Rev. Alethea, as she is fondly called by so many people, loves the Lord and is called according to God’s purpose and throughout the years she has stood on the promises of God!
She is the founding pastor of the Pavilion of God. She is the second female to found an American Baptist Church in Washington, DC and the first woman to found an American Baptist Church that has thrived for more than ten years!
She is not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus nor is she ashamed of the challenged she faced choosing to acknowledge her call to ministry and then a call to found a church. But God… But God lifted her and instilled courage tempered by humility and enabled her carry the mantle of leadership where few women had dared to walk… and or dared to preach and teach the Gospel!
Rev. Alethea’s success and professional track record speak volumes about her ability to be a visionary and a consummate servant leader. In 2005, she became a Pastoral Care Specialist and was the first African-Caribbean-American woman in the District of Columbia to be trained in Imago Therapy, providing certified business/life coaching. Adding to her many personal testimonies of God’s grace, mercy and power, in 2010, Rev. Alethea became a breast cancer overcomer!! She regularly shares her story and has been trained by the American Cancer Society to speak about cancer prevention.
In 2014, she became the host of “RevUp with Rev Alethea”, a blog talk radio show. From coast to coast, Rev Alethea has interviewed faith leaders, history makers, prominent authors, politicians, educators, and the “neighborhood” men and women who are making a difference in the world. Her commentaries offer a faith lens for every interview.
As a clergyperson and as a womanist, Rev. Alethea has been an active advocate for religious liberty and civil rights for many years. She is a member of African American Ministers Leadership Council and served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC).
In alignment with her call to ministry, she has earned the Masters of Divinity and the Doctor of Ministry degrees from Howard University School of Divinity. She is an ordained minister, preacher, and Christian Educator and was awarded a Pew Foundation Fellowship in Urban Ministry. Within her urban ministry and work in religious education, Rev. Alethea has become well know as a “barrier-breaker” and “bridge-builder.”
Each and every day, she thanks God for her help mate, Charles Withers, who serves in the ministry with her as an ordained deacon. Together they have one son, Charles, and a beloved daughter-in-love, Crystal. They are also thankful for and devoted to their three GRANDchildren: Layla, Portia, and Charles Alexander.
As God gives, Rev. Alethea Smith-Withers the strength, she strives to live out the full meaning of James 2:26, “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.”