THE REVEREND DOCTOR BERLINDA A. HART LOVE
The Reverend Dr. Berlinda A. Hart Love is the oldest of four siblings born to William Howard and Parrie Bernice Hart Love, formerly from Bainbridge and Valdosta, Georgia, respectively. She completed her elementary and junior high school education in Trenton, New Jersey, after which she moved to the countryside of Clyattville, GA and lived for a year with her grandfather, Isaac Stafford Hart, a tobacco farmer. While in Georgia she attended her generational family church, Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, and spent her ninth-grade school year at Westside High School where she was elected Miss Freshman by a unanimous vote of the school body. Her remaining high school years were completed at Ewing High School, Ewing Township, New Jersey, and upon graduating she attended the traditionally Black college, Savannah State University in Savannah, Georgia, a family tradition, where she majored in Biology and Pre-Med. It was at the conclusion of her first year that she returned to Trenton to work and finish college simultaneously. She accomplished her undergraduate degree at The College of New Jersey, Ewing Township, New Jersey. There she earned a degree in Education, a minor in Psychology, and did advanced work in Nursing; Science, Mathematics, and technology; and Student Personnel Services. Dr. Love, upon accomplishing her undergraduate degree, worked in the Trenton Public School District for thirty-one years as administrator and teacher of high school Biology. Her superiors and colleagues respected her as a collaborator, for having a great rapport with her students and their parents, and for being versatile in her duties, as she held certifications in Educational Administration, Comprehensive Science (K-12), Elementary Education, Health Education (K-12) and Nursery School. While teaching she entered Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ, where she accomplished a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Administration, with a minor in Curriculum Development and Design, and shortly after graduating she received NJ certification as a principal/supervisor. Her superiors recognized her administrative skills, and she was promoted to serve in various positions of leadership including assistant principal, acting principal, disciplinarian, and various Summer and after school programs during her tenure of thirty-one years, including a Science, Mathematics, and Technology program for middle schoolers and committee chairperson for a range of committees.
She began her Christian journey in her generational family church, Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, Clyattville, Georgia, as well as Nelson Chapel AME Church in Bainbridge, GA, her father’s hometown. However, while in Trenton, she attended Holy Cross Church of God in Christ and later she joined El Bethel Baptist Church and was baptized at the age of sixteen by the Reverend Dr. John A. Gaines, pastor. This was the beginning of her calling, as she taught the Junior Sunday School class, which was overflowing with children, and sang on the Mass Choir. After returning from Savannah State College, she united with Union Baptist Church, where she stayed for more than twenty-five years. She taught the Junior Sunday School Class for three years and then organized and taught the Adult Women Sunday School Class, comprised primarily of women on the official board of the church. Additionally, she served as the first female Sunday School Superintendent, Adult Division; the first Director of Christian Education, Director of Public Relations, and Tutorial Director.
Dr. Love graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey where she earned her Master of Divinity Degree, with concentration in the areas of Homiletics, Pastoral Care, and Theology. She was licensed and ordained to preach by Reverend Dr. Charles Everett Thomas, then pastor of New Hope Baptist Church, Newark, New Jersey and is credited for being the first woman to be ordained at New Hope and the first seminary graduate to be a part of the ministerial staff. While attending Princeton Theological Seminary she accomplished training as a hospital chaplain from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ. Additionally, she holds an Honorary Doctorate in Sacred Theology from Eastern Carolina Christian College and Seminary, Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. Upon moving back South she transferred her ministerial credentials from the First Episcopal district where she pastored St. Luke AME Church in Egg Harbor, NJ and served as associate pastor to several senior pastors for more than twenty years, to the Sixth Episcopal District. She is a member of the South Georgia Conference and was appointed to the position of South Georgia Conference Women in Ministry Coordinator. She is a pastor on the Valdosta South District, under the leadership of Reverend Patrick Brinson, Presiding Elder and Mrs. Angela Brinson, District Consultant and is in her second pastorate in South Georgia. She is thankful to Bishop Reginald T. Jackson and Episcopal Supervisor Christy Davis Jackson, Esquire for the opportunity to pastor Bethel AME Church, Hahira, GA, and currently Payton AME Church, Valdosta, GA. She is a lifetime member of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and a charter member of the Mercer Section in New Jersey. She is also a charter member of the Global Black Women’s Chamber of Commerce, led by Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook. Her biography has been included in several references including the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England; Marquis Who’s Who; Stanford Who’s Who; International Society of Female Professionals, International Who’s Who of Professionals and others.
Reverend Dr. Hart Love pledged three professional organizations over the years, including The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Incorporated, Pi Chapter, Trenton, Nj; Top Ladies of Distinction, Trenton Chapter; and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Epsilon Xi Zeta Chapter, Trenton. She has received local, national, and international honors, and is an up and rising author. She is currently updating her three books for republication: Sermons from the Heart, A Collection of Divinely Inspired Devotional Sermons, A Special Tribute; Coping with My Mother’s Stroke, A Daughter’s Story; and My Mother’s Stroke and Miracle Recovery and has formerly written a column on parenting for the District Flame newspaper of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, First Episcopal District. Additionally, she penned an article about her mother’s stroke and survival in the Spring 2013 issue of Stroke Connection Magazine and served on the Board of Trustees for the Trenton Children’s Chorus for three years, the Alumni Association Executive Committee (AAEC) at Princeton Theological Seminary for four years, worked as Traffic Director at a local radio station in her town in the 70’s as well as additional experience in online radio. She was a broadcaster on Preach the Word Worldwide Network TV also. Her Program, The Power of Love Global Ministry, aired on Tuesday mornings, 9:00 AM, EST, USA for two seasons.
Most recently, she has been included in two anthologies: Undefeated with Visionary Author Kearn Cherry and Yes You, Yes Now with Visionary Author Dr. Karen Hills Pruden. She is a member of the Sister Leaders Conference, and an Ambassador and Speaker for the 2022 Conference. Pastor Love enjoys public speaking, reading, writing, cooking, interior decorating, and being with family. She is an up and rising motivational speaker and is looking forward to expanding her ministry to include her own radio station and television. She is also hopeful to have her own magazine in the future.
The Reverend Dr. Berlinda A. Hart Love was a full-time caregiver for her parents, whom she eulogized thirty days apart in the Summer of 2017. This, she feels was the pinnacle of her life journey and she feels blessed to have been there for them, along with her three siblings. She remains thankful to God for what He has done, is doing, and will do in her life, and gives Him the glory for the blessings that He continues to bestow on her. Dr. Love strongly believes that “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13).