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Our Pastor

The  Reverend Dr. Mary Whitley Moss is a Biblical scholar, theologian, preacher and serves as the seventh pastor of St. Alma Baptist Church of Lakeland, LA. She is Founder and Executive Director of Louisiana Area Women in Ministry, and Director of The Southeast Regional Biblical Institute. Dr. Moss is an author, publishing her first work in 2021, PREACH MOSS. She is known for her commitment to “rightly divide” the Word of God in a way that it calls for a response from her hearers and for revitalizing community through relevant and reaching ministries. Her commitment to responsible leadership, transformative teaching and responsible handling of God’s Word is evidenced in her role as pastor, teacher, and administrator. As a community leader, her community focus is impacting lives through intergenerational leadership, outreach projects, and training of ministers and leaders. Dr. Moss organized a cohort group of young pastors and ministers as a part of the Robert Smith Preaching Institute of Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, AL.


Dr. Moss is the recipient of multiple earned degrees, including a Bachelor of Arts Degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana, a Master of Divinity Degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, with languages, Hebrew and Greek, a Doctor of Ministry Degree in Biblical Preaching from Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Thus, she became the third African American

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Rev. Dr. Mary Whitley Moss

female to be awarded a doctorate degree. Dr. Moss has certification in Expository Preaching from E. K. Bailey International Preaching Conference. She is a fellow of the Princeton Black Theology and Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary.


Dr. Moss walks humbly in a number of firsts: the first female minister to be ordained at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church; the first female elected to the position of pastor of this traditional Baptist Church and the first female ever installed by the then, 133 year old Fourth District Baptist Association; the first to have a scholarship established at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans.  Dr. Moss is the recipient of numerous commendations and honors including the establishment of The Dr. Mary Whitley Moss Endowment Scholarship, having the privilege to preach through the Baptist Council of Preachers of Detroit on the Sea of Galilee in Israel; serving on Mayor Sharon Weston Broome Women’s Advancement Commission for the City of Baton Rouge and the MidCity Redevelopment Alliance, Reverend Mary E. Moody Lifetime Achievement Medal of Honor.   Dr. Moss is the recent recipient of The Chancellor’s Legacy Award presented by Wayland Baptist Theological Seminary in recognition of exemplified leadership and services perseverance of the Baptist faith and witness.


Dr. Moss and her husband, Carl has three daughters, one who is now with the Lord and seven grandchildren. When asked about her journey now, Dr. Moss simply says that her whole desire is to preach the Word, teach the Word, and live the Word in a way that ushers people into the presence of God.


Preach Moss: When SHE Heard the Call has been birthed out of God's nudging to continue to give voice to my journey as a female in ministry with an emphasis on the preaching ministry.  Preaching is who I am, and the calling and giftedness took me by storm. 

There are many who have told their story, but each story carries with it a uniqueness that belongs only to the one telling the story.  My prayer as I add one more story to the chronicles of stories is that it will help sisters who are on the journey and those who have yet to join the journey of preaching women.



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