Rev. Robert Biekman ("Pastor B")
Robert E. Biekman (“Pastor B.”) is a native Chicagoan and a life-long learner. He is a Certified Life Purpose & Career Coach, Organizer, Circle Keeper, Management Consultant, Community Health Worker and former Church/Corporate Executive and Talk Show Producer.
He is the father of 3 adult children and a precocious 6-year-old.
His work in “Executive Coaching and Team Building” has garnered accolades and awards including two United States Senate Productivity Awards. Seeking to increase his capacity to serve, after a successful career as a Corporate Director with Dow-United Technologies Composite Products, Robert took a bold “life step” and became an Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church.
During this life transition and with the aim of building the core competencies of organizations with a focus on not-for profit faith-based enterprises, he became an International Standards Organization (ISO), Certified Lead Assessor.
While working toward a Master of Divinity at Payne Theological Seminary (Wilberforce, Ohio) he received the American Bible Society’s, National Scholarly Achievement Award.
After more than 20 years as a pastor, Robert continues to evolve as “public theologian”, empowering people, strengthening communities and serving on state and local boards like the State of Illinois Commission to End Hunger.
Robert co-founded the Chicago Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) Collaborative, Inc. with the goal of creating community based diversion programs for youthful offenders, serves as United Voices for Children, Board President and co-designed, “Justice Knocking at The Door” an ecumenical worship service on the steps of Cook County Court in response to the wrongful death of LaQuan McDonald.
Through innovative thinking and strategic partnering Robert established the two campus Dixon United Methodist Church Wellness and Worship Center, converting the $3.8 million Greater Dayton YMCA’s west-side facility to serve the physical, spiritual, and social needs of families. In partnership with Chicago Publics Schools, over a 3-year period he led in creating 11 Safe Haven sites in United Methodist congregations throughout Chicago.
When youth violence was on the rise in the city of Dayton, Ohio, Robert partnered with Dayton Public Schools (DPS-TV) and the West Dayton Caravan Churches to produce the television talk show, “No Shame, No Blame: Stop the Violence!”
To promote peace, along with the support of more than 14 community stakeholder organizations, with the support of the Chicago Community Trust, Robert designed and implemented a series of “Passport to Peace” events in the South Shore, Greater Roseland and Woodlawn communities of Chicago.
Rev. Biekman’s Passport to Peace work is featured in the We Are The Church: 2019 State of the United Methodist Church Annual Report. Some of his other work is highlighted in Seeds of Justice: Organizing Your Church to Transform the World by Alex Tindal Wiesendanger; 2020 Orbis Books, the Chicago Tribune, Interpreter Magazine and United Methodist Reporter.
Robert is a prophetic voice, gifted teacher and has accepted invitations from institutions and individuals all over the word including instructing graduate students at the University of Saratov (Saratov, Russia) in restorative justice.
Robert is a product of Horace Mann Elementary and Quigley South Preparatory Seminary schools in Chicago. He holds a B.S. in Aeronautics from St. Louis University, a Master of Business
Administration from the University of Bridgeport, and a Master of Divinity from The Payne Theological Seminary (received American Bible Society National, Scholarly Achievement Award). He has studied at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Aresty Institute of Executive Education. Community Health Worker Certificate, Malcom X College