Rev. Dr. Carletta Allen
In 2011, the Rev. Dr. Carletta Allen was the first African American female appointed as the lead Pastor of the historic Asbury United Methodist Church, Annapolis Maryland.
Organized in 1803, with the creation of its first building in 1838, Asbury is believed to be the oldest African American Methodist Congregation in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
Carletta was born in Tampa, Florida, and raised primarily in Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County, Maryland. She also lived with her Air Force family in Japan for two and a half years, returning to the United States when she was 6 ½ years old. After her years in Tachikawa, Japan, her family relocated to Washington, D. C. where her stepfather continued his long military career at what was then Andrews A. F. Base. These early experiences gained her an appreciation for other languages and cultures.
Carletta was educated in both the public schools of Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County. After early careers in women’s retail and fashion, she entered the corporate world of banking and finance, ending that career as a mid-level professional. Along the way, after many years of struggle as a single parent, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science from the University of Maryland University College.
She immediately entered the Master of Divinity program at Wesley Theological Seminary and, while working two jobs, leading prison ministries in multiple locations, and raising a son, she graduated cum laude. She earned a Master of Divinity, 1996 cum laude, and later a Doctor of Ministry, 2009 summa cum laude, both from Wesley Theological Seminary.
Pastor Allen was ordained a provisional Deacon in 1996 and an Elder in 2002. She has served four appointments in the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference: Wheaton, Maryland, Sykesville/Cooksville, Maryland, Columbia, Maryland, and Annapolis, Maryland. Serving in suburban, rural, small town and country, and urban contexts have added richness to her life and ministry.
Pastor Allen’s interests are many and they have led her to volunteer on numerous boards and agencies. She has served on the Anne Arundel County School Superintendent’s Blue Ribbon Commission, The Board of Directors of the Lighthouse Shelter, and the executive team of the Caucus of African-American Leaders as secretary and archivist. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center, and the Board of Trustees of the
Annapolis Opera. She is an active member and past president of the Rotary Club of Annapolis where she was the first African American to serve in that capacity. She is an active member of the Chaplain Corps of the Anne Arundel County Police Department and is an active CASA volunteer (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for children in foster care. She adores her four ‘CASA kids.’ She is a sought-after teacher, speaker, writer, and public theologian.
She is the mother of one adult son, an honorably discharged SSGT in the US Marine Corps, who served three tours in Iraq in five years. That son blessed her with a young grandson.
In her biographical information, she explains her own challenges in childhood, and as a young adult single mother has engendered compassion for those who face obstacles, especially those that seem insurmountable. Her own strong will and indomitable spirit have led her to believe that almost no obstacle is wholly insurmountable. However, she’s also come to know that her own will and efforts, no matter how formidable, are of little consequence when divorced from a foundational, spiritual source. For her, that source is God, as embodied in Jesus Christ.