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Pastor Melynda Clarke

Reverend Dr. D. “Melynda” Clarke acknowledged her call to ministry while successfully employed in the United States Federal Government. Dr. Clarke enjoyed an impressive career, where she rose to executive ranks and completed her master’s degree in public administration, at American University. In addition to many leadership roles, she served as a liaison to Congressional and Presidential officials during the crucial time of our nation’s history, during the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Dr. Clarke left public service in the federal government, to follow a greater calling as a preacher and teacher of the gospel. She obtained her graduate degrees in theology and mental health counseling from Wesley Theological Seminary and Capella University. She received her Doctorate in Divinity from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. She has preached and conducted missionary and evangelistic work in Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean. She currently serves as Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church located in Montclair Virginia. She is also a member of the AME Church’s Writer’s Guild where she writes curriculum for the Liberating Faith Studies Sunday School Lessons.


Dr. Clarke is nationally certified in mental health counseling and is a certified supervisor and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the state of Maryland. She worked for over fourteen years advocating for legislative changes to serve victims of crime and expand Maryland counselor licensing to other states. She worked for the University of Maryland Largo Medical Center where she was the Program Administrator for a hospital based dual service rape crisis and domestic violence program. As the Administrator, she oversaw all therapeutic services for survivors, supervised a 24-hour crisis line, and community outreach including educational and social services.  Dr. Clarke has served on various boards and commissions supporting human rights and advocating for justice. 

Dr. Clarke is also an adjunct faculty member of Johns Hopkins University School of Education. She serves as a board member of the Maryland Counseling Association (MCA) and serves as president of the Maryland Association of Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (MASERVIC). She is a member of the AME Church Writer’s Guild where she has written extensive lessons for the Liberating Faith Studies Sunday School Lessons for the AMEC Publishing House. She provides instruction for candidates seeking ministerial orders and provides training for churches and the community on subjects involving domestic violence, child abuse, sexual harassment, assault, and abuse. She continues to provide professional counseling services through her private practice, Fresh Oil Counseling Services, LLC. 

Dr. Clarke is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is married to Leo G. Clarke III, where they are blessed with two adult sons, Clifton and Christopher, a daughter-in-love, Jessica, and two beautiful granddaughters.

Her favorite scripture comes from Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi. “I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3: 13 – 14 NKJV

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