Recent Grammon Graduate Takes Role as National Intern at SBC21
Nathalie Nelson Parker Looks to Build National Network of Young Adults throughout UMC and Affiliate Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Nathalie Nelson Parker has the reputation for blazing new trails and structuring new ministries.
Whether it’s creating the first ever Young Adult Ministry at the Allgood Road United Methodist Church in Stone Mountain or becoming the inaugural Director of Children and Youth Ministry at Red Oak UMC in Stockbridge she combines her passion and entrepreneurial spirit to develop, grow and structure vital ministries for young people within the life of the church.
Parker has been named the first National Intern at Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century (SBC21), and her first assignment is to identify, train and build relationships with 100 disciplined young adult leaders from various walks of life who are willing to explore their call and impact positive change throughout the connectional church.
“We are extremely excited about the launch of an SBC21 national office intern, the first of its kind,” said Dr. Fred Allen, SBC21 National Director. “The impetus for this pilot was born out of my concern about identifying young black adults who might fill the intellectual and administrative/program personnel void that is plaguing The United Methodist Church. Hence, we are truly blessed to have Nathalie Parker, a certified candidate in the North Georgia Conference, to take on this all important assignment.”
This national network is crucial to SBC21, Parker said, because studies show that “millennials are rapidly leaving the church, and are more likely to not affiliate with any form of principled spiritual practice.”
“This is an urgent time, not only in predominately African-American congregations, but in the body of Christ at large,” she said. “We must aggressively engage young adults and make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of this world.”
Parker has never been one to shy away from new and unchartered territories. She possesses the spiritual discipline, educational preparation and ministry experience needed to galvanize this movement of young adults.
She is a recent graduate of Gammon Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta and also holds a master’s degree in secondary English education from Columbia University Teachers College in New York.
Parker has taught in various educational sectors, including private and public schools. The White House Department of Education Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities has named her among the national cohort of 2015-2016 HBCU All-Stars.
Additionally, she has served in various ministry settings within the North Georgia Conference as a seminary student and believes in the value of education.
“In light of recent deaths and violence in our nation, I am convinced that the church and institutions of higher education are essential pillars within our communities,” Parker said. “Organizing with HBCU campus ministries will be a key component of building an organic pipeline and partnership amongst local congregations, college and the church to further support and engage young adults nationally.”
Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century is a program designed to assist United Methodist churches with predominantly black congregations become effective in mission and ministry. For more information, go to: www.sbc21.org.