Rev. Dr. Michelle Taylor Sanders served as pastor of Kelly Woodlawn United Methodist Church from August 2015 through June 2022. She proved to be a dynamic preacher and teacher with a passion for pastoral care. Rev. Sanders facilitated Grief Groups and introduced many creative, new programs to the congregation. She provided leadership to Evangelistic/Outreach activities such as Prayer-Walks, Health Fairs, Food and Clothing Ministries and other programs designed to meet the needs of the community.
A second-career, clergy-person, she was ordained, as the last Provisional Deacon in the Northern Illinois Conference, in June 2001. Rev. Sanders was then appointed to St Mark UMC, as the Associate Pastor. She served there from 2001 to 2004. She was appointed to Hartzell, after she was ordained Elder in June, 2004. She served as pastor there, in Bronzeville for eleven years.
In preparation for her ministerial work, Dr. Sanders attended Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. She received her Master’s of Divinity Degree in May, 1995. She served at St. Mary Street UMC, in Burlington, New Jersey during her years on east coast.
Following graduation, Dr. Sanders completed a Residency in Clinical Pastoral Education (C.P.E.) at Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia. After returning to Chicago, in June 1996, she completed a two-year Residency at the University of Chicago Hospitals. This program included studies in pastoral care at Chicago Theological Seminary. She received her Doctor of Ministry Degree in May, 1999. After the Residency, Dr. Sanders worked as a Chaplain at Seasons Hospice. During these years, Rev. Sanders served on the Ministerial Staff at Maple Park UMC.
A Chicago native, she graduated from Luther High School South, in 1971. She completed her undergraduate studies in psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in 1975. She went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Communications from Michigan State University in 1977. Dr. Sanders, worked first as a copywriter, then became Vice-President, Associate Creative Director at Burrell Advertising, where she created commercials for radio, television and print media.
In May, 2007 she married her soul mate, Mr. Phillip Sanders. He has been her partner in life and ministry for 13 years. Dr. Sanders is very grateful for all the ways God has used her and allowed her so many rich experiences. She has retired from active ministry but remains a useful resource to the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church as she begins the next chapter of her life.