Associate Pastor

Rev. Dr. M. Lavell Sanders

A native of Lumberton, North Carolina, Rev. Dr. Lavell Sanders is a 1983 graduate of Morehouse College with a B.A. Degree in Political Science. In 2000, he earned a Master of Divinity Degree from Gammon Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC). He earned the Certificate of Executive Leadership from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago in 2015 and is currently matriculating through the Association of Chicago Theological Schools Doctor of Ministry in Preaching program, with an expected graduation date of 2019.

In 2004, Rev. Dr. Sanders was ordained as an Elder in full connection in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has served on various leadership committees on the conference and district levels. Rev. Dr. Sanders is an instructor with the Connection Cafe. He teaches a class entitled, “So What’s Our Position?” This class discusses the general church’s position on the social issues of today. He is also a Coach with the Natural Church Development Program. 

Rev. Dr. Sanders is a certified P.A.I.R.S. (Practical Application for Intimate Relationship Skills) Instructor for married couples and a Prepare and Enrich Counselor for engaged and married couples. He is a founding member of a Mentoring Program for young boys called G.E.N.T.S. (Gentleman Engaged in Necessary Tools for Success) which began at Fairview Elementary School in Stockbridge, Georgia in 2010.

Rev. Dr. Sanders has served in various capacities, including Youth Minister, Associate Pastor and Senior Pastor at United Methodist Churches in Atlanta, Marietta, and Stockbridge, Georgia.

He is married to Rev. Dr. Valerie Sanders. They have three energetic children: Nia, Caleb and Camille. He says his family is his greatest blessing and feels strongly that “It is all about God and not about himself.” His favorite passage of scripture is Isaiah 40:3—which says, “But those who wait on the Lord, will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.

Rev. Dr. Sanders is passionate about life and ministry. He is extremely grateful for the God of a second chance.