Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale is the founding and Senior Pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia. Ray of Hope has an active membership of 5,000 and an average of 1,500 in worship each Sunday morning. Ray of Hope has been honored by the 700 Club as Church of the Week and was also recognized in the book, Excellent Protestant Congregations: The Guide to Best Places and Practice, as one of 300 excellent Protestant congregations in the United States.
Dr. Hale is a native of Roanoke, Virginia. Her natural talent in music led her to study at Hollins College in Virginia, from which she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University and a Doctorate of Ministry from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Hale holds five Honorary Doctorates of Divinity.
As a woman of vision, Dr. Hale is revered locally, nationally, and internationally for her leadership, integrity, and compassion. In 2004, Dr. Hale established a mentorship program known as Elah Pastoral Ministries, Inc. to assist in the spiritual as well as practical development of pastors and para-church leaders. In addition to her commitment to Ray of Hope Christian Church, Dr. Hale serves on an array of boards. In September 2005, she convened her first Women In Ministry Conference that hosted women from various stages in ministry. In May 2006, she was elected to the Board of Trustees at Hollins University where she received her undergraduate degree. Also in 2006, she was elected to the office of Necrologist for the Hampton Ministers’ Conference. Dr. Hale serves as Secretary of the Board of Beulah Heights University, Chairperson of City of Hope Ministries Inc. Board of Directors, Co-Chair of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, and Chair of the 21st Century Vision Team Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Dr. Hale was inducted into the African American Biographies Hall of Fame and the Martin Luther King’s Board of Preachers of Morehouse College. Selected by Senator Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, Dr. Hale gave the opening invocation at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. She also served as Co-Chair for “Women In Ministry for Obama.”
Dr. Hale has received numerous honors and recognitions. In 2005, she was honored by Sisters in the Spirit recognizing her sacrifice, dedication, strength, wisdom, and ability to bring about order and change in ministry and the community. She also received the Spiritual Enlightenment Award at the 2005 Trumpet Awards. In 2006, Dr. Hale received the Religious Leadership Award from Sisters of African Descent. She received the 2007 Pinnacle Leadership Award presented by the Fortitude Educational and Cultural Development Foundation, Inc. and the East Point College Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Later in 2007, Dr. Hale received the Ambassador of Christian Excellence Award presented by Yolanda Adams Morning Radio Show. In 2008, her sermon entitled “It’s Time for the Silent Giant to Speak Up” was published in The African American Pulpit Journal. She is also a contributor to the book, “Power in the Pulpit II: How America’s Most Effective Black Preachers Prepare Their Sermons.” Later in 2008, Dr. Hale received the Trombone Award presented by the Rainbow Push Coalition and she received the Religious Excellence Award presented by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Dr. Hale is honored to be an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Dr. Hale has been in ministry for 30 years. Her ministerial gift has drawn thousands, young and old, to witness the anointing on a woman totally sold out for the Kingdom of God. She has traveled abroad preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, sharing the “Good News” in Africa, Australia, Europe, the Caribbean, and South America. Dr. Hale is a woman on a mission to impact and transform this present world into the Kingdom of God.