Reverend Dr. Brenda L. Iglehart, M.A., MDiv.
MEET THE FOUNDER AND DEAN
The Reverend Brenda Iglehart is a third-generation minister. A Daughter of the Church of God in Christ, she was the youngest licensed evangelist in the Texas Southwest Jurisdiction at the age of 19. She retired as an Ordained Elder in the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, having served a total of twenty-three years under Episcopal appointment. She has served for the past six years as the first female Pastor of the First African Baptist Church on Saint Simons Island where she continues to live out an evangelistic passion for soul-winning, a missionary zeal for community outreach, and pastoral calling to make disciples for Jesus Christ. The Zion Missionary Baptist Association recently honored the pastor for 50 years of service as a minister of the gospel. She serves as the 4th Vice Moderator of the Association and is a certified instructor for the Association's Congress of Christian Education,
Dr. Iglehart’s accomplishments in the United Methodist Church include a trailblazing tenure on various boards and agencies. She was the second African American female clergywoman to be ordained Elder in the South Georgia Conference. Notable “Firsts” include becoming the first South Georgia Black Clergywoman to
chair a Conference committee,
be an elected delegate to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference,
serve two quadrennial terms on the National Board of Directors of the United Methodist Development Fund
be appointed as Associate Director of the Conference Office of Connectional Ministries
write weekly Sunday School commentary as a columnist for the Wesleyan Christian Advocate of Georgia for more than seven years.
As a South Georgia United Methodist program and ministry consultant, her portfolio included Mission Outreach and Evangelism Ministries, Liaison to the Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Advocacy and Justice Ministries, the United Methodist Women, and the General Board of Global Ministries. She was the 46th pastor and first female appointed to lead the historic Speedwell United Methodist Church of Savannah. In 2011, the retired UMC pastor became the first female to lead the First African Baptist Church on Saint Simons Island.
As a Pastor, Dr. Iglehart's zeal for community outreach garnered her several community awards. In recognition of her leadership as an activist with the Citizens League Opposed to Unwanted Toxins (CLOUT), a grassroots environmental justice group in Tifton, Georgia, the pastor was selected as a recipient of the Georgia Environmental Organization's "Justice Award".
She founded the Greenhouse Project while serving the Herring Memorial UMC. The on-going program is committed to nurturing at-risk children and youth in the Tifton community. She represented that community on the Tifton Housing Authority Board, was elected to the Tift County Board of Commissioners, and served two terms under appointment by the Governors Zell Miller and Roy Barnes to the Board of Commissioners of the Georgia Equal Opportunity Commission.
The charismatic leader helped the St. Andrews UMC in Sylvania, Georgia to organize an exciting Pathfinders full summer program for at-risk community youth, chaired the community youth services collaborative, and partnered with the Screven County Probation Department to provide intervention counseling for troubled teens. Re-assigned to the Savannah Community, Brenda extended her pastoral outreach to homeless women in the area, partnering with the Sojourners Shelter, to provide weekly spiritual nurture, biblical instruction, and other much-needed resources.
The dauntless religious leader, gifted teacher, and prophetic preacher earned her undergraduate psychology degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio, a graduate degree in mental health counseling from St. Mary's University, and a seminary degree (M.Div.) from Emory's Candler School of Theology. She is a Life-long Learner, engaged in studies toward a Doctorate in Education at Argosy University and in Leadership Ethics at the Siegel Institute, Kennesaw State University. In 2021, Rev. Iglehart was awarded an honorary Doctor of Theology degree from New Generation Seminary in Savannah Georgia, where she served a tenure as Interim Academic Dean.
In 2016, Rev. Iglehart founded the Coastal Georgia Bible Institute , a Biblical and Theological Studies and Christian Ministry Training Center in Brunswick, Georgia. She is the current Dean and an Instructor.