Rev. Leon F. Parker, III is the Lead Pastor of St. Luke Christian Methodist Episcopal Church located in the Music City, Nashville, Tennessee.
Rev. Parker experienced God at an early age while attending services at Carter Temple CME Church. This congregation became a second family, where he matured and cultivated his calling under the leadership of his father in ministry, Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr.
Leon Parker is a graduate of Miles College. During his matriculation he was recognized as an influential citizen of Birmingham AL. As a natural leader and committed community activist, Leon balanced his academics and community development initiatives simultaneously. He became a voice for the voiceless as he organized several outreach programs. Also, while attending Miles, he served as Student Intern to the President’s Office and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Fundraising. Having a love for music, Rev. Parker had the distinct privilege of also serving as the Business Manager for the production of the Miles College Golden Voices Live in Concert 2010 Project, led under the direction of the late Dr. Bernard Williams.
With a heart for outreach, Rev. Parker volunteered countless hours to the Pratt City neighborhood in Birmingham, AL. After noticing that children and youth had no place to go in the summer, Rev. Parker partnered with Incorporated Angels, INAC by becoming a volunteer and sponsor for the Saturday Feeding Ministry. Subsequently, he was led to initiate an effective after-school program, which serviced hundreds of children within the community. During the spring of 2010, Rev. Parker, became Executive Director of the Incorporated Angels, INAC. He worked with both the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools and Incorporated Angels to help create strategies and implement programs for community development and improving the quality of life for the citizens in the Pratt City community of Birmingham. Because of his clarion call for the spirit of Sankofa and commitment to help those in need, in the Summer of 2010, Rev. Parker partnered with community leaders, uniting the Mizpah Grand Chapter Order of Eastern Stars, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, and a team of Miles College scholars to implement and sponsor a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Summer Program. From there the Incorporated Angels Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School was formed. This was noted to be the only CDF Freedom Schools in the State of Alabama from 2010-2012. The CDF Freedom Schools program provided summer and after school enrichment that helped children fall in love with reading, increased self-esteem, and generated more positive attitudes toward learning for children in grades first through high school.
Rev. Parker has been involved with many organizations, including serving as Site Coordinator in 2006 and Projector Director in 2007 for the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools and liaison for One Church One School: A Community Partnership Program (Chicago, IL). He has also been highlighted in Who’s Who in Black Birmingham and Black Alabama: The Inaugural Edition. Rev. Parker is a proud graduate of The Only Seminary of the CME Church: Phillips School of Theology at the ITC in Atlanta, Georgia (May 2015) where he also served as the 2014-2015 Student Christian League President. He is also an ordained Elder in Full Connection in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and has served God and God’s people exceptionally in Alabama, Georgia and presently Tennessee.
In the Fall of 2016, Rev. Parker was voted by board members unanimously to serve as the Vice-Chairman of the St. Luke Housing Ministry and the St. Luke Geriatrics Center non-profit agencies which provides affordable housing for senior citizens sixty-two years of age and over.
Rev. Parker is married to Nathalie Nelson Parker, a 2016 graduate of Gammon Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Nathalie currently serves as the National Program Coordinator for Strengthening the Black Church for the Twenty-First Century (SBC21), an agency of United Methodist Church. They are the proud parents of Leon F. Parker, IV. They are also the founders of Parker Ministries for the commitment and purpose of sharing the love of God with the world through sound preaching, teaching, and community-based initiatives. Their calling is to speak, teach, and develop programming, which empowers others and positively impacts the world. To learn more about Parker Ministries visit www.parkerministries.com.
Rev. Parker’s favorite Scripture is Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Nathalie, Leon IV, and Pastor Parker
OUR ASSISTANT PASTOR
Dr. Kenneth E. Jones is Assistant Pastor of St. Luke CME Church in Nashville, Tennessee, having received his appointment at the East Tennessee Region Annual Conference in Nashville in July 2019. While serving at St. Luke, Dr. Jones is also Vice Provost for Student Success at Fisk University in Nashville.
A native of Holly Springs, Mississippi, Jones attended the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), earning a bachelor’s degree in Radio and TV Production. He also holds a Ph.D. from Howard University and doctorate in Ministry from the Virginia Theological Seminary.
Prior to arriving in Nashville, Dr. Jones was the Hugh Cale Distinguished Professor of Communication and Dean of Liberal and Fine Arts at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), Elizabeth City, NC. He was also director of the University Honors Program at ECSU.
Dr. Jones is an experienced educator, serving in academic leadership roles as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Miles College, Birmingham, Alabama, and chair of First Year Experience at Rust College, Holly Springs, Mississippi. His research interests include new media effects and adoption, media content analysis, educational leadership and policy, student success in higher education, honors education, media and the Black Church, and Black Church ecclesiology.
Dr. Jones has been a reporter and copy editor at major newspapers in Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. He has an extensive background in journalism and public relations and led public information and creative services departments in higher education and for the District of Columbia and federal governments.
Dr. Jones served 16 years as editor of The Christian Index, which is the official publication of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CMEC). He has served as pastor of 11 CME congregations spanning 34 years in ministry.
Dr. Jones is married to Frances Washington Jones. They have permanent residence in Pleasant Grove, Alabama.
Our Ministerial Leadership Team
Rev. Gwendolyn Langley- Pastor of Adult Ministry
Rev. Dr. Julie Stinson-Reynolds- Children/Youth Pastor
Rev. Harry E. Allen- Retired (Housing Ministry Pastor)
Rev. Dr. Kenneth E. Jones