"For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment." (Luke 1:37, Amplified)
A native of New Jersey, Pastor Sharen resides in the Charlotte, NC area where she serves as Co-Founder of Lightsey Ministries, Inc., We Be Buds Marriage Educators, and also Faith and Favor Ministries with her husband, Dr. R. J. Lightsey. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Psychology from Rutgers University, and a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Baker College. She is a 2010 Fellow of the Institute for HIV Prevention Leadership (IHPL) from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Association of Schools of Public Health.
She has been active in ministry for thirty-five (35) years. Her extensive ministry experience began in New Jersey where she taught Sunday School for primaries. She co-created and developed curriculum for children/teens, and has facilitated teacher-training workshops for various churches to better equip staff to teach more effectively. In 1987 she began serving in women's ministry as a facilitator for women's retreats and seminars. In 1991 God called Pastor Sharen and her husband for a work in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where they resided for twenty (20) years.
Pastor Sharen received her ministerial license in 1998 and earned her ordination in 2000. She taught and ministered while at JCC, and continues to co-facilitate marriage classes (www.webebuds.org), provide pre-marital and post-marital counseling, and co-write monthly mini-sermons on their website www.lightseyministries.org. In 2007, Pastor Sharen launched a ministry at JCC to address and educate the community in the prevention of HIV/AIDS. She was appointed by Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe to serve on the newly formed HIV/AIDS Minority Taskforce.
In addition, Pastor Sharen owns an accounting firm, Numbers 2 Numbers, Inc. The company provides general accounting, payroll, tax, and consulting services. She has worked in various facets of business. She and Dr. Lightsey facilitated business training seminars through their business consulting company, Higher Ground Marketing Group where she assisted in cultural diversity training for the Pine Bluff Police Department. Additionally, Pastor Sharen has provided financial training workshops for local churches and civic groups. She has also been an adjunct professor at Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock, AR.
Pastor Sharen and Dr. Lightsey have been married for thirty-five (35) years. They have two adult sons, Jay (Ramira) in New Jersey and Jerius in North Carolina. They also have five grandchildren.
"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Dr. R. J. Lightsey II was born in Albany, GA and grew up in the outskirts of Pittsburgh, PA. During his teenage years, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior under the pastorate of Bishop Melvin E. Clark at the Church in the Round in Aliquippa, PA. After graduating from college in 1975 and working in the Pittsburgh area for six years, his employer, Equitable Life Assurance, transferred him to its Philadelphia office. He resided across the state line in the city of Willingboro, NJ.
From 1985 to 1991 he served as trustee, trustee chairman, men’s fellowship director, Sunday school teacher, and associate minister at Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Burlington, New Jersey under the leadership of Rev. Eric F. Ricks. In August of 1991 God led Dr. Lightsey and his wife, Pastor Sharen, to begin a ministry work in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where he became Vice President and General Manager of 1270 AM KPBA, a radio station that offered all gospel programming. Dr. Lightsey left KPBA in 1993.
Returning to secular employment, he concurrently served as associate minister at Abundant Life Church of God in Christ under the pastorate of the late Dr. A. L. Hunt and he served as assistant pastor at United Missionary Baptist Church under the pastorate of Rev. Michael Williams. In 1993 he became the interim pastor at Christian Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church and was installed as pastor in 1994. He remained there until 1997. It was then that God commissioned him to found Jubilee Christian Center where he served as pastor for fifteen years.
He retired as the Chaplain for Tyson Foods in Monroe, NC in 2019, and served as Associate Pastor at Freedom Worship Center of Charlotte, NC from September 2017 to October 2019. He is Co-Founder of Lightsey Ministries, Inc., We Be Buds Marriage Educators, and also Faith and Favor Ministries, in the Charlotte, NC area. In addition to his thirty-two years in ministry, Dr. Lightsey has also spent 35 years in the business marketing and consulting field, in the profit and non-profit sectors. He has done management, marketing, training, special projects, and consulting work for LTV Steel Corporation, Equitable Life Assurance, Volkswagen, Metropolitan Life Insurance, Computer Science Corporation, Family Time Ministries, and United Way among others. From 1990 to 2012, he was President and CEO of Higher Ground Marketing Group, a company that promoted and marketed products, services, and resources of local businesses. From 2001 through February of 2008, he served as Director of Community Outreach and then as Director of Constituent Services for U. S. Congressman Mike Ross, Fourth Congressional District, Arkansas.
Dr. Lightsey graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He received a diploma in Supervisory Management from LaSalle Extension University in Chicago, Illinois and is also a graduate of the South Jersey Professional School of Business in Marlton, NJ. He earned a Master of Divinity degree and a Doctor of Divinity degree from Christian Bible College and Seminary in Blue Springs, Missouri. Dr. Lightsey is the author of "Living in Praise," a collection of Christian/Inspirational poetry. In 1980 he received the Outstanding Young Man in America Award for outstanding professional achievement, superior leadership ability, and exceptional service to the community. He is a Lifetime Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the United Way of the Central Carolinas, Union County, NC.
Dr. Lightsey and his wife, Rev. Sharen K. Lightsey, also own an accounting firm - Numbers 2 Numbers, Inc. They have two adult sons: Jay (Ramira) residing in New Jersey, and Jerius, residing in North Carolina. They have five grandchildren.