Reverend John Blackwell, II is the pastor and founder of The Way, The Truth, and The Life Church. Hew was born in Durham, NC, the eldest son of John T., and Mary D. Blackwell. At an early age, his family moved to the Tidewater area where he grew up. At the age of 12, Pastor John accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. After he graduated from Crestwood High School in Chesapeake, VA, Pastor John enrolled in Norfolk State University; however, his education was interrupted by military service. After serving in the Army as a military policeman in Germany, he later returned to Norfolk State University and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and Media. Pastor John answered the call to preach the gospel in 2002 and was licensed by Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church under its pastor, Dr. Donald F. Taylor, Sr. in June of that year. He was later ordained as a minister in 2006. Pastor John continued his theology studies and earned a Master of Divinity Degree in 2007 from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.