.Mia Michelle McClain is the new pastor of Riverside Baptist Church. Courtesy of Reverend Mia Michelle McClain.

By Georgine Wallace

Mia Michelle McClain is the new pastor of Riverside Baptist Church. She is the first woman and the first African American to serve as Senior Pastor at Riverside Baptist in its 165 years of existence. Prior to coming to Southwest, Reverend McClain served as the Associate Minister of Faith Formation and Outreach at the Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Reverend McClain has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Musical Theater from Syracuse University and a Master of Arts Politics from New York University. She earned a Master of Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary. 

In person, Reverend McClain is equally impressive. Her smile is infectious and immediately puts you at ease. Her sense of purpose is evident within minutes. She is “excited about her future in DC.” 

Rev. McClain believes that a church should be the “site of artistic exploration.” You need only to go to her personal web site to listen to her music http://miamichellemcclain.com/music or previous sermons. Though she loves the Southwest neighborhood, she admits that she misses the food and culture of her hometown of New Orleans. A fan of community theater, she is excited about the options in the Washington area. Reverend McClain will be officially installed as Pastor on Saturday, January 7, 2023. To find out more information about Riverside Baptist and its new pastor, go to  https://riversidedc.org/.

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