The Rev. Shari L. Rates is Senior Pastor of Rock Springs United Methodist Church in Lawrenceville, GA, and Chairperson of Parish Life for the North Georgia Conference through Connectional Ministries. She has been a seminar participant through the World Methodist Evangelism Institute, and continues to serve in various leadership roles through church, social and scholastic settings.
Reared in the Atlanta area, Reverend Rates matriculated at Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in the area of Mass Communications. Reverend Rates has worked in the Atlanta area at WGNX-TV 46, Erdas Inc., United Way and Spelman College.
After a five and a half year stint in Micronesia where she worked with children and youth through the Peace Corps and a local government contract, Reverend Rates entered Candler school of Theology at Emory University in 1998 and earned the Master of Divinity degree in 2001.
Within her ministerial call, she has served as a chaplain at Gwinnett Medical Center, as Minister of Children and Youth at Ousley UMC, Director of Programs at Stone Mountain First UMC, an Associate Pastor at Cascade UMC, Associate Director of Connectional Ministries for the North Georgia Conference, and Senior Pastor of Jones Memorial UMC in the Forest Park corridor.
What measure of love are we willing to extend to one another?
Through an extraordinary story, what Mary Johnson has been able to do within her lifetime speaks volumes about unconditional love under the anvil of forgiveness. In February of 1993, her 20-year-old son was shot in the head by Oshea Israel, a 16 year old, after an argument at a party in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Originally wanting to see justice, she turned her anger into compassion. Now she and Israel are next-door neighbors. Today, she counsels mothers of murdered children while he visits prisons and churches. He shares about forgiveness and reconciliation.Read full transcript...