Reverend M. Lavell SandersThe Rev. M. Lavell Sanders is the Associate Pastor of Training, Spiritual Formation, and Family Ministry. He is a native of Lumberton, North Carolina. He is a 1983 graduate of Morehouse College with a B.A. Degree in Political Science. He is a graduate of Gammon Seminary with a Master of Divinity Degree in 2000. In 2004 Rev. Sanders was ordained as an Elder in full connection in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has served on various leadership committees on the conference, and district levels.

Rev. Sanders is an instructor with the Connection Cafe. He teaches a class titled, “So What’s Our Position.” This class discusses the general church’s position on the social issues of today. He is also a Coach with the Natural Church Development Program. Rev. Sanders is a certified P.A.I.R.S. (Practical Application for Intimate Relationship Skills) Instructor for married couples. He is also a Prepare and Enrich Counselor for engaged and married couples. Rev. Sanders is also a founding member of a Mentoring Program for young boys called G.E.N.T.S. (Gentleman Engaged in Necessary Tools for Success). This program began at Fairview Elementary School in Stockbridge, Georgia 2010.

Rev. Sanders served Ben Hill as a Youth Minister in 1997-2000. He later served as the Associate Pastor of Due West United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia from 2001-2006. Most recently Rev. Sanders served as Senior Pastor of Bethel United Methodist Church in Stockbridge, Georgia from 2006-2012. Rev. Sanders is thrilled that his ministry has come full circle. He is grateful for the opportunity to serve Ben Hill. He sees this season of ministry as a great opportunity to give back to the very congregation that nurtured and affirmed his entrance into the life of ordained ministry.

Rev. Sanders is married to Rev. Dr. Valerie Sanders. They have three young energetic children: Nia, Caleb and Camille. He says his family is his greatest blessing. Rev. Sanders feels strongly that “It is all about God and not about himself.” His favorite passage of scripture is Isaiah 40:3—which says, “But those who wait on the Lord, will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” Rev. Sanders is passionate about life and ministry. He is extremely grateful for the God of a second chance.