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.  He planted Center of Praise Ministries 32 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 a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies at the Cook School of Intercultural Studies, Biola University (2021). He is also an inductee of the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. International Board of Preachers and Collegium Scholars at Morehouse College (2012).

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 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 the author of the well-received writing, Set it Up, Healthy Leadership Transitions, and numerous published scholarly research articles.

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.


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