Pastor John a Givens was born Greenpond, South Carolina to Sam Givens, Sr, and the Reverend Bertha L. Bryant-Givens. After graduating from Colleton High School in Waterboro, South Carolina he moved to Paterson, New Jersey in July of 1961. Rev. Givens has been married to Freddie Mae McCoy-Givens for the last thirty-nine years. He is the father of five children (three sons and two daughters) and the grandfather of six.
Pastor Givens has serviced 27 years in the United States Army; he has excelled to rank of First Sergeant, a position that he held for a period of nine years with the 411th Chemical Company. His duty assignment afforded him service in Europe, Korea, and Japan. His last assignment was course manager and instructor with the 4th Chemical Battalion.
A graduate of the Denmark Technical College, Denmark South Carolina for Automotive Technology, New York School of Business for Insurance Adjuster, General Motors School of Management, Chrysler Corporation School of Management, as well as the Provision of Promise School Ministry General Bible course. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Bloomfield College, in Bloomfield, New Jersey and earned his Master’s Degree in Urban Ministry, at the Alliance Theological Seminary at Nyack College, Nyack, New York as well as attending the Jersey City District Class of Ministry Training.
Pastor Givens is an Automotive Consultant in Sales, Service and Parts, as well as a Legal Litigation Support. He is the former owner of Boulevard Auto Sales, and the former owner of Givens Chrysler-Plymouth Inc,. Other positions include Sales-Service Director of Sonny Chevrolet, Sales Manager of Best Auto Sales and service Manager of Lynn Chevrolet, Instructor Middlesex County Technical School, Instructor for Urban Renewal Corporation, and former Director of the Juvenile Detention Youth Center Passaic County. At present He is the Juvenile/Youth Service Commission Administrator.
Pastor Givens was baptized in July of 1957 at the Mt. Olive A.M.E Church of Greenspond, South Carolina and served as Assistant Class leader to his Grandfather Mr. Jake Bryant, Sr. In 1972 he transferred his membership to the
First A.M.E. Zion Church of Paterson, New Jersey where he served as a Licensed Local Preacher. He also served as a Trustee, Vice-President of the First Church Community Development Corporation, Class Leader, Director of Adult Christian Education. On May 16, 2002 he received his Pastoral Change from Bishop Marshall H. Strickland, presiding Bishop of the Mid-Atlantic I Episcopal District to Pastor the New St. Mark A.M.E. Zion Church located in Westwood, New Jersey, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee for the Jersey City District of the A.M.E. Zion Church, and Urban Reform Outreach Ministry. July 19, 2009 Bishop Louis Hunter, Sr. appointed Rev. Givens Pastor of Shiloh A.M.E. Zion Church Englewood, New Jersey.
Pastor Givens is a former board member of the Paterson Task Force and has served hot breakfast for the cities youth. He has served as Vice President of the Community Action Force where he served not meals to the cities homeless for five years. He has also served as a Little League Football Coach. He served as Worshipful Master of Integrity Masonic Lodge 51 (PHA) during which time he was instrumental in the purchase of their current Lodge Building, establishing a youth group of thirty-five young men, as well as establishing their first Scholarship Program. He was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the 7th Masonic District for a period of our (4) years and was instrumental in raising $126,000.0 for their youth group. He went on to serve as District Deputy Grand Master-At-Large for the State of New Jersey for two (2) years during which he organized the first state wide three (3) day National Black Parade heritage Celebration 4 years (1987-1991) as well as organizing a four (4) day 100thAnniversary Celebration for Integrity Masonic Lodge#51 (PHA) in 2002. he is a former board member of the Montclair Day Care Center in Montclair, New Jersey where he negotiated the construction of a new building as well as serving as a member of the Mayor of East Orange, New Jersey’s Youth program Concentrating on finding jobs for the youth of that city. A former Legislative Assistant for the 35th District of Passaic County New Jersey, Commissioner for the City of Paterson, New Jersey. Commissioner of the Passaic County Approvement Authority where we completed the building of Preakness Hospital and Parking Garage for PCC College, County Committeeman, Third Ward, Second District for the City of Paterson, New Jersey. He served as President of Northern New Jersey African American Chamber of Commerce and presently serving as President of Paterson Democratic Club.