First Lady Files: Coco Jenkins
Sep02

First Lady Files: Coco Jenkins

For Tonja Leray Jenkins, first lady and co-pastor of New Life LA, her introduction to the Baptist church came way of a big red bus driving through her hometown in Oceanside, CA.

“The bus would come through our neighborhood and pick up kids whose parents didn't go to church and take them to Sunday school,” said Jenkins affectionately known as Coco. “Looking back on it, I thank God that I got to know who He was at such a young age.”

First Lady Files: Natalie Owens
Aug05

First Lady Files: Natalie Owens

Natalie Owens is not just the first lady of Faith Inspirational Missionary Baptist Church of Compton, she’s a preacher herself. The assistant pastor, and wife of Pastor Rafer Owens, has been preaching for 20 years and is a certified life coach and motivational speaker who teaches classes to empower people.

“Your purpose is the reason you exist and my purpose is to speak life to people and encourage them to be the best that they can be,” says the Carson, CA native.

First Lady Files: Norma Fisher
Jul07

First Lady Files: Norma Fisher

First lady Norma Fisher came of age in an era when everybody wore suits, hats and gloves to church. So when she married the Rev. Jerome Fisher (who established Compton’s first black church back in 1954) and became first lady of Little Zion Baptist Church in 1986, she had to fit in.

“It was a completely different role. Everybody calls it first lady but I call it the lead lady, the lady that everybody watches,” said the Joplin Missouri native who grew up an active member in church. “My husband used to say that you really have to be called for that job. A real first lady has to be called.”

First Lady Files: First Lady Ronell Nichols
Jun08

First Lady Files: First Lady Ronell Nichols

First Lady Ronell Nichols of Garden of Praise Christian Fellowship in Carson wants single mothers who are still looking for “the one” to have one thing above all: hope. The West Philadelphia native was a single mother of two children in her forties when she met her now husband Pastor Rodney Nichols.

First Lady Files: Allyson Scott
Feb11

First Lady Files: Allyson Scott

“We were only married a year before he got called to a church as the senior pastor,” says Fairfield, CA native First Lady Allyson Scott. “It was exciting but at the same time, it was scary. I knew church. I knew how to play the role. I knew what to do in terms of being a Christian, but the expectations of the older congregation were a lot for me. I had to just be myself.”

First Lady Files: Andrea Humphrey
Jan05

First Lady Files: Andrea Humphrey

“As a first lady I’m always challenged by men who want me to behave a certain way that my husband is not co-signing to,” says Andrea Humphrey of H.O.P.E.'s House Christian Ministries. “Because if you don't do what the historical patriarchal model says, then in some kind of way you're rebellious.”

The mother of two, who co-pastors with her husband Charles Humphrey at the church they founded together in 2003, owns a consultation firm, is a published author, is fluent in American Sign Language and is a executive development coach for Disney.

First Ladies High Tea
November will mark the 20th Anniversary of our Annual First Ladies High Tea, honoring the contributions of female leaders and women of faith to the Los Angeles community. For more information, visit www.firstladieshightea.com
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