Pastor Pitts' Biography
Dr. Ivan S. Pitts, Senior Pastor
Rev. Ivan S. Pitts, a native of Los Angeles, California is known for his unique style and enthusiastic delivery of the Word. He believes that Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Evangelism, and Service are key areas of concentration for a healthy and growing church.
In October 2012, Rev. Pitts was called to serve Second Baptist Church (SBC) in Santa Ana, CA as its 11th pastor. Under his leadership, not only has the church’s membership grown, but in 2014, Second Baptist also completed a $376,000 building project which expanded the campus to 8,350 square feet. The expanded facility now includes a youth worship center and classrooms to accommodate all Christian education.
In 2016, Second Baptist adopted a second campus located in Lake Forest, CA which has affectionately become known as the ‘South Campus’. The union of the two locations birthed Second Baptist’s message of Sharing Christ, Building Believers, Caring for All.
Prior to pastoring at Second Baptist Church, Rev. Pitts served 10 years as the senior pastor at New Hope Baptist Church in Danbury, CT. During Rev. Pitts’ tenure, New Hope Baptist Church experienced spiritual growth and physical growth. Church membership grew threefold and in 2009, New Hope completed a $5.5 million, 32,000 square foot building expansion project. The expanded facility included a Senior Citizens Center, The Samuels Early Learning Center, a computer lab, a library, banquet facilities, professional meeting rooms, and classrooms.
Rev. Pitts earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science from San Diego State University, a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Clark Atlanta University, a Master of Arts degree in Religious Education in Pastoral Studies from Fordham University and lastly, a Doctorate of Ministry degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling from the New York Theological Seminary. He has also studied at the Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC). Rev. Pitts has traveled to several places throughout the world, most notably Nigeria, Pakistan, Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Guam. Many of his travels occurred while serving in the United States Navy, where he received an honorable discharge in 1991.
Rev. Pitts has held positions in both the corporate arena and within higher education. He worked for IBM as a Human Resources Generalist and Recruiter. In education, he worked as an administrator and instructor at Clayton State College (Morrow, GA), Medgar Evers College CUNY (Brooklyn, NY), and as an Adjunct Professor at Western Connecticut State University, teaching in the Psychology and Sociology Departments. Rev. Pitts continues in his love for teaching as an Adjunct Professor at California State University of Fullerton (Fullerton, CA).
As a leader in the social and civic arena, Rev. Pitts has served as a member of the Board of Directors for Jericho Partnership, Pathways Danbury, and Association of Religious Communities (ARC). Additionally, he served as President of NAACP (Danbury, CT Branch) and President of the Congress of Christian Education for the Connecticut Missionary Baptist Convention. His current memberships include Kappa Alpha Psi, Incorporated and a member of the Board of Trustees for the New York Theological Seminary of the West.
Rev. Pitts always values the time he spends with his family. He is a devoted husband to his wife, Tanishé and a loving father to his 3 daughters, Imani, Rhyan, and Eryn and to his son Master Donovan.