Welcome to our Ministers of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

January 4, 2019 by Robyn Davis Sekula

Four Ministers of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion joined the Presbyterian Foundation in 2018 to help the Foundation better understand and serve the needs of the entire Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Adding the Ministers of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is part of an overall strategic plan for the Presbyterian Foundation adopted by the Board of Trustees in 2015. The plan calls for greater diversity in all ways, including staff members, board of trustees and in those served by the Foundation.

“Each minister of diversity, equity, and inclusion is someone who is deeply connected in the church and has extensive experience in congregational life,” said Rev. Dr. Tom Taylor, President and CEO of the Presbyterian Foundation. “We are so grateful for their willingness to serve and glad for their connections and willingness to represent the Foundation.”

The Ministers of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion serve the church in the following ways:

  • As advisors, they will advise and educate Foundation staff and leadership on cultural nuances and implications of their community in order that the organization can better serve the constituency.
  • As ambassadors, they represent the Foundation within their constituent community to build relationships, interpret Foundation mission and work, and increase awareness of our services.

The Ministers of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are listed below, along with biographies about their life, education and calling.

Rev. Ruth-Aimée Belonni-Rosario Govens is on staff at Columbia Theological Seminary as the Chief Enrollment Management Officer. She served as Associate Director of Admissions at Princeton Theological Seminary and then as Dean of Admissions at Lancaster Theological Seminary. Educated both at the Universidad de Puerto Rico and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She has demonstrated strong commitments to Latinx voices in theological education and ministry, as well as supporting seminary students to discern their particular call.

 

Rev. Dr. Jerry Lytle Cannon serves as Pastor/Head of Staff at C.N. Jenkins Memorial Presbyterian Church, a thriving congregation dedicated to community service in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Cannon has served as a mentor to many. Eight members of his congregation have gone on to pursue seminary degrees. Dr. Cannon received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia, and a Master of Divinity Degree from Interdenominational Theological Center—Johnson C. Smith University Seminary. He received his Doctor of Ministry Degree from the United Theological Seminary in 1998.

 

Rev. Helen Locklear is a recently retired PC(USA) minister. She previously served as a Regional Representative at the Board of Pensions of the PC(USA). Prior to that position, Rev. Locklear as Deputy Executive Director for the former General Assembly Council, as well as the Associate Director for Racial Ethnic Ministries. She has also served as executive director of Pembroke Area Presbyterian Ministries and pastor of New Hope Presbyterian Chapel in Pembroke, North Carolina. She earned her Master of Arts in Management and Human Resources Development from Webster University and Master of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Rev. Locklear resides in Pembroke, North Carolina and is a member of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina.

 

Rev. Dr. Jonah So was born in Korea, raised in New Jersey, and resides in New York. He received God’s call to ministry while attending New York University. He graduated with a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2002 and received a Doctor of Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2016. Jonah has been serving as the lead pastor of the English Ministry, associate pastor, and Director of Christian Education at the Korean Presbyterian Church of Westchester, New York, since December 2002. He currently serves the Hudson River Presbytery as a member of the Council.