Being part of the CBF Fellows Cohort has helped Jeffrey Howard find his way
By Jeffrey A. Howard
New Hope Christian Fellowship Church, West Columbia
I’m the senior pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship Church of West Columbia. We’ve made history with an all-white Baptist congregation in Lexington, SC, calling an African-American male as pastor.
The summer has been real challenging with the racial tensions and unrest centering around the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. To add to that, COVID-19 forced us to move our services online. It becomes difficult as a first-year pastor tries to engage a congregation online and make sure you’re still relevant to bring folks to your online worship experience.
I’m one who believes that relationships matter. There is no playbook for ministry opportunities—some things you learn from hands on experience. For a first-year pastor, that can be quite intimidating.
The CBF Fellows cohort allows me the opportunity to build relationships while learning and being mentored to do kingdom work. It opens me up for further growth and equips me all the more for the greater task in leading God’s people.
My ultimate goal is to remain bi-vocational, with the emphasis to pastor and teach in the academy.
I connected with CBF in 2015 as a CBF Scholar. I’ve worked with CBF on advocacy initiatives centering around issues of predatory leading. I credit that opportunity to my friend and mentor, Stephen Reeves. I’ve done youth and interim pastorates for CBF congregations in SC, and New Hope called me to be their pastor in August of 2019.
Though I enjoy traveling, ministry work, and crablegs, my greatest joy in the world comes from being the proud Father of my beautiful 3-year-old, Elizabeth whom I affectionately call “Ladybug.”
I’m 34 years old, from Columbia, S.C. where my home church is Trinity Baptist Church found in the heart of downtown right off of Richland Street.
I hold a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Columbia International University (2014) and did a double major in Bible exposition and Family and Church education with a minor in Youth Ministry. I hold both a Master of Divinity (2018) and Master of Sacred Theology (2019) degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.
My sacred theology work was titled, “A Womanist Exposition of Patriarchy in the Black Church: A Narrative from the Inside.”
I’m currently working on a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Interdenominational Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia where my work will center around multicultural community organization.
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