Reverend Richard C.K. Harkness, Sr., was born in Abbeville, South Carolina. He is fourth of six children to Mr. and Mrs. George Harkness. He was raised and educated in Columbia, SC. He is a 1977 graduate of W.J. Keenan High School in Columbia. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Urban Studies from Johnson C. Smith University in 1982. He attended Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) and received his Master of Divinity from Erskine Theological Seminary in May of 2001.
Reverend Harkness is dedicated to a life of service. He answered the call to preach in 1983 and began his pastoral ministry in November of 1983. He has pastored at the following churches in South Carolina: Grace/St. John-Abbeville; St. Mary/Mt. Zion - McCormick; Mt. Carmel - Gray Court; Mt. Zion – Hodges; Flat Rock – Abbeville; and Moncks Corner A.M.E. Church – Moncks Corner.
He is an active member in the community. He is a member of the NAACP and Co-Chairman of the Education Committee. A volunteer with Berkeley County Chamber Minority Business Partnership; served as Chairman of Moncks Corner Town Planning Commission 2013-2014; Immediate past Vice President of Berkeley County Ministerial Alliance; Palmetto Conference Board of Examiners; Curriculum Coordinator; Lead Instructor of Third Year Class of Studies; Member of Berkeley County School District Safety in School Committee from 2010 to 2014; Member of Palmetto Conference Board of Trustees.
Reverend Harkness worked with mentally challenged patients from 1988 to 2000. He is currently the pastor of Olive Branch A.M.E. Church, Mt. Pleasant, S.C. He is married to the former Cathy D. Goode and to this union; they have three sons, Richard II, Jordan, and Matthew.
His motto: "I am called to be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ."