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Meet The Clergy
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Dr. Dorsey Odell Blake, Presiding Minister

was officially installed as Presiding Minister of The Church for The Fellowship of All Peoples in October, 1994. During Dr. Blake's installation service, Mrs. Sue Bailey (Howard) Thurman presented Dr.Thurman’s robe – which had not been worn since his death – to Dr. Blake as a symbol of her trust in his leading the congregation “so that there will be no past greater than our future.” 

Dr. Blake is presently Faculty Associate at Pacific School of Religion after serving there from 2015-2018 as Visiting Associate Faculty. He recently joined the faculty of the Dale P. Andrews Freedom Seminary at Children’s Defense Fund’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry. Dr. Blake served on the faculty of Starr King School for the Ministry for nine years, six of them as Dean of Faculty. He resigned from Starr King in January 2015.

Prior to joining the faculty at Starr King, Dr. Blake served as Founding Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program and later as Vice President for Community Learning at the University of Creation Spirituality. Through UCS, he helped to initiate the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration initially held at Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church that annually draws of more than 1,000 people. He has held adjunct faculty positions at Starr King School for the Ministry, California Institute for Integral Studies, and The Union Institute.

Dr. Blake served as the Director of the Center for Urban-Black Studies at the Graduate Theological Union and Core Faculty Member at the GTU; Co-Director, United Campus Ministry, The Ohio University, Athens; and, Program Director of the Howard Thurman Educational Trust, San Francisco. He was also the first full-time Black male professor at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, 1972-77 where he taught in the Religious Studies Department and designed a major in Black Studies.

He received the A.B. in Sociology from Brown University,  M.A. from Pacific School of Religion and the Center for Urban-Black Studies, M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion, and D.Min. from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH. Dr. Blake has conducted seminars and workshops locally and nationally, including one with Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. He is the recipient of numerous community service awards, including the first Martin Luther King Award for his work with International Students while at The Ohio University where he established the International Students Emergency Fund; The Negro Spirituals Heritage Keepers Award, Friends of Negro Spirituals, 2008; the Faculty, Staff Support Award, Afro-American Association, The University of Alabama, 1977, 1976, 1973, 1972 ( the only times the award was presented); and the Distinguished Alum Award from Pacific School of Religion, 2007. He received academic grants from the Fund for Theological Education and the Danforth Foundation.

He has extensive field ministry experience with interfaith groups addressing justice and peace issues, including the California People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, The Interfaith Alliance for Prison Reform, Genesis, Religious Witness with Homeless People, and The San Francisco Interfaith Council,  speaking to small audiences and rallies that have drawn over 200,000 people. In May – June 2000, he traveled to Morocco with an interfaith delegation of Muslims, Jews, and Christians in a quest to promote interfaith respect and cooperation. In October 2010 he met His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and served on an interfaith panel responding to his teachings. He is currently a member of the National Council of Elders and a member of the Advisory Board of Ethics in Tech.

Rev. Dr. Kathryn Benton, Co-Minister

was ordained in May 2004 and since that time was named Co-Minister at the church. Her ordination followed several years of service at Fellowship Church as Church Secretary, Youth Minister, and Worship Leader.

Before coming to Fellowship Church, Kathryn worked for years in the Episcopal Church in youth ministry, worship design, pastoral care, and lay ministry. Kathryn earned her Master's and Doctor of Ministry Degree at the University of Creation Spirituality in Oakland. She also holds an MA in Counseling Psychology. 

Kathryn worked for many years in a family literacy program and in homeless services in both the East Bay and in San Francisco. She currently works as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor at a Medication Assisted Treatment Program.

Rev. Martin Todd Allen, Associate Minister

is a Doctor of Ministry student at the Pacific School of Religion. His DMin project trains congregations to demand and demonstrate eco-socialist alternatives to global capitalism. Martin has been a prison, hospital and military Chaplain and currently works as a hospice chaplain in the South Bay. He has served as part of the team of Associate Ministers at Fellowship Church since 2017. He is the proud father of Graham Allen, a California tech developer, and Carson Allen who lives back home in  Mississippi where he does psychological research. Martin Todd is a board member of "The Human Agenda" working for just and fair immigration policies.  

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Rev. Elizabeth Olson, M.Div, BCC,
Associate Minister-at-Large

was ordained by Fellowship Church in 2013. She has been serving on the Board of Trustees since 2016 where she chairs the Minister's Advisory Committee and co-facilitated the inaugural Dorsey O. Blake Forum for Social Transformation. In 2014 Liz began the Second Sunday Social Justice Film Series for the Fellowship community. She lives now in Oregon where she works as a Board Certified Palliative Care Chaplain for Providence Medford Medical Center. She is very active with Southern Oregon Climate Action Now where she serves on the Board and has created a documentary project - Voices of the Valley - about the impacts of climate change. Known previously as Libby Zilber, she worked with San Francisco's Theatre of Yugen and as a member of the ceramics collective Kelly Avenue Potters in Half Moon Bay. She earned her Masters of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry and her B.A in French and Theater from Lawrence University. 

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Rev. Suzi Spangenberg, Associate Minister

was ordained at Fellowship Church in 2015. She received her Master of Arts in Social Change Degree and the Master of Divinity Degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. While at Starr King, she held positions of great trust, including that of student representative to the Starr King Board of Trustees. Prior to and during her journey with Starr King, she gave creative and committed leadership to the Standing on the Side of Love Campaign against the draconian SB1070 Anti‐immigrants Bill in Arizona and provided anti-racism trainings to white congregations nationally. She is a long time social justice activist and organizer and is recognized for her excellence as a photographer and videographer. She participated in and documented the Occupy Movement nationally, and after being targeted and violently assaulted by Oakland Police, was one of 12 plaintiffs in a Federal lawsuit which helped force Oakland Police to change their crowd control policies. As an associate minister at Fellowship Church, she focuses on chaplaincy, media, and social justice. 

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Rev. Elena Rose Vera, Associate Minister

was ordained at Fellowship in April 2016. Elena grew up in rural Oregon and has distinguished herself as a political and theological writer with a focus on the intersections between colonial history, race, gender, and queer liberation. She is a graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry. She travels the country as a preacher and poet, and has dedicated herself to the work of radical love, queer theology, and justice for those who live at the edges, and those whose backs are against the wall.

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Dr. Carl Blake, Director of Music

holds three degrees in piano performance: Bachelor of Music (magna cum laude) from Boston University, Master of Arts from San Jose State University, and Doctor of Musical Arts from Cornell University.  He is the first recipient of the Marian Anderson Young Artist Award (presented by Ms. Anderson herself) that led to a year of private study with Pierre Sancan of the Paris Conservatory of Music. Blake has performed in the United States, Russia, France, England, Central and South America, and the Caribbean Islands.  To creditable acclaim, he performed several recitals at Carnegie Recital Hall and Wigmore Hall (London) and has toured with cellist Kim Cook to Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands under the auspices of the Artistic Ambassador Program of the United States Information Agency.  Dr. Blake has received two Fulbright Senior Scholar Awards to lecture, teach, and perform at national music schools in Honduras, Central America.

Guest Musicians

Director of Music

Pianists: Gregory Lawrence • Carolyn Monk • Dr. Karen Melander-Magoon •

William “Bill” Quist • Organist: Lawrence Sumpter


Bryan Caston, Board Chair • Michael Brown, Vice Chair, Membership and Facilities Committee Chairs • Courtney Brown, Tech Committee Chair • Steve Leeds, Treasurer  • Brenda Reinertson, Secretary • Rev. Elena Rose Vera, Ministers' Advisory Committee Chair • Clara Allen • Carol Verburg

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