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Pastor

Reverend Wayne E. Bennett

The Reverend Wayne E. Bennett is the son of Robert and the late Wilhelmenia Bennett. He was raised between Summerton, SC and the Washington, DC metropolitan area. He is a product of Prince George’s County Public Schools.

He later continued his educational quest by earning a BS degree in Management and Technology from the University of Maryland, University College; a Master of Divinity degree from Howard University School of Divinity; a Master of Arts in Teaching from Trinity College in Washington, DC; and has completed the core courses of Doctoral studies in Higher Education Administration from The George Washington University.

Reverend Bennett has always had a passion for young learners; as such, he has been an educator for over 20 years. He has extensive experience working with youth and has been blessed to be: a mentor in the Rites of Passage ministry, a teacher in the children’s church ministry, and a member of the prison ministry at Ebenezer AME Church in Ft. Washington, Maryland prior to going to St. Mark AME Church.

Reverend Wayne E. Bennett is the former youth minister and Minister to Men at St. Mark AME Church in Oxon Hill, Maryland under his father in ministry, the late Henry D. Harper and the guidance of the current Pastor Sterlin Powell. He has also served on the Community of Faith Committee, which is an organization comprised of three churches in the Oxon Hill community bringing businesses, churches, and law enforcement together to combat crime and facilitate a more proactive approach to community development.  Rev. Wayne also served as the Chaplain of the Washington Area AME Ministerial Alliance from August 2015 to August 2016.  He was appointed the Pastor of Bethel AME Church at the 64th session of the Washington Annual Conference of the 2nd Episcopal District in April, 2014.

Reverend Bennett accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior on March 31, 1989 and is an ordained Elder in the AME Church. He is the proud father of three wonderful children.  Reverend Wayne holds fast to Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future..." (NIV).






Assistant to Pastor

Rev. Sonja Williams

Rev. Sonja M. Williams, LCMFT, M.Div.

Rev. Sonja Williams is a native Washingtonian and the daughter of Williams and Solina Johnson.  She accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at a young age as a member of Hunter Memorial AME Church, and recommitted her life to Christ on March 25, 1990.  She stands on the promise of God which says “I will lead you and guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you.”  (Psalm 32:8-9a)  She is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ -- the power of God unto salvation, but is eager to share the testimony of God’s grace, direction and provision in her life.  

She began serving in ministry as the Director of the Singles Ministry of Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church (GMCHC), in Washington, DC.  She relinquished her post as Singles Ministry Director when she married Dwight Williams.  The two then became Directors of the Marriage Ministry of Hope Christian Church (HCC), serving together in ministry for 15 years, prior to joining Reid Temple AME church.  As a member of Reid Temple, Sonja served in leadership in the Marriage Ministry, and the Prayer Ministry before entering ordained ministry.

Rev. Sonja has been involved in the study and the work of enriching marriages for over two decades.  Academically, her undergraduate degree focused on family studies, her Master of Divinity degree focused on pastoral counseling, and her Master of Science degree focused on marriage and family therapy.  As a University of Maryland instructor, she supervised marriage and family therapy graduate students.  While at Johns Hopkins University, she taught the graduate level marriage and family therapy and couples therapy courses.  

Prior to working at Johns Hopkins University as a professor, she worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital as a psychiatric therapist.  She currently owns two businesses that are dedicated to improving marriage and family relationships and spiritual development:  Sonja Williams and Associates, LLC, and LoveSavers International, Inc. 

Rev. Williams has been married to Dwight Williams for 20 years.  Sonja and Dwight have one ten year old son, and they have a family Dog.    

Rev. Williams is grateful to be a part of the great Christian fellowship at Bethel AME Church, were she currently serves as Assistant to Pastor Wayne E. Bennett.