Bella is pleased to announce that the keynote speaker at the Dessert Gala this year will be Pastor Herb Lusk. Pastor Lusk has been the Senior Pastor at the Greater Exodus Baptist Church since 1982. During this time, membership has grown from 17 people to over 2,000. Pastor Lusk left his position as a running back for the Philadelphia Eagles team to commit himself to the service of those in poverty: the jobless, the homeless, the hungry, and those in prison and their children. As a NFL tail back, Pastor Lusk was known as the first NFL player to kneel and pray after scoring. When asked what he was doing, he replied, “I was just giving thanks”!
Through the Greater Exodus Baptist Church, Pastor Lusk founded People for People in 1989. Community development and revitalization programs of PFP include a Charter School, Early Childhood Development Center, welfare to work program called EARN, the Mentoring Children of Purpose program, What Matter Most Abstinence Program, the PFP Community Development Credit Union, and the HOPE Pregnancy Center for those facing crisis pregnancies.
Pastor Lusk also founded Stand for Africa in 2003 to raise awareness about African AIDS orphans and their families. This program currently funds stable, reliable initiatives in seven countries on the African continent. Due to his tireless efforts in this area, Pastor Lusk received a Presidential appointment to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV & AIDS.
Night line, Hardball, NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX are among the many news broadcasts that have featured appearances by Pastor Lusk; he has received countless awards, honors and citations, and has served on the board of numerous organizations. Pastor Lusk travels to Africa several times each year to meet with national and community leaders to direct Stand for Africa funding into the most cost-effective channels for the greatest impact in the war against HIV/AIDS. In 2005, Philadelphia Magazine named Pastor Lusk as one of Philadelphia’s 50 most influential leaders. He has hosted the President of the United States twice at PFP in the last decade.
Pastor Lusk is married; he and his beloved wife, Vickey, have three adult children.