About our elder

ABOUt presiding Elder Janet Jenkins Sturdivant

With a heart for people, Elder Sturdivant through prophetic wisdom and compassion challenges our district to reach higher hights and deeper depths in Kingdom building.

The Rev. Dr. Janet Jenkins Sturdivant is a woman of many firsts.  She is the first woman to ever preach the Annual Sermon in the Mother Conference of African Methodism since its organization in 1817.  The sermon title was ‘Who’s report will you believe’, Numbers 13:26-33.  This historic event took place at Mt. Pisgah AME Church, Philadelphia, PA. (May 1998).  Rev. Dr. Sturdivant was the pastor of St. John AME Church—Wayne, Pa., her first pastorate.
Rev. Dr. Sturdivant, was the first woman to pastor Asbury AME Church, Chester, PA.  She was assigned to Asbury in June 2003 by the Rt. Rev. Zedekiah L. Grady and served faithfully until her promotion on June 15, 2013.
Rev. Dr. Sturdivant was the first woman to host the Delaware Annual Conference in the First Episcopal District of the AME Church (2005), again in 2007 and again in 2012.
On Saturday, June 15, 2013 Rev. Dr. Sturdivant was promoted to the office of Presiding Elder of the South District of the Philadelphia Annual Conference by Bishop Gregory G. M. Ingram of the First Episcopal District.  Her appointment as Presiding Elder makes it the first time that any Annual Conference in the AME Church has two female Presiding Elders serving in it, at the same time.  She is the first woman to superintend the South District. Elder Sturdivant is the first Presiding Elder to lead a Presiding Elder District—(The South District) in hosting the Philadelphia Annual Conference in its 201st year history.  This was the very first time any Presiding Elder District hosted the Annual conference in the Philadelphia Conference’s history.  Presiding Elder Sturdivant graduate from Medialle College in Buffalo, New York with a B.S. (May 1986).  She graduated with a M.Div. from Lutheran Theological Seminary-Philadelphia (May 1993).  She also received her D.Min. at Lutheran Theological Seminary-Philadelphia (May 2008).  Her project topic is ‘The Woman’s Journey to the Pastorate in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.’ 

Her own personal accomplishments, she was assigned the Dean of the Ministerial Institute of the Delaware Annual Conference in 2006—2013; she was one of three preachers selected to preach for the Super--Soul Fest in Bermuda (alongside Bishop John Bryant, and Rev. William Watley); she preached for the Connectional Council of the AME Church and the Department of Evangelism for the AME Church.  She formerly served as the President of the Department of Evangelism for the Philadelphia Annual Conference for 7 years.  She also served for six years as the Statistician for the Philadelphia Annual Conference.  She has been a delegate to the General Conference of the AME Church in 2008, 2012 & 2016.  She received a prestigious award from the NAACP Role model of the year.  She is a part-time instructor at Lutheran and Payne Seminaries teaching AME History and Polity.  Presiding Elder Sturdivant is the Asst. Secretary of the Connectional Presiding Elder’s Council of the AME Church; she is the Secretary of the Presiding Elder’s Council of the First Episcopal District and the Asst. Treasurer of Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity.  Presiding Elder Sturdivant is married to the Rev. Michael W. Sturdivant.  Together they share a daughter, two sons, three grandchildren and two godchildren.

Presiding Elder Sturdivant is saved, sanctified and filled with God’s Holy Spirit and she is not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation, first to the Jews and then to the Greeks.  Her life’s aim is to help somebody as she passes along, so that her living is not in vain.