Senior Pastor | Rev Dr R Mario Howell

Dr. Howell is known for radical faith and eagle-eye vision. It was over 30 years ago that he responded to the call to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. At the time of his calling, he was an amateur boxer, known as “Tiger”, heading for the 1972 Olympics, with the hopes of bringing home the gold. Little did he know that the Lord had a bigger, better plan for his life.

In Tiger’s final pre-Olympic match, something incredible happened!  He had just stepped into the ring and was preparing for a sure win when he heard a small still voice saying, “Stop, now, stop now!”  As he balanced listening to his trainer and the “voice”, he suddenly recognized that the voice as the Spirit of God telling him, “Throw in the towel. I have a better plan.”  At that very moment, he threw in the towel and God called him “From the Ring to the Pulpit.” Instead of knocking out his opponent in the boxing ring, Tiger would score a “knock out” for Jesus, in the pulpit.

No longer called Tiger, his life took on a whole new direction. He had a new heart, a renewed love for the Lord who saved him from a life of destruction, and a new identity – Rev. Howell.

In an effort to prepare for his pastoral ministry, Rev. Howell enrolled in a local Bible college and began to diligently pursue guidance under spiritual giants like the late Dr. Frederick Sampson. Believing that he needed to be better equipped to minister effectively to God’s people, Pastor Howell later enrolled in Faith Seminary in Tacoma, Washington and began working on his Masters degree in Theological Studies. In 2005, he proudly received his Master of Theological Studies degree. Being motivated “to press toward the mark of the higher calling,” he advanced his seminary education and earned his Doctorate in Ministry from Faith Seminary in 2007.

Pastor Howell’s first pastoral opportunity came in 1986, when he was chosen to serve as Interim Pastor at New Hope Baptist in Union City, California. Under his leadership, the church steadily progressed and many souls were saved and delivered. After serving as Interim Pastor for two years, Dr. T. P. Fields was called to permanently fill the pastoral slot, and Pastor Howell went on to organize the Revelation Baptist Church, in Hayward.

After enduring the three year challenge of organizing a church, Pastor Howell received the vision from God to relocate. The vision was clear and unmistakable! It was time to move to another area and start a fresh work of kingdom building. All signs were pointing to the Pittsburg/Antioch area.

In obedience to God, Pastor Howell and his wife, Joyce, moved to Pittsburg to begin a new phase of ministry. Little did Pastor Howell anticipate the magnitude of the mission that was awaiting him in Antioch – The Antioch Church Family. Today he pastors one of the most dynamic churches in the community. To God be the Glory!