The Reverend Dr. Oretha P. Cross, Pastor of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church of Newport, News, Virginia currently serves in various leadership positions of the Virginia Conference of the Second Episcopal District. A former executive of three Fortune 500 companies including Allstate, Apple Computer and retired from Panasonic Electronic Corporation after serving over 21 years to devote full-time work to the ministry. Dr. Cross’s educational achievements include Bachelor of Science Degree, graduate studies in the field of Guidance and Counseling from Delta State University of Cleveland, Mississippi, Masters of Divinity from Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of Richmond, Virginia, and a Doctorate in Education from Nova University of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Cross has facilitated workshops, seminars, women retreats and preached extensively throughout the United States including Africa and the Caribbean. She is a skillful trainer, teacher, and motivator and specializes in the field of strategic planning, customer service, and project management.
Her most recent accomplishment was “spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ” in Africa. She was afforded the opportunity to travel with Bishop and Mrs. Adam. J. Richardson, Jr., along with other servants of the 2nd Episcopal District. Her life has been marked indelibly by what she witnessed. She also served as an instructor in Jamaica’s first Leadership Training Institute sponsored by the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of Richmond, Virginia. Her article, “The Dedication of the Richardson-Adams Health Center,” appeared in the 2008 issue of the AME Voice of Missions Magazine after her journey to the 14th Episcopal District.
Dr. Cross presently serves as the Chairperson of the Ministerial Efficiency Committee and a member of the Board of Examiners for the Virginia Conference; Financial Secretary of the Portsmouth/Richmond/Roanoke District; President of the Tidewater and Vicinity Ministers Alliance of the Virginia Conference of the 2nd Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; Co-Chair of the 2nd Episcopal District Disaster Readiness Commission; General Conference Delegate Elect for 2020, served as Delegate for 2016 and 2012 and as an Alternate for 2004; Financial Secretary of the PRR District; served as the Women in Ministry President and former Financial Secretary of the 2nd Episcopal District Women in Ministry and a member of Iota Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. of Norfolk, Virginia where she served as the former Committee Chairperson of Initiative VI: Internal Leadership Training For External Service.
Dr. Cross firmly believes that one of the greatest gifts a Pastor can bring to the congregational spiritual journey is to know where the people are in their season of spiritual growth and allow the Holy Spirit to water the soul and for God to provide the increase.
She is the proud mother of three adult children: Byron, Amelda, and Kimberly, along with three grandchildren, Ashley and twins Milek and Mikal and two great grands Nolan and Samuel.
One of her favorite scriptures is Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait on the Lord, Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint”. (KJ)