Rev. Elizabeth Jackson Campbell - Pastor
Rev. Elizabeth Jackson Campbell has been pastor of Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church since 2001. As she often states, “thanks be to God for giving me another opportunity to fulfill what He preordained me to fulfill.”
Rev. Campbell has the distinct honor of having served the Baptist Minister’s Conference of Newark and Vicinity as its first female president. She is also a past president of the Montclair African American Clergy Association (MAACA) and former executive board member of the NAACP. She continues to be an active member of several religious, social, and community organizations.
Involved in Christian ministry from her childhood years, she is a native of Montclair and a product of its public school system. She also attended the Baptist Summer Assembly, Bordentown, NJ.
With early plans to become a medical missionary, she attended Simmons College, Boston, MA, earned a diploma from the N. E. Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing, and received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing and Religious Education from Eastern Nazarene College, Quincy, MA. She also earned a Master of Science in Social Service from Boston University.
A graduate of the Lott Carey Foreign Missionary Pastoral Excellence Program, she has participated in mission trips to Guyana, South America; Jamaica; Zimbabwe; and South Africa and received a Pastoral Ministry Diploma from the Baptist Theological Seminary of Zimbabwe. She has pursued further theological studies at New Brunswick Theological Seminary.
Though she knew early on that she was ‘Called’ to preach the Gospel, her path to the pulpit took several twists and turns while living in Montclair, NJ; Boston, MA; and Cleveland, OH. Her career has included leadership roles in nursing, social services, and higher education. She has spearheaded development of inner-city programs serving school dropouts, pregnant teens, and unwed fathers and co-founded a Cleveland-based adoption agency serving Black children and families. Throughout her life, she has been actively involved in the movement for Civil Rights and served as an advocate for youth, women, and families.
In 1995, she publicly acknowledged that God wanted her to preach the Gospel. She remained an active lay minister until 1999, when the Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church officially licensed her to preach. In 2001, the church ‘Called’ her to become pastor. Under the guidance of the Ordination Council headed by the late Rev. James H. Howell, then the Moderator of the Shiloh Baptist Association of New Jersey, she was ordained and installed in October 2001.
Rev. Campbell received the Jackie Onassis/Seth Taft Jefferson Award for Public Service in Cleveland, Ohio, as “one who is making a difference.” Her numerous awards and honors also include: Montclair African American Heritage Parade Grand Marshall (2009), and Religious Ambassador (2013); Montclair Neighborhood Development Corp. Community Service Award (2009); Montclair NAACP Religious Service Award (2003), and Thurgood Marshall Award (2009); Montclair Democratic County Committee Outstanding Service Award (2011); Newark Municipal Council President’s Women’s Making a Difference Award (2017); and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver’s Shirley Chisholm Award (2017).
She has one son, Edward Kenyatta, with her late husband, John Campbell, and three beloved grandchildren.