Gerald McGinnis, a Knoxville native, entered the ministry at age 24. He was married to his wife, Dawn, in 1973. They have two children, Jeremy and Charity, who are both married, four granddaughters and three grandsons.
Pastor McGinnis is an ordained bishop with the Church of God in Cleveland, TN. He has served on various committees as well as state and national boards within the denomination. His educational background includes a Master of Arts degree with an emphasis in Counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary. He also has a Master of Arts degree in Church Ministries with concentration in Church Leadership from the Church of God Theological Seminary. He received his accreditation as a Certified Traumatologist with Florida State University. Pastor McGinnis is also a member of the American Psychotherapy Association with Diplomat Status and the American Association of Christian Counselors.
He and Dawn started a church with 26 people in 1980 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Today, Park West Church has over 2,000 members as Pastor McGinnis shares about the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.
The church had three previous locations before reaching its present site of 17 acres. In July 1998, a new 1000-seat sanctuary was added. The Benevolence & Training Center was the third building built on this property in April 2004, which added another 42,000 sq. ft. to the Park West campus for a total of 67,000 sq. ft. for the purpose of expanding this ministry to the city of Knoxville and beyond.
Pastor McGinnis served in the Army during the Vietnam War and experienced many challenges that officers in civil service deal with today. Presently, Pastor McGinnis serves as a chaplain to the FBI, ATF, and is a Chaplain Coordinator for the Knox. Co. Sheriff's Dept. In addition, he is a trainer with the Church of God Chaplain's Commission, traveling around the world to train more chaplains for this ministry.