ABOUT OUR PASTOR
Rev. Jamila Jaye Woods is a native of Chesilhurst, NJ. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science (1990) and a Master of Divinity degree (1999) from Howard University. She received numerous academic scholarships, including the “There is Hope” Scholarship, The Ford Foundation Fellowship, The Marlowe and Howard Stone Anderson Award, the Gerald Durley Award, and two Howard University Trustee Scholarships during her enrollment at Howard University.
Rev. Jamila also earned a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Maryland (2002) and received the Maryland Delegate Scholarship during her tenure there. She was featured in the School of Social Work Recruitment magazine, as a result of her commitment toward social justice advocacy.
Rev. Jamila was ordained an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in 2004 and served as the Pastor of the Cornerstone AME Church of LaPlata (MD) from 2005 until 2012. She commenced service as the Pastor of the Jabez Christian Community Church, White Plains, MD, on April 29, 2012.
Rev. Jamila was elected Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Ministers Alliance of Charles County and Vicinity (Maryland) in November 2012. She was elected to the Board of Directors of the Collective Empowerment Group (Prince George’s County, MD) in December 2013. She stepped down from both positions to realize her vision for Gabriel’s Lyric Therapeutic Services, LLC, in 2014. Rev. Jamila was elected as a Maryland State Delegate in 2022 for Disctrict 26.
Rev. Jamila has worked with BRIDGE (Baltimore Regional Initiative Developing Genuine Equality), performing faith-based social justice advocacy. She is the past of the Partnership for Renewal in Central and Southern Maryland (PRISCM). She also served as the past Vice President of the African-American Leadership Commission, Gamaliel Foundation, (Chicago, Il.), the same organization where President Barack Obama received his Community organizer training.
Rev. Jamila has worked as a Domestic Violence (DV) Counselor and DV Group Facilitator and is a certified as a DV Assessor and Certified Anger Management Specialist (CAMS-I).
Rev. Jamila was appointed to the New Americans Council, by former Governor Martin O’Malley in 2009, and served on the Council for four years. The New Americans Council sought and established means to help immigrants, who came to the State of Maryland, with professional degrees, to find employment in their fields of expertise.
Rev. Jamila launched Gabriel’s Lyric Therapeutic Services, LLC, in July, 2014. This organization offers a wide range of therapeutic services in the Southern Maryland area. She is currently certified as both a Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid Instructor. She enjoys providing Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid Certification to churches and organizations and is available to provide this training throughout the United States.
Rev. Jamila’s commitment to both ministry and social justice advocacy are reflected by her involvement with numerous social justice organizations and political advocacy campaigns. She met with former Maryland State Governor O’Malley on two occasions, and was also invited and served as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the Raise Maryland rally, held in Annapolis, MD, where Governor O’Malley and then Lt. Governor Brown committed their support to an increase of the Minimum wage in Maryland. She actively worked with the Raise Maryland campaign, and subsequently testified before the State’s Senate Finance Committee on the Maryland Minimum Wage bill proposed by the House of Delegates (HB295).
Rev. Jamila was invited to serve on the program and participated in the campaign for a living wage, for workers at Johns Hopkins University on May 13, 2014. The event gathered thousands at Maryland’s Inner Harbor. Actors/activists Danny Glover and Wendell Pierce also served as speakers.
On June 24, 2014 Rev. Jamila was elected 1st place to the office of Democratic Central Committee, for Prince George’s County, Maryland’s 26th Legislative District. The Democratic Central Committee governs the Democratic Party in the State of Maryland. She was elected as 1st Vice President of the Democratic Central Committee by her colleagues in 2016.
Rev. Jamila testified before the Maryland Health and Government Operations Committee on HB 602, in support of a Uterine Fibroid Study. That bill was signed on April 13, 2015.
In 2016, Rev. Jamila was invited and served as a Facilitator for Maryland Working Family’s campaigns around equal pay for equal work, in both Charles County and Baltimore, MD. The bill succeeded and was signed into law on May 19, 2016.
In 2016, Rev. Jamila also testified in Annapolis (MD) on the Police Accountability bill, calling for more police accountability and for citizen participation on a Review Board, during instances when officers are alleged to have used brutality.
On May 11, 2016, Rev. Jamila met with Corporate Executives from Giant Food Stores, in Largo, MD, to discuss an alternative to closing 8 stores in the Maryland area. She was invited to advocate, as a clergy representative, on behalf of the United Food and Worker’s Union, Local 400, and Giant employees, who would be adversely affected, if decisions are not made to maintain their employment with Giant or another Grocery store, should Giant choose to sell the aforementioned local stores.
Reverend Jamila is blessed with two children, whom she refers to as her Angels: Gabriel Tyrell (deceased) and Lyric MiKayla. Both children have been blessed with anointed musical talents, artistic skills and other creative and academic gifts.
Reverend Jamila is an anointed preacher and teacher of the Gospel and a Psalmist. She has traveled throughout the United States (including Hawaii), South Africa, Haiti and Turkey, sharing her music ministry, preaching and/or teaching gifts. Her music can be heard on YouTube, under “The Music Ministry of Jamila Jaye Woods.”
Her musical career includes recordings with the Howard Gospel Choir, Bishop Thomas Weeks, Sr., and two solo recordings entitled “Can My Gown Be White Again?” and “The Balm,” respectively. She also recorded a single, “Giving Up is Not an Option,” as a part of her upcoming Inspirational Music Series.
Rev. Jamila has ministered on programs with Gospel and other artists, Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin, Richard Smallwood, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Patti Labelle, Irene Cara, Joan Biaz, LaVar Burton, Shirley Caesar, LaShun Pace, Phyllis Hyman and many more.
Reverend Jamila’s favorite scripture is found in Proverbs 31:30, “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised (KJV)."