Reverend Jocelyn Kahn Hart Lovelace is the second of four children born to Filmore and the late Marion Kahn Hart of Baltimore, Maryland.
Reverend Lovelace is an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She acknowledged the call to preach in 1993 at Bethel A.M.E. Church of Reading, Pennsylvania under the pastorate of the late Rev. Bealie Stancil, Jr.
In June 2016 Presiding Elder Lovelace was appointed Presiding Elder of the Boston Hartford District of the New England Annual Conference. Here she serves 24 congregations spanning the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Prior to this appointment, she served as Presiding Elder of the Philadelphia District, The ‘Mother District of African Methodism. In this capacity, Presiding Elder Lovelace facilitated the first church merger in the Philadelphia Annual Conference. She also assisted the efforts of the Bensalem Heritage Foundation in the renovation of Bensalem AME Church. Lead on by the Township Mayor, this project involved every area of the community: Bensalem AME Church, Town Council and Township Departments, youth agencies, social service agencies, educational institutions, veterans, labor unions and retailers. All to the glory of God and bringing a community together in ways no one could have imagined. In 2012 and 2016 Presiding Lovelace was elected to the General Board of The African Methodist Episcopal Church. Where she served 4 years as Vice Chair of the Commission on Women In Ministry.
Prior to her elevation to Presiding Elder, Reverend Lovelace served for five and one-half years as Pastor of Hickman Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she distinguished herself as the first woman to be appointed as lead pastor to a charge of this caliber. During her tenure at Hickman Temple, Presiding Elder Lovelace served as Chairman of the Board of Examiners, a Conference Trustee, and was twice elected a Delegate to the General Conference. Additionally, under her leadership, Hickman Temple was selected as a Partner for Sacred Places, effected major needed improvements to the physical plant, and was blessed with a successful hosting of the 193rd Session of the Philadelphia Annual Conference. An inspired and anointed preacher, Presiding Elder Lovelace was honored to deliver the Annual Sermon for the195th Session of the Philadelphia Annual Conference in May 2011.
Presiding Elder Lovelace has served in the Western New York Annual Conference as Pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Schenectady, NY, and St. John’s A.M.E. Church in Niagara Falls, NY. There she was a member of the Board of Examiners, a Conference Trustee, the Conference Treasurer and Christian Education Chairperson. Presiding Elder Lovelace has also served as Pastor of Bethany A/M. E. Church in Parkesburg, PA and Associate Minister of Administration and Training at St. Mark A.M.E. Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Presiding Elder Lovelace has been very active in the communities in which she has lived; serving on boards and committees that address health care, education and the needs of the elderly and youth. She was a founding member of NOAH: Niagara Organizing Alliance for Hope, a congregation centered, community organizing group, and established AMEmerge, a community development corporation in the West Philadelphia community served by Hickman Temple.
Presiding Elder Lovelace maintains an interest in and devotion to local and global mission. In 1999 she traveled to Kenya East Africa for a two -month preaching and teaching tour. In 1997 Presiding Elder Lovelace was among a delegation of 50 African-Americans who participated in the Travel and Study Institute of the All Africa Conference of Churches General Assembly held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 2008 she was selected to an elite group of clergy for a pastoral retreat in the Holy Land and has subsequently been invited to return several times for preaching and teaching missions.
Presiding Elder Lovelace served on the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia Urban Theological Institute Committee of Advisors, as well as an instructor in the Certificate Program. She has also served as an adjunct professor in the Department of African America Studies at the University of Buffalo and instructor for the Payne Theological Seminary Alternative Theological Education Program held in Albany, New York, in addition to holding positions as Assistant Dean of Admissions at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania; Team Manager of the Greater Philadelphia Girl Scout Council and Field Executive for the Tarheel Triad Girl Scout Council.
Presiding Elder Lovelace has distinguished herself in the academic community. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from High Point College in North Carolina, a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Divinity Degree in theology from Turner Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. While enrolled at the I.T.C., Presiding Elder Lovelace was a Dean’s List Scholar, the recipient of several denominational awards and the 1997 and 1998 recipient of the United Negro College Fund Pennsylvania Scholarship. Presiding Elder Lovelace was also included in the 1997 edition of the National Dean’s List and the 1997 and 1998 editions of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Presiding Elder Lovelace was also nominated for recognition in the Ninth Edition of International Who’s Who of Professional and Business Women and the 2001 Women of the Year. Presiding Elder Lovelace was appointed as a biographical candidate into the Manchester Who’s Who of Female Christian Leaders and Professionals 2005/2006 “Honors Editions.”
Presiding Elder Lovelace is recently married to Mr. Eddie J. Lovelace. They look forward to many years of serving the people of God.