Rev. Riley owned and operated Riley’s Scientific Barber Shop in Cocoa, Fla., for 20 years. During that time, he furthered his education at Brevard Community College, the University of Central Florida and the National Theological Seminary. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in humanitarian letter from the National Theological Seminary.
Rev. Riley answered the call into the Gospel Ministry in 1956. He preached his first sermon on Father’s Day at his home church of Greater St. Paul Baptist Church. He served as pastor at Providence Baptist Church in Daytona Beach from 1959–1971, Friendship Baptist Church in Sharpes from 1971–1973, Metropolitan Baptist Church in Cocoa from 1973–1982, and since October 1982, he has been the Shepherd of the Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in Palm Bay.
He was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the NAACP, Habitat for Humanity, the Kiwanis Club, the American Cancer Society, the Sheriff’s League of Chaplains, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the South Brevard Christian Minister’s Fellowship, which in July 1998 hosted the very first public Bible Reading Marathon held at the Florida Convention and Marketplace.
Rev. Riley served for 20 years as moderator of the Mt. Zion North East Coast Missionary Baptist Association, Inc. and has served the Florida General Baptist Convention as chairman of the Annuity Board and State Board of Directors.
The Dr. Harvey L. Riley Bridge Builder award is presented to an individual who is working for the betterment of their community and is building bridges between generations.