Rev. Dr. Michelle Taylor Sanders just retired, after serving as the pastor of Kelly Woodlawn United Methodist Church since August 2015. She is a dynamic preacher and teacher and, has a passion for pastoral care. She facilitated Grief Support Groups, and introduced many creative, new programs to the congregation. She provided leadership in Evangelistic/Outreach activities such as Prayer-Walks, Health Fairs, Food and Clothing Ministries and other programs designed to meet the needs of the community.
A second- career clergy person, she was ordained, as the last Provisional Deacon in the Northern Illinois Conference, in June 2001. Rev. Sanders was then appointed to St Mark UMC, as the Associate Pastor. She served there from 2001 to 2004. She was ordained Elder in June, 2004 and appointed to Hartzell UMC, where she served for eleven years.
In preparation for her ministerial work, Dr. Sanders attended Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. She received her Master’s of Divinity Degree in May, 1995. Following graduation, Dr. Sanders completed a Residency in Clinical Pastoral Education (C.P.E.) at Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia.
After returning to Chicago, in June 1996, she completed a two-year Residency at the University of Chicago Hospitals. This program included studies in pastoral care at Chicago Theological Seminary. She received her Doctor of Ministry Degree in May, 1999. After the Residency, Dr. Sanders worked as a Chaplain at Seasons Hospice. During these years, Rev. Sanders served on the Ministerial Staff at Maple Park UMC.
A Chicago native, she completed her undergraduate studies in psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in 1975. She went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Communications from Michigan State University in 1977. Dr. Sanders, worked first as a copywriter, then became Vice-President, Associate Creative Director at Burrell Advertising, where she created commercials for radio, television and print media.
In May, 2007 she married her soul mate, Mr. Phillip Sanders. He has been her partner in life and ministry for 15 years. Dr. Sanders is very grateful for all the ways God has used her and allowed her so many rich experiences.