Reverend Janice Steele
For Rev. Janice Steele, ministry began with a love for music and the performing arts. Janice’s vocal career began at an early age, singing in her local church choir and with city and state music competitions. Eventually, Janice joined her brothers and sisters as part of The Steele Family, singing and performing with gospel greats such as The Five Blind Boys of Alabama. Janice and her family also performed on Broadway. The attention generated from these shows led to performances at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, and the Today Show, Prairie Home Companion, and PBS specials.
After receiving a B.A in Theatre Arts, San Jose State University, Janice continued her music and performing arts as a Playwright. Janice has also worked as a Consultant and Technical Writer, for Health Systems Design, the Executive Director for the HIV/AIDS Ministry of the United Church of Christ NCNC, Trainer and Event Planner for SMACC Youth Center, Project Coordinator Parish Nurse Project, and Health Educator and Event Planner for Out and Equal in the Workplace.
Janice worked as the Interim worship leader and choir Director at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. As a member of the City of Refuge UCC, Janice served on the Elders Board, the Ministers Board, the Women’s Department, the Praise Ensemble, and the Restoration Choir. Community Activism includes participating in the National Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum, Black Coalition on AIDS, the Interfaith HIV/AIDS Council, and the Interfaith Center at Park Presidio.
Janice is a graduate of Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, where she earned a Master of Divinity degree. She is the recipient of the 2007 Yinger Preaching Award. Janice is ordained in the United Church of Christ and has an Affiliate Ordination in the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. She served as the Moderator for the Sacramento Valley Association and The Northern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ as well as the Committee on Ministry Section B and New Church Development Committee with the United Church of Christ National setting. She served on the Board of Directors for the California Council of Churches and Clergy Voices Placer People of Faith Together and often served as a chaplain at the California state Senate and Assembly.
She was honored and recognized as a community leader by the California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus at the California State Capital LGBT Pride Recognition Awards. Janice is trained and certified as a first responder for congregations in Mental Health and Wellness by the California Institute of Mental Health and by the Rural Pastors VA Program on Mental Health.
Rev. Janice Steele served as a Church Planter, Interim Minister, Designated Pastor and Senior Pastor at various churches in California.
Recently, Rev. Janice Steele served as the Pastor of Community United Church of Christ in St. Paul Park, MN. She was actively engaged in ISAIAH-Faith in Democracy, The Black Pastors Collective, The Washington County Ecumenical Clergy Group and worked as a Consultant for Project Access, a two-year program for Seminarians of color through The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM).
Rev. Janice Steele and her spouse Patrisha relocated to the Los Angeles, California area, where she serves as the Pastor and Teacher at West Hollywood United Church of Christ. Together, they continue to practice radical hospitality and spread the inclusive love of Christ through word, deed, and song.