Rev. Susan Sparks

Senior Pastor, Madison Avenue Baptist Church

A trial lawyer turned standup comedian and Baptist minister, Rev. Susan Sparks is America's only female comedian with a pulpit. ( Susan received a B.A. from the University of North Carolina, where she was President of her class, and a Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University School of Law. After ten years as a lawyer, moonlighting as a standup, she left the practice and spent two years on a solo trip around the world. Upon returning home, she earned a Master of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, writing an honors thesis on humor and religion entitled “Laughing Your Way to Grace.”

Currently the Senior Pastor of the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City (and the first woman in its 165-year history), Susan is also a professional comedian. She tours nationally with a Rabbi and a Muslim comic in the Laugh in Peace Tour. Susan's work with humor and healing has been featured in such media outlets as the Oprah Magazine, the New York Times, CBS, CNN, and ABC. A blogger for Huffington Post and Psychology Today, her book Laugh Your Way to Grace, was named a best spiritual book and was featured in USA Today and Good Morning America.

Susan and her husband Toby love riding their Harleys, fly fishing, eating good BBQ, and rooting for Tar Heel basketball and Green Bay football.