OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM:
Reverend Joseph E Baker, Pastor
Reverend Donna D Baker, First Lady
OUR PASTOR | Reverend Joseph E. Baker
Pastor Baker answered the call to preach in 1993. He was ordained an Itinerant Deacon in 1996 and an Itinerant Elder in 1999.
Upon receiving his diaconal orders, Pastor Baker founded a church in East Orlando, Florida - Ebenezer AME Church. He successfully pastored Ebenezer until he graduated from college. God relocated Pastor Baker from Orlando to Atlanta in pursuit of continuing his education. While in Georgia, Pastor Baker served as Senior Pastor of Saint Paul AME Church in Canton, Saint Mary's AME Church in Savannah and Townsley Chapel AME Church in Savannah.
In July 2013, Pastor Baker was appointed as the 52nd pastor of Saint James AME Church in Columbus.
Pastor Bakers serves the church at the local, conference and episcopal levels. He is the Dean of the Southwest Georgia Annual Conference Board of Examiners. He also serves as a member of the Southwest Georgia Annual Conference Board of Trustees, Support of Presiding Elders and Ministerial Classification.
Pastor Baker is a product of the Swaunee County School System. He earned his Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Continuing in his education, he completed a Master of Divinity with a concentration in the area of Psychology of Religion, Pastoral Care and Counseling from Turner Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center, “I.T.C,” in Atlanta. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Ministry at the M. Christopher White School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University.
Equally active within the community, Pastor Baker currently serves as the Vice President of the Community Development Advisory Council (CDAC), an active alumni of the Citizen law Enforcement Academy (CLEA) and an active member of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance (IMA).
Since serving as Senior Pastor at Saint James, Pastor Baker has established a partnership with Columbus Technical College to offer GED studies on the campus the church. He has continued our outreach with ....
Pastor Baker is a believer in God and he seeks to fulfill God’s will for his life while blessing others. His favorite scripture is Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he will direct thy paths.”
OUR FIRST LADY | Reverend Donna D. Baker
Rev. Donna answered the call to preach in 2002 and ordained in 2004. She has supported her husband as co-laborer in the AMEC ministry since getting married in 2005. They have served the Atlanta North, Old Georgia and Southwest Conferences together. In 2012, Rev Donna was ordained an Itinerant Elder.
In addition to serving the local church, Rev. Donna actively supports the Women’s Missionary Society, the Ministers Spouses Widows and Widowers + PKs, Women in Ministry, Christian Debutantes and Masters Commission and Christian Education. While in Savannah, Georgia, she pastored Saint Luke AMEC as the first woman pastor in the 100 history of the church.
Upon her husband’s reassignment to Saint James AMEC in Columbus, Georgia in 2013, she leads the church's youth, young adults, women and couples ministries. Currently, she serves as President of the Southwest Georgia Annual Conference Women In Ministry, Vice President of the Southwest Georgia Annual Conference Ministers Spouses Widows and Widowers plus PKs, Chair of the Southwest Georgia Annual Conference Committee on Deeds and Abstracts and the Sixth Episcopal District leader of Bishop Jackson’s 3rd Priority: Handling Money God’s Way.
In 1994, she began her banking career at Wachovia Bank in Winston Salem, North Carolina. During her 19 year career, she served the Carolinas as a Branch Manager, Regional Sales Manager of Worksite Services, Private Banker of Gaston County, Financial Sales Leader of the Low Country, District Manager of the Low County and Regional Client Service Manager of the Private Bank for South Carolina.
In 2013, Rev. Donna began her second career within the financial industry at Aflac US headquarters as a Market Consultant within Sales Operations. Today, she leads a team within the Human Resources Division as Director of Leadership, Learning & Development, with a focus on creating strategies around leadership development, upskilling employees for the future of work, succession planning, career development and employee engagement.
A life-long learner, she is a product of the Barnwell County School System. She went on to graduate from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, double majoring in Finance and Business Economics. Recognizing the importance of education in her ministry and her life in corporate America, she continued her studies at the M. Christopher White School of Divinity and the Gardner-Webb School of Business, earning her Masters of Divinity (MDiv) and her Masters of Business Administration (MBA) plus in Human Resources.
Equally active within the community, Rev. Donna currently serves on the Executive Board of the Columbus (GA) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Chaplain) and the Southern Region Chaplain’s Council (Georgia State Chaplain). She is also an active member of the COLGA Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc., the N.A.A.C.P. (Silver Life Member), Order of the Eastern Star, National Council of Negro Women (Charter Member) and National Association of Professional Women.
With a little faith in a big God, she believes that all things are possible through Him who strengthens her. Her confidence rests in Jeremiah 29:11, believing God's promise of protection, prosperity, hope and a future. Her motto is “A mustard seed of faith yields a multitude of blessings!”