Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and raised in Texas, Dr. Robert Lee Hill has served since 1987 as Senior Minister of the Community Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri, with the distinction of being called to the position as the youngest senior minister in the congregation's 112-year history.
Before being called to Community, Dr. Hill served as Special Projects Director and Co-Director of Project Return, Inc., a non-profit agency working with ex-prisoners and their families in Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to his undergraduate and graduate studies, Dr. Hill was a Conscientious Objector during the war in Viet Nam and served for two years as a Youth and Family Worker at All Peoples Christian Center in south central Los Angeles. He was ordained at All Peoples Christian Church, in Los Angeles, California, on August 2, 1981.
Dr. Hill holds three degrees: a B.A. degree from Texas Christian University (1977), an MDiv Degree from Vanderbilt University Divinity School (1980), and a D.D. degree from Christian Theological Seminary (2000). He has spoken as a keynoter and guest preacher at assemblies, ministerial meetings, retreats, regional and national conferences, seminaries, and worship services across the United States, including ecumenical and interfaith venues for United Methodist, Presbyterian, Disciple, American Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Nazarene, Muslim, and Reform Jewish congregants.
He has served in the greater Kansas City area as Chairperson for The Council of Mayors' Metropolitan Human Relations Commission (1992-1996). He is the co-founder, with Dr. K. David Cole, of the noted "C.O.L.O.R.'s" program ("Christians Offering Love to Overcome Racism"), and the co-chair (since 1991), with Judy Hellman, of the Greater Kansas City Martin Luther King Interfaith Worship Celebration.
Dr. Hill has received numerous awards and recognition including: a North American Ministerial Fellowship from The Fund for Theological Education (formerly The Rockefeller Foundation); The Evelyn Wasserstrom Award for "commitment to causes of freedom and justice for minorities and oppressed peoples in our city" from The Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City (1999). In 2001, he and Community Christian Church were among the first grant recipients of the Lilly Endowment's "National Clergy Renewal Program."
Since 1993, he has been part of the renowned weekly Sunday morning radio call-in show, "Religion on the Line," on KCMO-AM 710 radio station, co-hosting with Rabbi Michael Zedek (Rabbi Emeritus of Temple B'nai Jehudah) and George Noonan (Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese- Kansas City-St. Joseph).
Dr. Hill is the author of Made Whole By Broken Bread (1989), We Make the Road by Walking (2001), Empowering Congregations (with Denton L. Roberts, forthcoming from Hope Publishing House, November 2002), The Color of Sabbath (forthcoming from Human Esteem Publishing, December 2002), and Hard to Tell, a chapbook of poems (forthcoming, March 2003). In connection to the events of September 11, 2001, his poetry ("Will and Testament, September 12, 2001" ) was included in the book Restoring Faith: America's Religious Leaders Answer Terror with Hope (New York: Walker & Co. Publishing, 2001).