The Rev. Dr. Rosalyn R. Nichols is the organizing pastor of Freedom’s Chapel Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Memphis, TN. She is a native of Memphis, TN and proud to have graduated with honors from the historic Booker T. Washington High School and LeMoyne Owen College. In May 1996 Dr. Nichols graduated summa cum laude from the Memphis Theological Seminary and in 2004 she received her Doctor of Ministry degree from the historically black Virginia Union University in Richmond, VA.
In 1998 following the death of a childhood friend, as a result of relationship/domestic violence Dr. Nichols organized the 501(c)3 nonprofit, A More Excellent Way, Inc. (AWay) with a mission to help individuals from all walks of life to enter into, engage in and maintain spiritually healthy relationships toward the elimination of relationship violence. Dr. Nichols has focused her energy in helping faith communities regardless of faith tradition to examine how to define, practice and preach what it means to love. Through AWay, Inc. Dr. Nichols travels nationally preaching and teaching the message of 1 John 4.18, there is no fear in love, there is a more excellent way to live.
As is the case of many women in ministry, Dr. Nichols was the first in her family to answer the call to pastoral ministry and the only African American woman in her region to organize a new church start from inception to sustainability. Freedom’s Chapel Christian Church (DOC) was birthed without denominational support or large benefactors, but at her father’s dining room table on Sunday, November 4, 2001 with 9 members and a vision based upon John 8.36 So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed! Freedom’s Chapel celebrated 13 years of life and favor in its new worship facility acknowledging that God is truly both willing and able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that is at work in us.
Dr. Nichols had the privilege as the first ordained clergy woman to serve as visiting professor at the Gweru Baptist Theological Seminary in Gweru, Zimbabwe South Africa. She travelled with a group of church planters throughout the provinces of China, and in 2008 participated in a renewal pilgrimage to the Galilee and Jerusalem. In April of 2012 she was honored to have been a guest presenter at the first Conference on Sexuality and Covenant in Decatur, GA hosted by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Mercer University. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Omni Prep Academy. Most recently she joined the staff at Memphis Theological Seminary as the Starks Advancement Director for the prestigious Dr. Henry Logan Starks Scholarship Dinner & Awards Ceremony honoring the legacy of Dr. Starks and continuing his commitment to theological excellence and civil rights for all.
Dr. Nichols has received numerous awards, is a Memphis Leadership Graduate, a lifetime member of the NAACP and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter. Her writings have been featured in numerous articles and books including most recently Courage Under Fire by Rev. Dr. Eugene Gibson.
Dr. Nichols is a dynamic, passionate, community advocate, preacher, teacher, and pastor who believes that freedom in Christ gives one the liberty to live and the responsibility to serve.