Reverend Kenneth L. Whitley
Reverend Ken Whitley was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA where he progressed through the public school system. After high school he headed for the University of Pittsburgh but his time in Pittsburgh was cut short. While at Pitt he considered applying for a Congressional appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. He didn’t expect to get the nomination but he knew there was zero chance if he didn’t apply. To his surprise, he received an appointment from his US Congressman, which he quickly accepted. Four years later he graduated from the AF Academy in Colorado Springs CO with a Bachelors degree in one hand and an Air Force commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the other hand. Later in 1990 Rev Whitley added a MS degree in business to his academic credentials.
After graduating from the Air Force Academy, Rev Whitley served his country for the next 26 years. For half of his career he served as a bomber crew member and the other half he spent as an acquisition officer. He retired in the rank of full Colonel. But more important is the fact that he never lost sight of his Christian roots. As a child, his parents and family friends made sure Ken was in church. Rev Whitley will tell you that even though he went through a period of weak church attendance, God was always in his life. Sometimes the devil puts distractions in our path but God is always there if we just look for him.
As Rev Whitley approached the end of his military career, doors opened for him to follow his wife into seminary. He graduated from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary with a MDiv degree in 2008 and was ordained an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church that same year.
Rev Whitley currently works as a civilian acquisition manager for the United States Air Force. He also serves as the assistant Pastor of People’s A.M.E. Church in Chelsea where his wife and long time friend, the Rev Dr. Sandra Gatlin Whitley serves as Pastor.
Rev Whitley’s favorite scripture comes from Phil 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Reverend Dr. Sandra Gatlin Whitley
The Reverend Dr. Sandra Gatlin Whitley shares the sentiments of her life journey as the Apostle Paul “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect…(1Cor. 15:10).” She is faithfully serving in her second career “calling’ as an ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She was appointed to Pastor the People’s A.M.E. Church in Chelsea MA during the 156th Session of the New England Annual Conference in 2007.
She was born in Montgomery Alabama and the eldest daughter of eight. Her father was military giving the family the experience of living in many different parts of the world. After the separation and later divorce of her parents, Montgomery AL once again became home. She graduated from George Washington Carver High School and Alabama State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.
Prior to her calling to the ordained ministry, she served on active duty as a commissioned officer through the Air Force ROTC program. Dr. Whitley served our country for 22 dedicated years travelling to and serving in places like Texas, Japan, California, Colorado, Ohio, Washington D.C., including Massachusetts where she retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. She had a successful Air Force contracting career with varied responsibilities in the acquisition and management of government contracts with private industry. She served as a Chief and Director of Contracting, a master instructor, a Department of Defense staff officer, policy-writer at the Pentagon and on special duty as Chief, Joint Operations on the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee in support of the 53rd Presidential Inauguration. On active duty, she earned her Masters Degree from Webster University in Business Management. She received numerous military awards and decorations.
Dr. Sandra Whitley has dedicated her life to serving God through her relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. Her life’s experiences, education, and ministerial positions, all contributed to her dual calling as a military member and as a servant of the Lord fulfilling His “Great Commission,” while on active duty. At various military bases she was actively involved in chapel programs, including the Protestant Women of the Chapel on the local and regional levels. Upon making the transition for active duty to active ministry, someone shared “you are going from saving lives to saving souls.” She graduated from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary where she earned in 2004 dual degrees of a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts and in 2015 she was conferred a Doctor of Ministry degree.
She is happily married to her friend and God-sent mate from Philadelphia PA, Reverend Kenneth L. Whitley. He also served in the U.S. Air Force for 26 years as a navigator and acquisition program manager. Together they share the love of God, travel, photography, people, and spoiling their nieces, nephews and god-children. They now serve in ministry together. She is a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Air Force Association, the Girl Scouts of America, a charter member of the Women in Military Service for America (WIMSA) Memorial.
She was appointed by Massachusetts Governor to serve on the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Women Veterans. She serves locally on the board of directors of Chelsea Rotary Club. She is a teacher, preacher, author, marriage and family pastoral counselor and Beloved Community advocate.
She attests to the Apostle John’s revelation “…He testifies to what he has seen and heard…the man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit (John 3:32-33).”
The Black History Month Breakfast will be held on Thursday March 3, 2016 at the Boston Colonnade Hotel from 8:30 am to 11:00 am.
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