heaven, Advertising Principles: How to Effectively Reach African Americans in the 21st Century, Discover a New You: A 21 Day Journey to Uncovering Your Uniqueness, From My Heart To Yours: Love Letters From A Loving Father and Today’s Apostle: Servants of God, Leading His People towards Unity and “You Have What It Takes”.
Apostle Pleasant is a lifetime member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. He is the humble husband of Kimberly Pleasant and the proud father of three children: Nacara, Christian, and Zion.