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Meet The Founders

Reverend Dr. Marsha Brown Woodard

Reverend Dr. Marsha Brown Woodard is a graduate of Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas (BA in Sociology) and Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, Missouri (Masters of Divinity). She earned her Doctor of Ministry from Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, PA.


Dr. Woodard's doctoral work focused on internalized oppression, which is a reasonable response to the inundation of messages that are disempowering and devaluing.  Her project utilized a small group that was facilitated through a Midwife Leadership Style that helped African American clergywomen explore these messages.  In this participant-centered environment the women were free to share even as if they were gathered around a kitchen table.


Marsha's writings have appeared in various publications, including Church Women magazine, Baptist Leader, and American Baptist Quarterly, as well as in the books Those Preaching Women (Vol. II), Vision of Hope, Can I Get a Witness, and Sister to Sister (Vol. 2).  More recently, she has contributed to Volume I of Abingdon's African American Preaching series. Her spoken word CD, “Where Is The New Kitchen” was released in 2007.


Dr. Woodard currently serves as an Lecturer in Practice of Ministry and Academic Advisor at Palmer Theological Seminary, the Seminary of Eastern University (the former Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary), in Wynnewood, PA. She teaches in both the Masters Program, and the Certificate and Diploma Programs in the Eastern School for Christian Ministries and the Priscilla Institute. She also serves as a member of the Administrative Leadership Team for the Department of Supervised Ministries.


In addition to her ministry at Palmer, Reverend Woodard has previously served as Pastor and/or a member of the staff in congregations in Pennsylvania and Missouri. She also serves as “Resident Chaplain” for the Biblical Institute of the Zion Baptist Church of Ambler, and as a consultant to churches, religious organizations, and human service organizations in the area of Christian Education and Discipleship, administration, especially church administration.


Reverend Woodard formerly served as Pastor of the Fellowship Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Philadelphia. She has also served on the staffs of the Philadelphia Baptist Association (PBA), the American Baptist Churches of the South (ABCOTS) and the Board of Educational Ministry for American Baptist Churches, USA. In addition to her ministerial standing with American Baptist churches USA she also maintains ministerial standing with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She currently resides in Wynnewood, PA.

Reverend Phaedra D. Blocker

Rev. Phaedra D. Blocker is a preacher, teacher, coach, and consultant who has a passion for helping individuals and organizations (particularly clergy and churches) move toward wholeness and actualize their potential. She is principal of Word&Wisdom, a marketplace ministry which provides spiritual and life coaching, leadership development training, and ministry and organizational consulting.


An ordained minister of the Gospel, Reverend Blocker’s ministry experience includes oversight of pastoral care and counseling ministries, Christian education, leadership development and training, women’s ministry, drama ministry, evangelism and outreach ministries, music ministry, and serving as an associate pastor for a congregation of 10,000-plus members. She also has more than 25 years experience in management, communications, community relations, program and organizational development, and training. In addition to her work through Word&Wisdom, she currently  serves as Assistant Pastor of a faith community comprised primarily of believers who have immigrated from Liberia; she is the first African American member of the congregation. She also serves as Affiliate Professor in Christian Ministries at Palmer Theological Seminary, where she teaches in the Masters programs, and in the Eastern School of Christian Ministry.


Reverend Blocker is a graduate of Temple University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, and she has also earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Theological Seminary). In addition, she has done clinical training in marriage and family therapy at the Council for Relationships (an AAMFT-certified program). Currently, she is pursuing doctoral studies in Spiritual Transformation at Northern Theological Seminary.

Her professional affiliations include the Advisory Board of the Priscilla Institute, and Spiritual Directors International. Past affiliations have included the Ogontz Avenue Business Association (now the West Oak Lane Business Association), the Board of Trustees of the YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, the Board of Directors of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), and Love for Children, Inc., a ministry of World Vision. She is the recipient of citations from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the City of Philadelphia for service "to the faith and business communities," as well as a Legion of Honor Award from the Chaplain of the Four Chaplains, for “...service to community, nation, or humanity without regard to race, religion or creed.”


Reverend Blocker loves to sing and enjoys most types of music. In addition to singing with various choirs, and serving as a praise and worship leader, she also ministers as a soloist. She is a voracious reader, gets recharged by quiet places in nature, and believes that fine dark chocolate is one of God’s better ideas. The verse resonating with her spirit in this season is Psalm 138:8, “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; do not forsake the work of your hands.” (NKJ)