Rev. Leon F. Parker, III is the Lead Pastor of St. Luke Christian Methodist Episcopal Church located in the Music City, Nashville, Tennessee.
Rev. Parker experienced God at an early age while attending services at Carter Temple CME Church. This congregation became a second family, where he matured and cultivated his calling under the leadership of his father in ministry, Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr.
Leon Parker is a graduate of Miles College. During his matriculation he was recognized as an influential citizen of Birmingham AL. As a natural leader and committed community activist, Leon balanced his academics and community development initiatives simultaneously. He became a voice for the voiceless as he organized several outreach programs. Also, while attending Miles, he served as Student Intern to the President’s Office and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Fundraising. Having a love for music, Rev. Parker had the distinct privilege of also serving as the Business Manager for the production of the Miles College Golden Voices Live in Concert 2010 Project, led under the direction of the late Dr. Bernard Williams.
With a heart for outreach, Rev. Parker volunteered countless hours to the Pratt City neighborhood in Birmingham, AL. After noticing that children and youth had no place to go in the summer, Rev. Parker partnered with Incorporated Angels, INAC by becoming a volunteer and sponsor for the Saturday Feeding Ministry. Subsequently, he was led to initiate an effective after-school program, which serviced hundreds of children within the community. During the spring of 2010, Rev. Parker, became Executive Director of the Incorporated Angels, INAC. He worked with both the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools and Incorporated Angels to help create strategies and implement programs for community development and improving the quality of life for the citizens in the Pratt City community of Birmingham. Because of his clarion call for the spirit of Sankofa and commitment to help those in need, in the Summer of 2010, Rev. Parker partnered with community leaders, uniting the Mizpah Grand Chapter Order of Eastern Stars, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, and a team of Miles College scholars to implement and sponsor a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Summer Program. From there the Incorporated Angels Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School was formed. This was noted to be the only CDF Freedom Schools in the State of Alabama from 2010-2012. The CDF Freedom Schools program provided summer and after school enrichment that helped children fall in love with reading, increased self-esteem, and generated more positive attitudes toward learning for children in grades first through high school.
Rev. Parker has been involved with many organizations, including serving as Site Coordinator in 2006 and Projector Director in 2007 for the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools and liaison for One Church One School: A Community Partnership Program (Chicago, IL). He has also been highlighted in Who’s Who in Black Birmingham and Black Alabama: The Inaugural Edition. Rev. Parker is a proud graduate of The Only Seminary of the CME Church: Phillips School of Theology at the ITC in Atlanta, Georgia (May 2015) where he also served as the 2014-2015 Student Christian League President. He is also an ordained Elder in Full Connection in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and has served God and God’s people exceptionally at the following assignments:
• Senior Pastor of Greater St. Paul CME Church, Bessemer, Alabama, 2015-2016
• Senior Pastor of Bethel CME Church, Cordele, Georgia, 2014-2015
• Senior Pastor of Holsey Memorial CME Church, Sparta, Georgia, 2012-2014
• Asst. to the Pastor Miles Chapel CME Church, Fairfield, AL, 2011-2012
Rev. Parker is married to Nathalie Nelson Parker, a 2016 graduate of Gammon Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Nathalie currently serves as the National Program Coordinator for Strengthening the Black Church for the Twenty-First Century (SBC21), an agency of United Methodist Church. They are the proud parents of Leon F. Parker, IV. They are also the founders of Parker Ministries for the commitment and purpose of sharing the love of God with the world through sound preaching, teaching, and community-based initiatives. Their calling is to speak, teach, and develop programming, which empowers others and positively impacts the world. To learn more about Parker Ministries visit www.parkerministries.com. Rev. Parker’s favorite Scripture is Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”