Rev. Dr. Jessica Kendall Ingram is the new Episcopal Supervisor for the First Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. This district encompasses the Bermuda Conference, the New Jersey Conference, the Delaware Conference, the New England Conference, the New York Conference, the Western New York Conference, and the Philadelphia Conference. She will oversee the work of women in 305 churches. Her responsibilities will include working with the Women’s Missionary Society, the Young People’s Department, the Women in Ministry and the Minister Spouses. She will also design and develop programs for the district.
Previously Dr. Ingram served as the Supervisor of Missions for the Tenth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church from July 2004 to July 2012. Her work area included the State of Texas. She also served as the Supervisor of Missions for the Fifteen Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church from July 2000 to July 2004. Her work area included Angola, Namibia and South Africa.
Rev. Jessica served for 13 years as assistant pastor of Oak Grove A.M.E. Church in Detroit, Michigan where she implemented a comprehensive Ministry to Women. In addition to her work in the local church, Dr. Ingram has served as an Adjunct Professor at Ashland Theological Seminary. She also has taught classes on Women in Ministry, Spiritual Formation and Ministerial Ethics. Currently, she serves as the president of the Episcopal Supervisors’ Council.
In 1992, Dr. Ingram founded the L.I.F.T. Women's Resource Center in Detroit, MI .This much needed facility addresses the needs of women who are recovering from physical, mental and substance abuse. More than 6,000 women have been aided by L.I.F.T. since its inception. Because of her concern and passion for the plight of women in South Africa, Dr. Ingram spearheaded construction of the Balm in Gilead Centre: The Healing Place for Women. The Centre offers diagnostic testing for high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and HIV/AIDS. The staff provides parenting skills, computer classes and basic job training. Rev. Ingram has made 4 mission trips to the centre since 2005. Additionally she has raised more than $100,000 in operational support.
An accomplished writer, Dr. Ingram has self-published three widely read and highly praised books: “The Journey Inward”, “Still on the Journey” and “A Journey in the Experience of Prayer: A Guide for the Pilgrim Traveler”. She has traveled the USA, as well as the Caribbean and Africa preaching and facilitating workshops and retreats.
In 1997, Dr. Ingram was featured in Ebony magazine as one of the Fifteen Top African- American Female Preachers in the United States. The African-American Pulpit named her one of the 20 Great African-American Revivalists of the Century. Her sermon, The Silence of God is included in the journal's spring 2003 edition.
Dr. Ingram has designed and implemented five International Women’s Convocations. In 2003 over 900 persons from the USA joined hundreds of women from Africa for IWC 2003 in Cape Town, South Africa. This historic event was a week long experience that included worship services, workshops and a comprehensive outreach ministry. In 2004 she gave convocation in Kimberly, South Africa. Upon her arrival in Texas she sponsored IWC 2006 in Dallas, Texas. The women of Texas raised over $100,000 to cover the travel and hotel expenses of women who were coming from every overseas African Methodist Episcopal Church District. This was a first time event in the history of the A.M.E. Church. Because she is passionate about bringing women together for spiritual enrichment experiences she has also had 3 convocations in Cape Town, South Africa. They were held in 2008, 2009 and 2010. She also sponsored the International Women’s Convocation 2006.
Dr. Ingram earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education from the University of Missouri, a Master of Arts degree in Guidance and Counseling from St. Louis University, a Master of Religious Education from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary and a Doctorate of Ministry in Spirituality from United Theological Seminary. She was the first African-American in the country to be trained in Spiritual Direction at the Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. Rev. Ingram is the immediate past president of the Episcopal Supervisor’s Council of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She has received numerous awards from her seminary, civic and community organizations. Dr. Ingram has been a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority since 1966.
Dr. Ingram has been married to Bishop Gregory Gerald McKinley Ingram for over 30 years. They are the proud parents of one daughter, Jennifer Eman Keanne and a beautiful granddaughter Jayda Eman Keanne.