Dr. Ralph Douglas West serves as founder and senior pastor of The Church Without Walls (Brookhollow Baptist Church, Houston, Texas). He first preached as a sixteen year old in his native Houston. The church began with 32 members and now embraces 24,000+ families meeting in three locations and conducting six services each Sunday. Dr. West is affectionately known as PAS.
Dr. West completed degrees at Bishop College, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Beeson Divinity School, where he received the Doctor of Ministry Degree. He serves as Adjunct Professor of Preaching at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University. He has an abiding commitment to the church and the academy, relating with equal ease to both venues and using his influence to mentor ministers in both locations. He speaks perennially at colleges, universities and seminaries across America as well as at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University.
Dr. West’s preaching style includes careful explanation of Scripture combined with his signature ability to tell detailed, credible and indelible stories from contemporary life that enrich the sermon and relates to the congregation. He also makes penetrating and specific application of the text to his people. He does all of this while maintaining the vibrant preaching tradition of church and culture in an atmosphere of celebration.
Pas is a leader beyond his own church and serves on boards, agencies, trusteeships and committees at local, state and national levels. He is constantly in demand by fellow ministers for counsel and wisdom. On top of this, he pastors a very large church as if it were a much smaller church, standing with people in exceptional times of crisis. As one astute observer remarked, “He is unselfish with his time and utterly without self-regard.
Through publications, television and the internet his messages are available across the world and are witnessed by thousands beyond his church each week. A perpetually demanded conference speaker, he has spoken multiple times at conferences such as the Hampton Institute, the largest gathering to hear preaching each year. From the pulpit to the lectern he is sought for his preaching gift.
Although Pas can boast of a number of degrees, honors and associations, those who sit under his preaching would most aptly describe his attitude using Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2:1.
“When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.”
—1 Corinthians 2:1-5