About Pastor Anthony Lawrence Jenkins
Pastor Anthony Lawrence Jenkins, Sr.’s greatest passions are studying the Holy Word and spending time with his family, but he also loves fishing and restoring vintage cars. Scripture and poetry are his greatest sources of inspiration. This dynamic and dedicated man of God loves helping others experience the power of God’s love and grace. To that end, he extends his ministry far beyond the walls of the church, bringing this unconditional love to the rest of his community, counseling residents of federal halfway houses and serving as a certified chaplain at the Contra Costa County Jail in Richmond, California.
His wife, Valerie Lipscomb-Jenkins, is an Oakland native and his best friend. The couple is blessed to have a blended family full of love and support – and this includes many, many grandchildren.
Pastor Anthony was born in Oakland (but says he is from Mississippi) and actually grew up in the Taylor Memorial UMC congregation, so stepping into the pulpit was a return home for him. He received his calling after graduating from El Cerrito High School. As a result, he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Trinity College and Seminary in Indiana in 2002. Upon returning to Oakland, he began his ministry at Taylor with the guidance of the Reverend Ron Swisher.
In July 2006, Bishop Warner Brown of the California-Nevada Conference appointed him pastor of Calvary UMC in San Francisco. He remained for four years, simultaneously attending classes at the Pacific School of Religion of Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Divinity in 2009.
His second appointment from Bishop Brown came afterward, when he was appointed to The First United Methodist Church of Tracy. He was circuit leader over 11 churches in the Central Valley of California. After that (in 2013) Pastor Anthony was appointed to Temple United Methodist Church in San Francisco, and as circuit leader over the San Francisco United Methodist Churches. It wasn’t long before his homecoming to Taylor Memorial, where he currently serves as senior pastor, and as the circuit leader for the UMCs in the cities of Oakland and Berkeley.
But that’s not the end of the story, because there was more exciting news in store for him in 2015, when he was elected chairperson of the Western Jurisdiction of Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR). In 2017, he was elected co-chair of the Inner Ethnic Coordinators Committee of the Western Jurisdiction.
Pastor Anthony is an extremely active member of our city and community. As he has been doing for the past 20 years, he continues to bless the Taylor Memorial UMC congregation, and the congregations of our great nation, with his anointed gift of preaching, unconditional love for all, and an undiluted devotion to God’s work.
Below is one of Pastor Anthony’s favorite poems, by Neil Wade: “God is all we hope for in love. / A glimpse of God we see when we are at our best. / When do you see God? All the time or sometimes? / When does praise fall from your lips? Before or after supper time? / Don’t wait for Sunday to show your soul. / At all times tell the world of the greatest peace that’s made you whole.”