Rev. Dr. Carol Lynn Patterson
The Reverend Doctor Carol Lynn Patterson is a Jersey girl with southern roots. While she was born and raised in New Jersey, Carol spent her summers in rural Virginia soaking up stories of her family’s past. Her Saturdays and Sundays were spent with extended family members, enjoying God’s country, and in old time Baptist circuit churches thanking our Maker. It was in these settings that she developed a love for both nature and worship, seeing each as God’s canvass for creativity and diversity.
Growing up Carol was always aware of the isms and inequities of our society. She watched her father navigate both the blessings and burdens associated with being the first Black man to earn membership in the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825. On walks in the woods with her paternal grandfather she would apply biblical stories to her father’s journey. These exercises in theological thinking, combined with her parents’ devotion to community service, had a profound impact on her. In time they lead her to become a person committed to preaching, teaching and demonstrating the liberating gospel of Jesus Christ.
A teacher by nature, Doctor Patterson attributes her commitment to life-long learning to her grandmothers, who are described in her Family legend as “teachers-extraordinaire,” who pursued their calling in segregated, one-room, school houses. After graduating from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck with a B.A. in Communications, Doctor Patterson became an award-winning entrepreneur in Marketing Communications. She also served as an adjunct Public Relations professor at Seton Hall University.
When Doctor Patterson received her call to preach the gospel, she enrolled in the Master of Divinity program at Drew Theological School. Her shift in vocation was described by her mother as “doing PR for another client.” During her theological training Missions trips to Brazil, Haiti, and Kenya sparked a passion for ecumenism and interfaith dialog. Upon completion of her MDiv, Doctor Patterson became the first woman to be ordained at Calvary Baptist Church of Morristown, NJ. She served as a member of the pastoral team there while earning a Master of Theology degree in New Testament Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary.
After graduating Princeton Doctor Patterson entered a doctoral studies program at Drew, during which she created and implemented Gathered for Worship and Word: Scattered to Witness to the World. This contextual lifestyle evangelism ministry project involves evangelistic preaching, teaching and, practices which helped Calvary Baptist Church grow in many ways.
Doctor Patterson eventually found a denominational home with the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey, and she served as the bi-vocational Transitional Pastor of Federated Church in Livingston, while directing the Doctor of Ministry Program at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. As an Associate Regional Pastor, she is happy to bring her creative approach to multicultural ministry to the one of the American Baptist Churches most diverse regions, New Jersey, along with a desire to partner with pastors and people to build faithful, healthy and whole churches that are deeply rooted in Christ’s mission and love.