Dr. James D. Key

Dr. James D. Key was born in Los Angeles, California and was reared in the Crenshaw District where he attended public schools. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and was called into preaching ministry while working as a Sales Representative in Southern California for Johnson and Johnson Baby Company.

He earned a Master of Theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary (May 2012) and both the Master of Divinity (May 1992) and Doctor of Ministry (May 1996) degrees from Howard University School of Divinity. Dr. Key was ordained at Trinity Baptist Church in Los Angeles, California through the Ordination Council of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., and the American Baptist Churches, USA. His military schooling includes the Command and General Staff Officer Course, Brigade Chaplain Course, Advanced Civil Schooling Program (World Religions), Chaplain Captain Career Course, and the Chaplain Officer Basic Course.

In the early 90's he worked for the United States House of Representatives as a Staff Assistant for Congressman Sander Levin (MI) and as a Legislative Assistant/Office Manager for Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA). After a successful tenure on Capitol Hill, he served as Executive Director of Sojourners Neighborhood Center, a religious-based non-profit organization in Washington, D.C.

Currently, Dr. Key is the Chaplain (Major) for the 10th Mountain Sustainment Brigade at Fort Drum, NY. He has also served as a College Adjunct Instructor; Pastor of Little Zion Baptist Church, Smithfield, Virginia; 530th Supply and Service Support Battalion Chaplain, Fort Bragg, NC; 530 Logistic Task Force Chaplain, Baghdad, Iraq; Observer Controller (OC/T) at the Army National Training Center, Fort Irwin, CA; Chaplain at Arlington National Cemetery; 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) Regimental Chaplain, Fort Myer, VA; Operations and World Religions Chaplain, Yongsan, South Korea and Senior Chaplain (Major) for the U.S. North East Chaplain Recruiting Center.

Dr. Key is the author of more than 35 articles in USA Today and one book entitled, Touch and Go: From the streets of South-Central Los Angeles to the War in Iraq. In 2017 he will publish a second book entitled, A Long Way from Crenshaw: Lessons and Stories about Race, Love, Honor and Faith for these Changing times.

His awards include: The Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Military Hero of the Game (Dodger Stadium), Profiles of Black History (Time Warner Cable), Outstanding Graduate Award (Pan-African Studies Department, CSUN), Western Regional College Brother of the Year (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.) and “Minister of the Week” (Afro-American Newspaper, Washington, D.C.).

James is the proud father of two children: James Darren Key, III and Amara Elizabeth Key

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Spectrum News: Black History Month Profile

Media and Press Inquiry Contact:
Key Communications Email: drjamesdkey@gmail.com