Head Pastor, Charity Missionary Baptist Church in Charleston, SC

Rev. Nelson B. Rivers, III, was born in Bennett’s Point, SC and is a preacher of the Gospel and civil rights worker. He has preached at churches in 23 states. He is a life long servant in the fight for justice.

Rev. Rivers is married to the former Carolyn Smalls of Charleston and has four children and seven grandchildren. He received his bachelor’s degree from Wilberforce University in Ohio. He was ordained at the Olivet Baptist Church of Christ in Fayetteville, GA by the late Dr. Howard W. Creecy, Sr. He is pursuing his Master of Divinity at Erskine Theological Seminary, Due West, SC.

For over 38 years Rev. Rivers worked at every level of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) including President, North Charleston, SC Branch; Executive Director, South Carolina State Conference; Director, Southeast Region; Chief Operating Officer, twice as Chief of Field Operations, and Vice President of Stakeholder Relations from 2008 until May 2014.

His civil rights work led to the election of more than 300 new black elected officials in South Carolina between 1986 and 1994. He was a leading organizer of the largest civil rights demonstration in the history of South Carolina when over 50,000 marched on the state capitol in January 2000 to demand the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag. After fifteen years of persistent protest, Rev. Rivers was present when on July 10, 2015 the Confederate Battle Flag was removed from the front of the South Carolina State Capitol Building.

Rev. Rivers is co-president of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM) and was a founding member of the organization in 2011. CAJM is an inter-faith, inter-religious group of 28 congregations in the Charleston, SC.