Washington, D.C.: A native daughter of the soil of Columbia, South Carolina, Dr. E. Gail Anderson Holness, was recently appointed by Bishop James Levert Davis, Presiding Prelate of the Second Episcopal District, as Senior Pastor of Adams Inspirational African Methodist Episcopal Church Fort Washington, Maryland – Washington Annual Conference. Adams is named for Columbia, SC native, Bishop John Hurst Adams retired Prelate of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. “Bishop Adams ordained me at Bethel AME in Columbia during the pastorate of Rev. Ronnie Brailsford, Sr. now Bishop Brailsford. I am inspired to be appointed to the church named for someone whom I learned from and held in high esteem. Bishop John Hurst Adams
Dr. Holness is a Human Rights Activist, Lecturer, Businesswoman, Motivational Speaker, former College Administrator & former TV Talk Show Host, Columnist, Lawyer, Author and Senior Pastor of Adams Inspirational African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Ft. Washington, Maryland of the Capital District of the Washington Conference in the 2nd Episcopal District. She has pastored in the Seventh Episcopal District and is a third generation AME. She is the Director, Faith Based Outreach for the District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health. Upon graduation from C.A. Johnson High School she earned the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Clark Atlanta University; Juris Doctorate, Howard University School of Law; Doctor of Ministry, Howard University School of Divinityandstudied for Master of Theology at St. Mary’s Ecumenical Seminary & University. She earned a certificate in Health and Faith from Wesley Theological Seminary and Christianity and Religious from Harvard University School of Divinity.
She is as active in the Washington, DC area as she was growing up in Columbia. She is the immediate past President of the DC Democratic Women’s Club, appointed by DC Mayor to serve on the Mayor’s Interfaith Council and the D. C. Commission for Women. She is the immediate President of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington; on the historic night of November 4, 2008 she was elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for Single Member District ANC 1B11 and re-elected three terms. She was also elected Chair of ANC 1B which encompasses the Historic LeDroit area, Howard University and the infamous U Street Corridor; She was elected the 1st female clergy President of the Council of Churches of Greater Washington. Dr. Holness wrote a newspaper column titled, “Point of View.” Dr. Holness has received numerous awards to name a few, “Order of the Palmetto” from the Governor of South Carolina, the highest civilian honor awarded in the state; “Key to the City” and “Dr. E. Gail Anderson Holness Day” in the City of Columbia from the Mayor of Columbia. In 2000, South Carolina Vision Magazine featured an article on Dr. Holness as one of the top 25 Influencers in the new millennium. In the fall 2000 issue of Women in Ministry – Women of Power Magazine she was featured on the cover. In a historic vote in 1999, she was elected the first female President of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Greater Columbia, South Carolina’s one of the oldest and largest ministerial alliances in Columbia.
Within months upon graduation from Howard University School of Law at age 24, she became the youngest member of the defense team in the trial of the State of Georgia vs. Wayne B. Williams (1981), known as Atlanta’s Murdered Children’s case. On October 15, 2005 she prayed the invocation at the Millions More Movement on the Capitol steps in Washington, DC. On October 15, 1995 she prayed the invocation at the historic Million Man March Prayer Breakfast, Washington, DC and January 20, 2000 prayed at the King Day at the Dome Rally, on the Capital steps in Columbia, SC for the removal of the Confederate flag. Fifteen years later in July 2015 she stood with the South Carolina Governor and two former Governor’s as the flag was removed from the SC Capitol grounds.
Dr. Holness is the youngest of ten children born to Jasper R. Anderson, Sr. & Beatrice Jacobs Anderson. She is the proud mother of Rev. Ali Gail Holness-Roland an Ordained A.M.E Itinerate Elder, son-in-law Thomas Jordan Roland and grandchildren Axl Thomas and Asa Gail. Her grandfather, brother and several uncles were Pastors. Dr. Holness is an internationally sought after speaker who God called to a preaching/teaching ministry that she shares from the pulpit to the streets.
Dr. Holness says that she looks forward to the work in her new charge at Adams Inspirational AME. “While this is a SEASON (in all capital letters, of virtual worship, God has again surprised, equipped and made ways out of no way for us to continue his work in spite of our circumstances. There is no pandemic or nothing too hard for my God to alter, add, change or remove from our situations. Community engagement and activism is and always has been a part of my DNA, we will continue to tackle the issues that face our community from unemployment, health care, housing, global warming, education and inclusiveness in all aspects of society for all of God’s people. I’m just pleased that God called me to serve in an official capacity as His Ambassador.”
Sunday morning Virtual Worship Service, Facebook Live-Adams Inspirational AME Ft. Washington, MD @ 10:15 am; Bible Study Facebook Live, Wednesday’s @ 7:00 pm, Prayer calls every Tuesday and Friday @ 7:05 am, dial in number, 978.990.5166 code 6166047.