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Rev. Dr. Lisa Jenkins Brown is the first known woman in the country who was called and voted into two established Baptist churches as the senior pastor. She is the tenth pastor and first woman to lead the St. Matthew’s Baptist Church (SMBC) in Harlem, New York. Since assuming the pastorate in July 2013, Rev. Brown implemented an AIDS/HIV program in partnership with the New York City Council Faith Based HIV/AIDS Initiative and the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS of New York City. Rev. Brown was the first woman to address the Ministers Division of the Empire Baptist Missionary State Convention and was the first female appointed to the convention’s Pastors Division. She was also the State Coordinator for the convention’s newly formed Women in Ministry Division. In addition, Dr. Brown served as a Faith & Justice Fellow for the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies in partnership with the New York Theological Seminary. She has also served as a member of Manhattan’s Community Board 10 and on the Manhattan Borough President’s Riker’s Island Task Force Initiative. 


Under Rev. Brown’s leadership, the church partnered with a local restaurant in January 2020 and started the Sass Café at the church. At the onset of the pandemic, the Sass Café quickly pivoted and offered grab-and-go meals for the entire community. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, SMBC was committed to providing an enhanced worship experience utilizing various media technology, platforms, and software. During the pandemic, services were streamed live from what she referred to as the Queens Campus of the St. Matthew’s Baptist Church of Harlem. This was a professional studio in her home office, which was redesigned specifically for the purposes of streaming services for the church. Throughout the pandemic, SMBC continued to serve the community in a myriad of ways, including COVID-19 testing and vaccines along with flu shots, nutritious meals twice a week, and much more. 


Rev. Lisa received her bachelor’s degree in speech communications from Pace University and attained the degree of Master of Divinity from New York Theological Seminary. She has also received her doctoral degree from McCormick Theology Seminary and studied organizational leadership at Boston University. Dr. Brown is currently an adjunct assistant professor in the field of multicultural studies at the City University of New York. Prior to entering ministry, she worked for Fortune 100 companies as a human resources professional and was an on-air gospel announcer for Universal Broadcasting. Dr. Lisa also sang with Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir on their Grammy Award-winning album, Live at Morehouse College. 

Rev. Brown was a seminarian at the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY, the Amity Baptist Church in Jamaica, Queens, and served full-time in several ministerial positions at the Calvary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Victor Hall, Sr. 


Rev. Brown has taught New Testament Studies, Biblical Exegesis, and Prophetic Preaching at New York Theological Seminary and has served as a facilitator for Fuller Theological Seminary’s Doing Justice Initiative. Her writings have appeared in The Christian Century, the African American Lectionary, the National Baptist Convention’s Sunday School Publishing Board’s Lenten Journal, and other publications. She is the author of 40 Days of Biblical & Cultural Insight into the Black Panther Movie and The Other Side of Through: Messages of Hope, Empowerment, Justice, and Faith. She is the co-author of The Millennials' Guide to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 


Dr. Lisa is the Principal and Founder of LDJ Global Connections, LLC, which is committed to empowering individuals and strengthening teams for increased productivity and compliance by achieving cultural competency through high-content workshops, seminars, and keynote presentations. She is also an active 

member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and was named one of the Top 100 Faith-based Leaders in New York State. 


On September 10, 2022, Rev. Lisa was united in marriage to Vincent Samuel Brown. As a blended family, they have one adult son, Jordan Christopher Jenkins, and a Carolina dog named Bailey Danielle Brown. 


Rev. Brown believes that ministry must be intricately interwoven with community involvement and that it is impossible to serve God without serving humanity. And after more than 25 years of preaching the Gospel, she’s still got her joy! 

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