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Rev. Leslie L. (Smith-Wright) Kearse

Leslie L. (Smith-Wright) Kearse joined the ministerial team of Springfield Gardens UMC January 4, 2016 as Pastor for Congregational Development. Pastor Kearse is a native of Brooklyn, New York. She pursued her undergraduate and graduate studies at Brooklyn College where she earned both a BA and MA in English. Later, she matriculated at New York Theological Seminary where she earned a Master of Divinity degree.


Recognizing her love for teaching, Pastor Kearse worked for the New York City Board of Education for over nine years helping to educate and equip youth with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in the arenas of academia, business, and life. Led not only to teach, but to help others come to a saving knowledge of God, she answered the call to the Gospel Ministry and in November of 1998 became a licensed minister in the AME Church and was subsequently ordained receiving her Deacons Orders April 20, 2001. After eight years of service as a member, lay leader, and minister, she discerned the Lord directing her to step out. Tendering her resignation from the church where she served and taking a leave of absence from the Board of Education, she joined the ministerial team of the Emmanuel Baptist Church on September 1, 2002, under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Anthony L. Trufant and was ordained on December 10, 2004. There, Rev. Kearse served in the capacities of Associate Pastor for Discipleship Development and Minister to New Members. In 2004 Rev. Kearse launched the church’s Discipleship Development Institute (DDI): a comprehensive program of study designed to help new believers, seasoned Christians, and those in between grow in their relationship with God, biblical knowledge, and application of God’s word.

As a member of the ministerial team of Springfield Gardens UMC, Pastor Kearse continues to hone and share her gift of teaching. She has expressed that her time at Springfield has blessed her to bringing together three of her greatest loves, God,
education, and people



Tabitha Singh

Administrative Assistant

Tabitha Singh is Administrative Assistant at Springfield Gardens UMC. She has experience in the fields of web content management, public affairs and administration.


She holds a MA in Crosscultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. 

Tabitha also has a diverse volunteer history which includes working with children and teens both locally and abroad (El Salvador and Kenya.)


Most recently, she worked in the administration and day-to-day management of early childhood centers in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens as well as assisted in the classroom with preschool-aged children at Imagine Early Learning Centers and Highland Academics and with middle school-aged children at the Flushing YMCA.

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