MEET THE SENIOR PASTOR
Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale
ev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale is the founding and Senior Pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia. Beginning with only four persons meeting for Bible Study, over 8,500 persons have joined the Ray in the last 20 years. Ray of Hope has an active membership of 3,500 and an average of 2,000 in worship each Sunday morning. In 2001, the 700 Club honored the Ray of Hope Christian Church as Church of the Week. The Ray was also recognized in the book, Excellent Protestant Congregations: The Guide to Best Places and Practice, as one of 300 excellent Protestant congregations in the United States. Added to this honor is the fact that only three churches in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination are a part of this list.
Dr. Hale is a native of Roanoke, Virginia. Her natural talent in music
led her to study at Hollins College in Virginia, from which she received
her Bachelor of Arts degree. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from
Duke University and a Doctorate of Ministry from United Theological Seminary,
Dayton, Ohio. She holds three Honorary Doctorates of Divinity.
Prior to establishing the Ray of Hope Church, Dr. Hale served as a chaplain for federal correctional facilities in Colorado and North Carolina. She was the first female to serve in an all male institution.
Dr. Hale has received many honors and awards marking her accomplishments in and contributions to the state of Georgia and beyond. She was inducted into the African American Biographies Hall of Fame and the Martin Luther King’s Board of Preachers, Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Hale has appeared on the nationally syndicated program “60 Minutes.”
Dr. Hale was privileged to be the first woman to serve as Chaplain of the Day for the opening session of the Georgia State Senate in January 2004. In April 2004, Dr. Hale was awarded the James H. Costen Award in Religion, which recognizes persons who exhibit moral, spiritual, and intellectual leadership in their chosen profession. On May 12, 2004, Dr. Hale became the first woman to serve as Chaplain of the Day for the U.S. House of Representative at the Capitol in Washington, DC. In February 2005, Dr. Hale appeared on Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Praise the Lord Program and was honored by Sisters in the Spirit recognizing her sacrifice, dedication, strength, wisdom, and ability to bring about order and change in ministry and the community. Dr. Hale was mentioned in the Atlanta Business Journal as one of Atlanta’s most influential African American Pastors. On April 29, 2005, Dr. Hale received the Spiritual Enlightenment Award during the 13th Annual Trumpet Award Prayer Breakfast held in Atlanta, Georgia. In September 2005, Dr. Hale served as the convener for her first Women In Ministry Conference that hosted women from various stages in ministry.
Her services to the South DeKalb community include serving as a member
of the South Dekalb Church Coalition. She also serves on the Board of
Beulah Heights Bible College, City of Hope Ministries Inc. Board of Directors,
Hollins University Alumnae, and Co-Chair of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor
Dr. Hale has been in ministry for 27 years. Her ministerial gift has drawn thousands, young and old, to witness the anointing on a woman totally sold out for the Kingdom of God. She has traveled abroad preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, sharing the “Good News” in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and Australia. Dr. Hale is a woman on a mission to impact and transform this present world into the Kingdom of God.