Born in 1947 and raised in Dallas, Texas, Pastor Donald R. Parish Sr. has been a member of True Lee Missionary Baptist Church all of his life. He was raised as the seventh out of eight children from the blessed union of Pastor Robert Lawrence Parish Sr. and Louis Marie Wagner-Parish. He was drafted into the United States Army April 4, 1964 and served in the Vietnam War for two year at the rank of Sergeant. After Vietnam, he continued his membership at True Lee Missionary Baptist Church and accepted his calling into the ministry in 1979 under the leadership of his father Pastor R. L. Parish Sr. He eventually became and worked as special assistant to his Father for 10 years.
In October 1992, Reverend Donald R. Parish Sr. accepted the call to become the Pastor of True Lee Missionary Baptist Church in which he currently serves. Under his leadership he has ordained over seven ministers too include his son, Rev. Donald R. Parish Jr., who currently serves as the Youth Pastor for P.O.W.E.R. Ministry. Pastor Parish founded the H.O.P.E. Restoration Non-Profit organization in 1996 that has successfully sponsored The Summer of Hope program no cost camp for the nearly 6 years. The Summer of Hope program promotes educational enhancements, career development, self-improvement, and fun. Pastor Parish has also established an Outreach Prison Ministry for the incarcerated that visits the men's maximum security George Beto Unit (Beto One Prison) located in Tennessee Colony (Anderson County), Texas.
On a personal note, our Pastor displays the fruit of the spirit; He is so Loving, full of Joy, Peaceful and God really knows he is Longsuffering. He is as Gentle as a Giant and he displays Goodness all the time. He is man of true Faith and he is surely not weak but prides himself on being Meek. Lastly, he practices Temperance, which is Self-Control. Pastor Parish is a Certified Counselor as he not only counsels with his members, premarital and otherwise, but anyone who needs his assistance. He is a great leader and mentor.
Our Pastor believes in Home Mission as evidence of his commitment to working in the community. Annually four churches would come together for Thanksgiving and Christmas services. Our Pastor recommended that we give back to the community with an annual clothing and school supply giveaway and of course the gospel message. Additionally he leads by example as he encourages his congregation and others to volunteer in the local schools, nursing homes, or wherever needed.
Our Pastor believes in Foreign Mission as he has made sacrificial missionary trips abroad to Haiti, Africa, India and has received requests from a ministry in Jamaica. He also represented the National Baptist USA incorporated in Foreign Mission. he has encouraged his congregation and others to contribute in any way that they can to foreign mission.
Pastor Parish is an excellent devoted and loving husband to his wife Deborah Parish of over 40 years and an exemplary father to his children, Kimberly D. Parish -Wilson and Donald R. Parish Jr. He is also a loving grandfather of 6 grandchildren.
Pastor Parish also serves in or has served in the following positions:
- Moderator of the Galilee Griggs Memorial District Association of Baptist Church
- President of the Texas State Missionary Baptist Convention (currently serving)
- 1st Vice President of the Texas Missionary State Baptist Convention
- Field Supervisor for the Foreign Mission Board, National Baptist Convention, USA Inc.
- Member of the South Dallas Ministers Association
- Co-Founding member of the Bertrand Neighborhood Association
- Advisor to the Good News Health Program
- Regional Red Cross Coordinator for the National Baptist Convention, USA Inc.
- Advisory Member of Baylor’s Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute
- Board Member of Fair Park First Committee
Pastor Parish also serves or has served in the following community service organizations as:
- Redistricting Commissioner for the City of Dallas District 7
- Special appointee and Adviser to Councilman Leo Chaney
- Nations Bank Community Advisory Board
- Member of the Telephone Pioneers of America
- Dallas Chamber of Commerce
- Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce
- Progressive Voters League
- March of Dimes and Jr. Achievement Coordinator
- President Glen Oaks Homeowners Association
- PTA Boards
- Assistant Scoutmaster Boys Scouts of America
- Adviser to the HOPE VI Frazier Redevelopment
- Volunteers with the American Cancer Society
- And several leadership offices in the church, prior to becoming Pastor
- Member of the Mayor’s Faith Based Coalition
- Member of the South Dallas Faith Coalition
- President of the Board of the South Fair Development Corporation
- President of the Board of the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Life Clinic
- Member of the Park South YMCA
- Area 10 Committee Co-Chair ESGR
- Founding member of the Glen Oaks Homeowners Association
- Ran for Dallas City Council in 2007 and 2009
Pastor Parish's education includes:
- Graduate of Roosevelt High School-High School Diploma
- Graduate of Southern Methodist University (SMU)-Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration
- Graduate of Dallas Theological University-Masters of Theology
He has received numerous awards and recognition of which the most notable are the Humanitarian, Minister of the Year, Pastor of the Year, and Father of the Year, and in 2019 he became a Cannon by the Dallas Episcopal Church.
Above all his accolades and accomplishments, Pastor Parish is a Master Teacher and has a passion for teaching God's word. He has the spiritual gift of taking the word of God and preaching it in the simplest manner so that one can understand it. His ultimate goal is to present God's word that will cause one to apply it to their daily life.