Rev. Lesley Fitzgerald Shannon
Rev. Lesley F. Shannon was appointed to the position of Assistant Pastor of the St. Paul Community Baptist Church on October 16, 2016. This blessing occurred after a twenty-year journey as a licensed minister, a fifteen-year journey as a consecrated Elder, and a ten-year journey as an ordained clergyman. The process of this man of God has not been without major sacrifices, struggle, questioning and grappling with the call on his life and within himself. Choosing to leave a very secure 12 ½ year career as a NYC Correction Officer to answer his call into ministry was a serious turning point in his life of faith. Scared, but open; uncertain, but trusting; insecure, but willing; ridiculed, but ready; untested, but rightly positioned. So many opportunities before him, and so much security left behind, he welcomed the challenge of faith. Along the journey, mistakes were made, goals were accomplished, people were blessed and his life was transformed along the way. The lessons that were, and are still being learned, have informed and shaped his theology and spiritual formation. The lessons have translated into sermons, teaching sessions, insightful counseling and a profound assessment of life and ministry that's led him beyond the walls of a building and into the hearts of God’s people that are found in prisons, schools, funeral homes and home gatherings. Rev. Shannon shares with unapologetic transparency and lives from a place of intimacy with God, that shows up as "into me see" (his definition of intimacy) he believes that God always sees him fully and completely, and loves him unconditionally. Therefore, why spend your life hiding who you are in God from the people you've been called to serve. His motto is; "Faithfulness to God, willingness to grow through struggle and walking in humility eventuates to elevation in ministry and life.” This is his story and his song.
Rev. Shannon is the father of three children Christopher J. Shannon, Ebony S. Shannon and Zion N.R. Shannon and one beautiful granddaughter Elisa S. Shannon. His favorite passage of scripture is Ecclesiastes 7:15-18 and this passage simply suggest to him; " Balance is key in one’s spiritual quest."
Contact: Email | 718.257.1300 ext. 133
REV. RACQUEL C.N. GILL
PASTOR IN TRAINING PROGRAM
Rev. Racquel C.N. Gill is a native of Winnsboro, SC. She is the daughter of Stephen and Camilla Gill. Racquel has one younger brother, affectionately known as Devonte’. Racquel accepted her call into the ministry at the age of fourteen and preached her initial sermon on May 22, 2005 at the St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church in South Carolina. On May 4, 2008, at the age of seventeen, Racquel was ordained at St. Luke under the leadership of the late Rev. Dr. Roy C. Jeffcoat.
Racquel is a 2012 graduate of the Columbia College for women in Columbia, SC where she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Education. While in college, Racquel served as a SC Teaching Fellows Recipient, Vice President of the NAACP, and President of the Zeta Tau Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.
Racquel holds a Master’s of Divinity from Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC. While at Duke, Racquel was named the 2014 recipient of the Addie Davis Award for Excellence in Preaching from the Baptist Women in Ministry. She was also selected by classmates and professors to be the opening preacher for the 2014 Fall Orientation.
Racquel is currently serving on staff as a Lily Pastor-In-Residence at the St. Paul Community Baptist Church in the East New York section of Brooklyn, NY under the leadership of Pastor David K. Brawley. Racquel’s favorite scripture is Psalms 61:2, which reads, “From the ends of the Earth I call unto you. When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Contact: Email | 718.257.1300 ext. 139