Founding and Senior Pastor
Bishop Parnell M. Lovelace, Jr., MSW, MPTH, D.Min., Ph.D.
Known as the “People’s Bishop,” Our senior pastor is described as an apostolic strategist, communicator, teacher, thinker, and progressive leader. He serves as a mentor and friend among multitudes of pastors, trans-denominationally. The merging of his spiritual journey and that of social science has served to facilitate an approach that reaches and embraces the disenfranchised, the poor, the youth, the elderly, the marginalized, and people of all communities. He is held in high esteem regionally and globally for his character, integrity, and life-transforming teachings. Reared in Sacramento, CA, Bishop Lovelace is a protégé of Pastor Willie P. Cooke of the Shiloh Baptist Church and the District Elder Robert Holman, Sr., Christ Temple Apostolic Church. He planted the Center of Praise Ministries 33 years ago.
His educational accomplishments include an Associate in Arts Degree, American River College; Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, Oral Roberts University; Master of Arts in Social Work, University of Oklahoma; Master of Arts in Practical Theology (High Honors), Oral Roberts University; and a Doctor of Ministry, Talbot School of Theology (Biola University). He earned his Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies at the Cook School of Intercultural Studies, Biola University (2021). He is an inductee of the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. International Board of Preachers and Collegium Scholars at Morehouse College (2012). In 2019 the bishop was presented with the Key to the City of Rancho Cordova for his partnering and leadership, contributing to the development of the innovative Rancho Cordova Youth Center.
He is the author of several journal articles and the well-received book, Set it Up: Developing Leaders for Healthy Churches. He has served as the North American editor for the Great Commission Research Journal, an academic journal devoted to research and scholarly thinking on the perspective of church growth. He also is an adjunct professor at Talbot School of Theology, where he leads the African American Ministry doctoral program.
He is a senior fellow with the American Leadership Forum, the CEO of the Lovelace Leadership Connection organization, and a certified church consultant with the Society for Church Consulting. Bishop Lovelace serves on the Oral Roberts University School of Social Work Advisory Board and the Dignity Health Community Advisory Board.
He is married to the lovely Lady Dianna (Richardson) Lovelace, and they are proud parents of a son, a daughter, and proud grandparents of one grandchild.