ENGLEWOOD, N.J. -- The new spiritual leader and pastor of Galilee United Methodist Church in Englewood has brought wiht her a mission-focused approach to her ministry.
"My daily goal is to love and inspire hope and confidence in others," Shivonne C. McKay recently wrote. "Eradicating issues of social injustice, educational inequity, women empowerment, and advocacy on behalf of families and children are among the main tenets of my life’s work.
"Effectively reaching the masses, this will be done by serving, educating, and empowering through one mission at a time."
McKay believes everyone is born with a purpose.
"No matter what industry, or career paths we find ourselves, we are called to serve those in need," the Hempstead, L.I. native said.
Besides being a preacher, teacher, scholar and advocate, McKay is an author -- having collaborated on "Becoming a Woman Like Ruth."
Before joining the ministry, she worked in social service and guidance counseling while an adjunct professor at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, where she's lectured in the department of Psychology, Education, and Women's Studies.
McKay got her Bachelor of Arts degree from Penn State, a Master of Business Administration in from American Intercontinental University and a Master of Education Administrastion from Adelphi University.
She went on to receive a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton.
McKay said she is committed to "providing equal access of education to all children, empowering young women as leaders, and serving low income communities."
She serves as a board director for World Day of Prayer USA and volunteers with various civic and service organizations.
She came to Galilee United Methodist from The Nora F. Taylor Women’s Missionary Society at The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York, her home church.
In March 2012, McKay she led a Young Adult Empowerment team on a mission to Port-au-Prince Haiti to help those affected by the 2010 earthquake.