The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Author: Latest, Your Best Destiny, (2015)

Latest album, Near the Cross: Wintley Phipps Sings the Beloved Hymns of Fanny Crosby (2013)


Featured speaker/performer

Has performed for American Presidents (including Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush), Mother Teresa & President Nelson Mandela

Has appeared on Saturday Night Live, Oprah Winfrey Show, etc. and at Billy Graham crusades

Guest soloist for Diana Ross’ wedding

M. Div., Andrews University

Pastors Palm Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church, Palm Bay, FL

Founder/CEO, U.S. Dream Academy, Colombia MD, a non-profit organization working with children of prisoners, of prisoners, currently 30 locations nationwide

Married to Linda

Sons Wintley, Winston, and Wade



Wintley Phipps Helps to Unlock Your Destiny

The 700 Club


Wintley Phipps says many people think of greatness in terms of money, attention, and siginificance.  However, greatness isn’t about weath, power, position or fame. He describes greatness as “who we are” and says the rewards of greatness are richer than we can imagine. He says they bring confidence, hope, fulfillment, impact, peace, a sense of purpose, and joy. In Your Best Destiny, he says there are eight keys that God has placed inside each one of us. These keys develop our true character and help us live up to our full potential. They stand in contrast to negative characteristics that people often exhibit.  He says, “We were not created for doubt and fear. We were created for faith (belief). We were not created for immorality, depravity, or decadence. We were created for moral excellence (virtue). We were not created for ignorance. We were created with the capacity for knowledge (wisdom). We were not created to be slaves to destructive habits, our circumstances, or our surroundings. We were created for strength and self–control. We were not created for impatience. We were created for patientce and endurance (perseverance). We were not created for irreverence. We were created to hold in great respect all that says  godliness (sacredness). We were not created for meanness and cruelty. We were created for brotherly affection, (kindness). We were not created for hatred. We were created for love.”

He also outlines a 6-step plan to help readers transform their character. He says the first step is to “Assess Your Character and Examine Yourself.” Then, “Acknowledge your Weaknesses.” Third, “Ask God for Help.” Fourth, “Alter Your Attitude.” Fifth, “Abide in the Presence of God." Finally, “Activate God’s Power.”


When Wintley was on the board of directors for Chuck Colson’s ministry, Prison Fellowship, Wintley had the opportunity to be mentored by him.  Wintley traveled with Chuck to various prisons around the country from 1992 to 1997.  In Ridgeland, South Carolina, in 1994 Wintley looked around at the prisoners and had a wake-up call.  “They all looked like my sons,” says Wintley.  “For a moment, I thought I was on a black college campus.”  That’s when the passion was born and Wintley began to study the problem.  He discovered that nearly 2.8 million children live with a parent in prison today.  Children with parents in prison are six times more likely to end up in prison themselves.  More than two-thirds of juveniles in the criminal justice system are family or children of prisoners.  Eighty percent of the inmate population is composed of high school dropouts.  High school dropouts are more likely to commit crimes and be incarcerated than those with more education. 

Wintley says that children’s reactions to parental incarceration are affected by many factors, such as the age of the child, circumstances surrounding their parent’s crime, whether the child witnessed the arrest, an extended family support system, and a child’s coping ability.  Many children experience depression, separation anxiety, emotional withdrawal, guilt, diminished academic performance, disruptive behavior at home and school, fear, anxiety, sadness, and developmental delays such as language development, regression, etc.  “It’s a national crisis,” says Wintley.  He says that when the family unit disintegrates, the children in the family need to be mentored.  “A child with a dream is a child with a future,” he says.

In 1998, Wintley founded the U.S. Dream Academy.  “We aim to break the cycle of incarceration by giving children the skills and vision needed to lead productive and fulfilling lives,” says Wintley.  The target age group is 3rd through 8th grade students.  For the last thirteen years, they have served students in neighborhoods where arrests and incarcerations are common occurrences and the local schools are not meeting federally mandated Adequate Yearly Progress.  Currently there are eight Dream Academy Learning Centers nationwide and are located in communities with higher than average crime rates, lower than average graduation rates and high rates of poverty.  The U.S. Dream Academy has garnered recognition from President George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Oprah Winfrey.

After school, selected Dream Academy students immediately begin their homework.  Assisted by mentors and volunteers, children wrap up their assignments and are fed a nutritious meal that encompasses the four food groups.  Typically, information sessions follow where kids are offered tips on avoiding peer pressure, etc.  The Dream Academy Learning Centers support is free. 

The Lord continues to provide for the U.S. Dream Academy.   They are looking for an end of the year miracle to sustain them next year financially.  God impressed on Wintley that the ministry was born and sustained by miracles.  When they began they had no center.  The first significant financial gift came from CBN.  Currently, they are doing well and have been good stewards of what God has given them - thousands of children have been helped.


When Wintley was 14, his voice changed.  “All of a sudden I had this voice coming out of me,” he says.  Raised in a Christian home, Wintley always wanted to be a rock star.  “I was crushed when I found out that the lives
my rock star heroes led wasn’t the life I wanted,” says Wintley.  At sixteen, he made a decision to commit his life to Christ.  “My heroes weren’t going anywhere,” he says.  “I got on my knees and said 'Whatever you want me to do, Lord, I’ll do.' "                                                                                                                     

Wintley gives a great music lesson with regard to the old Negro spiritual songs, such as Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Amazing Grace, etc.  He says that the Negro slaves only knew the five black notes on a piano.  He says they wrote the music and melodies to some of the greatest songs in the history of the Church using just the black notes.

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