Tonya Lawrence

Associate Director for Black Church Ministry


A native of Orangeburg, SC, Rev.Tonya N. Lawrence received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing from North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC. She also holds a degree in Fashion Buying and Merchandising from the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY. After ten plus years in corporate retail, Rev. Lawrence accepted her call to ministry. In May 2010, Rev. Lawrence received dual Master’s degrees in Divinity and Youth Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ. In May 2016, Rev. Lawrence received a Doctor of Educational Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga.  

Rev. Lawrence has been involved in the lives of many teenagers over the years. She believes very strongly in youth development as the impetus for long-term social change and as such she also believes that it is the responsibility of the entire community to ensure that our youth are positioned for the brightest future possible. She recently lived in Ghana, West Africa where she researched rites of passage for young people.

Rev. Lawrence is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church. She has faithfully served at various levels within our connectional system as preacher, teacher, and leader. She has previously served as Associate Pastor at Cascade UMC and Dacula UMC. She also served as the interim Pastor-In-Charge at Grace UMC in Midtown Atlanta. Currently, she is serving on staff in the North Georgia Conference Office in Connectional MInistries as Associate Director of Church Vitality. Rev. Lawrence also serves on the Board of Directors for the North Georgia Camping and Retreat Ministries, and as the Chairperson for Youth Ministry for the North Georgia Annual Conference. 

Rev. Lawrence’s passion for ministry has been widely recognized and rewarded. She is Princeton Theological Seminary’s 2010 recipient of the Robert K. Kelley Award for great promise in ministry with youth and their 2009 recipient of the Raymond Lindquist Fellowship for outstanding gifts in the area of parish ministry. The General Board of Higher Education Ministry of the United Methodist Church also twice named her a Georgia Harkness Scholar for excellence in academics and social issues.

Rev. Lawrence is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is an avid swimmer and also enjoys reading in her personal time.