Dr. Alethea Smith-Withers is the Founder and Pastor of The Pavilion of God – a Baptist Church, a church in the U Street Corridor of the Nation’s Capital. She is the first woman to found an American Baptist Church in Washington, DC. This community of faith has its roots in the historic Nineteenth Street Baptist Church where Rev. Alethea was the premier, female Associate Pastor. For seven years prior to being Associate Pastor, Dr. Smith-Withers served as minister at other congregations in the metropolitan area.
Rev. Alethea is the host of “Rev UP with Rev. Alethea”, a BlogTalk Radio Show, http://blogtalkradio.com/RevAlethea, on Tuesdays at 7 PM (EST). This is a “keeping it real” show about life, seeking to minister to the people of God through all phases of their experience, even up to the Higher Life of the Spirit. Topics for discussion will include everything from faith to fellowship, education to economics, and pop culture to politics.
As a clergyperson and as a womanist, this woman of God has been an active advocate for reproductive justice for many years. She is currently serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC). Dr. Smith-Withers has testified before Senate sub-committee hearings as a Prayerfully Pro-Choice advocate.
Her knowledge and experience in the areas of organizational development, cultural competency, and liberation theology have enabled her to establish innovative programs that promote diversity dialogues among varied constituents. In 2010, Rev. Alethea became a breast cancer overcomer. In the fight against breast cancer, she started faith based initiative, STAND, to address high incidence of breast cancer among African American women and women of color.
In 2005, she became a Pastoral Care Specialist and was the first African-Caribbean-American woman in the District of Columbia to be trained in Imago Therapy, providing certified business/life coaching. From coast to coast, she has been a professional facilitator and a frequent guest speaker.
She has earned the Masters of Divinity and the Doctor of Ministry degrees from from Howard University School of Divinity. She is an ordained minister, preacher, and Christian Educator and was awarded a Pew Foundation Fellowship in Urban Ministry.