Minister Shawn Elbert has been in the Human Services field for over 20 years, specializing in working with youth. Shawn is a current administrator for a non-public special education and has served as the Spiritual Life Coordinator for a youth residential facility for 4 years. In addition, Shawn has 15 years of experience as a trainer and has presented numerous workshops and trainings in areas such as Trauma Informed Care, Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, and Mental Health First Aid for youth. Although Minister Elbert is new to the ministry at Epworth, he is not new to the church family. Minister Elbert has been a member for 8 years and has volunteered in the Sunday School and as a chaperone at ROCK for several years. Shawn’s enthusiasm about working with and supporting young people is contagious. Epworth is excited to see what new things will engage our youth now.
Zelda Childs is a native of Baltimore Maryland and was educated at Morgan State University, receiving a BS degree in mental health and a master’s degree in Sociology. She continued her education at the St. Mary’s Seminary and University, receiving a master’s degree in Theology.
Her career spans many years in the helping profession. She was employed by the Baltimore City Health Department for 12 years as a Program Director for an outpatient substance abuse program. In this position she not only directed the day to day operation of the clinic but trained extensively throughout the city and state on a variety of topics.
She also worked for a number of years at Morgan State University as an adjunct faculty member in the Social Work and Mental Health department teaching such subjects as Introduction to Group Dynamics, Human Behavior, and Intervention with Children and Families.
Rev. Childs, has provided administrative and clinical oversight to a number of non profit organizations to include substance abuse programs, a welfare to work program, and homeless shelters for women and children. Rev. Childs is currently employed as an independent consultant for a management corporation.
Rev. Childs was a member of Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church for 17 years in Baltimore, Maryland where the late Rev. Olin P. Moyd, Ph.D. was pastor. Pastor Moyd ordained her on May 28, 2002. She is the second woman in the history of the church to be ordained. However, when, Rev. Childs acknowledged the call to pastor she joined Epworth United Methodist Chapel under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Horace Wallace, with the blessing of her recent Pastor Dr. Frank Lance. Rev Childs has since pastored 2 churches under the Baltiore Washington Conference.
Rev. Childs has taught and preached at a number of Women’s Conferences, workshops, and other church activities in Baltimore, Washington, and the surrounding counties.
Rev. Childs is the mother of one daughter, Crystal, and a son James, who currently is teaching in the Baltimore City School System. She is married to Deacon George I. Childs, who also functions as a Special Assistant to Pastor Lance and is also a trustee. Deacon Childs recently retired as Correctional Chief of Security for the Baltimore City Central Booking Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
Rev. Childs loves the Lord and seeks daily to find ways to praise and worship and honor Him in all she does. Her favorite scripture is Psalm 121. For her eyes are always lifted to the hills from whence her help comes.