Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley is the exciting, gifted and anointed senior pastor of the historicAlfred StreetBaptistChurch (ASBC) in Alexandria,VA. A courageous, dynamic, and visionary leader, he is only the eighth pastor in the church’s 217-year history of worshipping Christ while serving humankind. Currently, Dr. Wesley is part of the first of its kind in the world; the inaugural cohort of only ten (10) exceptional students in the PhD in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric program at the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Under Dr. Wesley’s extraordinary leadership, the Alfred Street Baptist Church has grown from 2,800 members to 10,000 members, 60,000 plus monthly online viewers and 80 active ministries with an emphasis on children’s ministries and missions. To accommodate its favor and growth, the church holds four weekend worship services, including one on Saturday night. As a result, Dr. Wesley has launched an initiative to redesign and/or expand the current sanctuary and ministry facility.
Senior Assistant to the Pastor and Christian Education, Director of Christian Education
Contact: Rev. Dr. Judy Fentress-Williams
Areas of Ministry: Rev. Dr. Judy Fentress-Williams supports the pastor as instructor for Tuesday night Bible study, Senior Bible Study, Christian Life Institute, Ministers in Training, and as retreat facilitator. She is also a professor of Old Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary and the author of “Ruth,” a commentary published by Abingdon Press. Rev. Dr. Fentress-Williams is married to Kevin Williams, M.D., they are blessed with two children, Samantha and Jacob.
Education: B.A. in English, Princeton University; Master of Divinity, Ph.D. in Religious Studies/Old Testament, Yale University
Why I love working at Alfred Street Baptist Church: “I am very blessed to be a part of the Alfred Street Baptist Church ministerial team. I love the worship experience at Alfred Street. Our music, preaching, fellowship usher us into the presence of God.”
Assistant to the Pastor for Children, Culinary Manager
Contact: Rev. Marla C. Hawkins
Areas of Ministry: Rev. Hawkins oversees all programming for children ages 4–12. She is the instructor for the Ministers in Training program, AWANA and WOW, and is a small group leader. She also offers pastoral counseling and serves as director of the culinary ministry. A seasoned educator, she is a vital part of the church’s Christian Formation Program. She is married to the love of her life, Charles D. Hawkins, and is the mother of Wallace, Omar and David. She has two grandchildren, Nokomis and Micco.
Education: B.S. in English, Dillard University; M.S. in Adult Education and Education Administration, North Carolina A & T State; Management Diploma by Objectives from Louisiana State University; Master of Divinity, Samuel DeWitt Proctor school of Theology at Virginia Union
Why I love working at Alfred Street Baptist Church: “Alfred Street has a rich tradition of Christian learning and I am blessed to pass this legacy on to the next generation of this faith community.”
Assistant to the Pastor of Pastoral Care
Contact: Rev. Edward Y. Jackson
Areas of Ministry: Reverend Edward Jackson serves as the assistant to the pastor for congregational care. He oversees the visitation to those who are sick and shut in and those who are hospitalized, and shares in the care of those dealing with grief and bereavement. He is also director of the Jail and Prison Ministry, leading this ministry to worship at the Juvenile Detention Center and the Alexandria Jail. Rev. Jackson has a passion for missions and works side-by-side with the church’s Missions Program, caring for the needs of the congregation and members of the community. He is married to Cynthia Jackson, has two children, three grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Education: Master of Divinity, Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.
Why I love working at Alfred Street Baptist Church: “It is truly a blessing to serve others while lifting their saddened hearts, and I pray for the sick to be well again.”
Assistant to the Pastor for Youth
Contact: Rev. Barbara Lavarin
Areas of Ministry: Rev. Barbara Lavarin is the coordinator for the Senior Youth/Higher Ground, Junior Youth, CrossOver, AWANA, Tutorial, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Undergraduate Student Ministry and Vacation Bible School.
Education: B.A. in Child Development at Tufts University and Master of Divinity, Princeton Theological Seminary
Why I love working at Alfred Street Baptist Church: “Alfred Street has a long and illustrious history of building disciples to win the world for Christ. I love being a part of that tradition by helping to build up our youngest disciples. Through sound teaching, rich fellowship and spirit-led worship, our children and youth experience God for themselves in powerful and lasting ways.”
Assistant to the Pastor for Online Ministry and Young Adult Ministry (YAM)
Contact: Rev. Marc Lavarin
Areas of Ministry: Rev. Marc oversees the Online Ministry along with serving as the ministerial support to the Young Adult Ministry (YAM) at the Alfred Street Baptist Church. He also co-teaches bi-weekly Senior Bible Study and serves as the team lead for the annual Church Fast. Rev. Marc’s passion lie at the intersection of faith and education, encouraging young adults and communities of faith to be agents of transformational change.
Education: B.S. in Political Science with a concentration in Public Policy and Administration, Northeastern University; Master of Education, Boston University; Master of Divinity, Duke University
Why I love working at Alfred Street Baptist Church: “I believe in the Church and I believe in this church! For hundreds of years Alfred Street has been a bastion of liberation and prophetic witness. It’s an honor to stand where great women and men have once stood in assisting God in bringing about his plan of redemption to both people and nation.
Assistant to the Pastor for Counseling
Contact: Rev. LaTasha L. Morgan
Areas of Ministry: Rev. Morgan serves as the assistant to the pastor for counseling. As a board certified and licensed mental health therapist, she provides professional and Christian counseling, mental health program implementation and support to the existing and growing Alfred Street ministries and membership.
Education: B.A. in Business Administration, Strayer University; M.A. in Organizational Leadership, Nyack College; M.A. in Education and Human Development- Counseling, George Washington University, D.Min. in Christian Counseling, Maple Springs Baptist Bible College and Seminary.
Why I love working at Alfred Street Baptist Church: “I love working for Alfred Street Baptist Church because of the unique opportunity it has provided to integrate spirituality, faith and theology with psychotherapy to help heal, build and uplift an amazing community and beyond!”
Assistant to the Pastor for Missions and Seasoned Saints
Contact: Rev. Marcia M. Norfleet
Areas of Ministry: Rev. Norfleet oversees the mission activities for the Alfred Street Baptist Church, both foreign and domestic. She also manages all education, pastoral care, and fellowships for the Senior Ministry. As coordinator of the summer intern program, she supports emerging church leaders to discern their call and vocation.
Education: B.S. Mathematics, North Carolina Central University; Master of Divinity, Duke University.
Why I love working at Alfred Street Baptist Church: “There’s a sweet spirit of generosity and outreach embedded in the membership of Alfred Street and I’m always amazed by the heart of this community of faith because it seems to expand year to year.”