Reverend Dr. Melynda Clarke acknowledged her call to ministry while successfully employed in the United States Federal Government. Dr. Clarke enjoyed an impressive career, where she rose to executive ranks. She completed her Master Degree in Public Administration through the prestigious Key Executive Program at American University. She was liaison to Congressional and Presidential officials during the crucial time of our nation’s history, during the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Despite her success, she had a passion to serve at a grassroots level, particularly with women survivors of abuse. Even more intentionally, she sought to serve the Lord.
After much thought and prayer, she chose to transition her career of public service and pursue full-time ministry. While serving on the ministerial staff of Greater Mt. Nebo African Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. Clarke worked with youth ministries, after-school development programs, women’s shelters, and faith-based non-profit organizations. Rev. Clarke went on to pursue further academic training and obtained her graduate degrees in theology and mental health counseling from Wesley Theological Seminary and Capella University. She became nationally certified in mental health counseling and a licensed graduate professional counselor. She recognized the need to address the growing plague of intimate partner violence and sexual violence, and began working as a crisis counselor in healthcare settings. This work led to her involvement with several advocacy groups including directing a hospital based domestic violence and rape crisis center. She ultimately obtained her doctorate degree from Virginia Union University. Her dissertation focused on equipping the faith community in responding to domestic and sexual violence survivors.
Dr. Clarke has preached nationally and internationally, including in South Africa, London, France, Belgium and Jamaica. Dr. Clarke was a leading force in the establishment of the first AME Church in France. She has served on government task forces and committees on sexual and domestic violence prevention. She currently serves as the Vice-President for operation for the Organization for the Development of Women (OFED), a 501 C-3 Corporation that designs and operates economic and social empowerment programs for women in West Africa and the Sudan.
Pastor Clarke is a gifted woman of God that allows the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit to use her as a proclaimer of a prophetic and relevant message. She has empowered believers to experience the promises of God through faith, intercessory prayer, and the Holy Spirit. She proclaims her powerful testimony of God’s hand in her life, delivering her from physical, emotional and chemical abuse. Dr. Donna, as some now call her, will quickly tell you that miracles still happen. She vehemently proclaims “Trust in God, and believe with faith. Nothing is impossible with God!”
Dr. Clarke is happily married to Leo Clarke III, and they are blessed with two adult sons. The scripture that inspires her each day is from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi.
“I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3: 13 – 14 NKJV