Dr. Cummings is Senior Pastor of the historic New Covenant Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Nashville, TN where she preaches to empower, encourage, and equip the saints for kingdom ministry and is the first woman to pastor this historic church in its 157 years of existence. Under her visionary leadership, theology of social justice and intellectually, robust, and rhetorically polished sermons, New Covenant has become known for its social activism, ecumenism and radical welcoming hospitality as they seek to be an “Oasis of Wholeness, Building CommUnity Inside and Out.” Chosen by God she is ordained to lead this great people for such a time as this.
A public justice theologian, Dr. Cummings is one of Nashville's most influential leaders. She works diligently in the community serving on various community boards and organizations and as a trained community organizer is frequently called upon to speak and to act on issues of injustice. She is chair of Membership for Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH), has served in various roles in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., a public service organization. She is a Charter member of the National Council of Negro Women, member of the Women’s Political Collaborative, a graduate of the 2013 Leadership Nashville Class and serves as co-chair for the Moving Forward Transit initiative. Dr. Cummings is the immediate past president of the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (IMF), the immediate past director of the Nashville Chapter of the National Consortium of Black Women in Ministry (NCBWIM), and past president of Women in Numbers (WIN) a non-partisan political organization, which seeks to help women get elected to public office. She also served for twelve years as a commissioner on the Metropolitan Planning Commission.
For her contributions to the community, Dr. Cummings has received numerous awards and recognitions including recipient of the NCBWIM-Clergy Women Trail Blazer Award, the YWCA Academy for Women of Achievement award, was inducted into Societas Docta, Inc. upon receiving the Nefertiti Award, and is recipient of the 2016 National Convocation (Disciples of Christ) Justice Award, and was named by Scarritt Bennett as the 2016 Phenomenal Woman of Justice.
Dr. Cummings is academically prepared to lead the Church in the 21st Century. She holds degrees from Tennessee State University School of Nursing; the University of St. Francis; the Master of Divinity degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has earned the Doctor of Ministry degree (D.Min.) in Preaching and Church Leadership from Asbury Theological Seminary. Her dissertation, The Stained Glass Ceiling in Black Baptist Churches: The Continuing Paradox of Liberation has already contributed exponentially to the study of the role and function of clergywomen in the Church and particularly in the Black Church. Dr. Cummings has publications with the African American Lectionary and other theological journals and papers including her sermons. Additionally Dr. Cummings serves as adjunct professor of the Masters of Divinity program at Central Baptist Theological Seminary
In the midst of her busy schedule, varied activities, and devotion to the Lord, she is the proud wife of Deacon Charles M. Cummings, Sr., and the fruit of 42 years of divine marriage are two adult children, Michelle Steele, and Charles Jr., and eight adorable grandchildren.
Dr. Cummings believes firmly that “With human beings it is impossible, but with God all things are possible!” Matthew19:26. God still works!