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Our Leadership

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Thomas Aldworth is an award-winning author in the field of Spirituality (Shaping a
Healthy Religion – 1985; Fashioning a Healthier Religion – 1992). For the past ten years
he has served as the pastor of the Morgan Park Baptist Church, the oldest church in
Morgan Park ( His 1974 ordination in the Roman
Catholic Church was accepted by American Baptist Churches in 2014.


He served as a Franciscan priest for many years before being led to marry. His wife, Beth, died in October, 2016 because of an aggressive form of uterine cancer.


Thomas has been the pastor of churches in Grambling, Louisiana; Parma, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland) and
downtown Chicago. He has a Doctor of Ministry degree in Spirituality; a Masters of Divinity degree and a Masters Degree in Counseling (and is a Licensed Professional Counselor – State of Illinois).


Thomas is the director of Tau Ministry Services (, an award-winning pastoral theologian, and the founding director of The Center for Spiritual Health at Morgan Park Baptist Church. Thomas is a certified third-degree black belt in the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do, which he taught for
many years. Thomas has taught as an adjunct instructor for many years at Moraine Valley Community College.


Thomas currently serves on the ordination commission for American Baptist Churches – Metro Chicago and is the president of the Ministers Council, ABC – Metro Chicago.


He can be reached at 708-557-0400, at or by writing the church at 11024 S. Bell Avenue; Chicago, IL, 60643. Thomas is available for free professional counseling, for spiritual direction, or to serve as a mentor for any clergy person in our region.

Vice President

Rev. Dr. David Sagar (Dadhipogu Vidya Sagar) is the founding pastor of the Antioch Telugu Baptist Church. He planted Antioch Telugu Baptist Church in 1991 October 13,1991 along with 21 core group members consisting of different denominational backgrounds. He is a citizen of USA, migrated from India to USA in 1982. He is a fourth generation of Baptist Christian from India. 

​Rev. Dr. Sagar earned his Masters of Divinity Degree from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Lombard, Illinois in 1991. From 1994 to 1998 he had doctoral level advanced study in clinical Pastoral counseling. In 2011, Rev. Dr. Sagar earned his Doctor of Ministry Degree in Leadership Transformation at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Lombard, Illinois. 

Rev. Dr. David Sagar served the American Baptist Churches of USA in different capacities. He served as a senator to the Minister’s Council Senate of ABC-USA, regional advocate and national Secretary for Asian American Baptist Caucus of ABC-USA, Senator to the Ministers Council Senate of the American Baptist Churches of USA, and also executive board member of the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago.

He has also served as the President of the Clergy of Melrose Park, Illinois (an ecumenical organization).


Currently he is serving as the Vice President of the Ministers Council, American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago. Also, he is a Special Assistant to the Regional Director of South Asia, International Ministries of American Baptist churches of USA, responsible for the Leadership Development of Baptist Churches and Christian institutions in South India. 

Specialized Ministries Representative

Rev. Dr. Delois Brown-Daniels served as vice president within Advocate Health Care from 1994 to March 1, 2017.  She last served as Vice President at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center (AIMMC).  In this role she was responsible for two departments:  Mission and Spiritual Care, and Community Relations. 


Rev. Dr. Brown-Daniels has been involved in hospital chaplaincy since 1980.  She is a certified Clinical Pastoral Education supervisor and a board certified chaplain in the Association of Professional Chaplains. She has served on numerous boards and committees including:  Board of Directors for the North Central Region ACPE from 1991 to 1998 and 2014-2017, including chairing the board; National ACPE Racial-Ethnic Multi-Cultural Network and served as the regional chair; the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce; and the Community Renewal Society, where she led the organization as board president. Currently, she serves on the ACPE Advocacy Committee; Chairs the National Endorsement Committee for the American Baptist Churches and serves on the ABC Metro Chicago Ministers Council Cabinet and the Ordination Commission.


Rev. Dr. Brown-Daniels is the recipient of numerous awards, including the outstanding Alumnae Award Converse College, 2014; 2011 Converse College Alumnae Career Achievement Award; 2002 Alumnae Board Award for Distinction in Service to the Community, Yale University Divinity School; the 2005 Anton Boisen Professional Service Award.  

Rev. Dr. Brown-Daniels was ordained to the Christian ministry by the Connecticut Missionary Baptist Association and is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches.  She has Ecclesiastical Endorsement for Chaplaincy by the American Baptist Churches USA.  Rev. Dr. Brown-Daniels is a member of First Baptist Church in Chicago, and an associate member of Covenant United Church of Christ in South Holland, IL. She earned her Doctorate of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary; Masters of Divinity degree from Yale University; and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Rev. Dr. Brown-Daniels is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.


Rev. Dr. Brown-Daniels and her husband, Rev. Dr. David Daniels, The Henry Winters Luce Professor of World Christianity at McCormick Theological Seminary, have two children: David IV, a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University (Charlotte, NC), and DeAndrea, a graduate of Howard University (Washington, D.C.).  Rev. Dr. Brown-Daniels and her husband reside in Hyde Park, Chicago, Illinois.

Seminary Representative

T. Alexis Owens is a leader who has provided global marketing solutions for 23+ years. In 1999 she
founded Ventures Unlimited Inc. with the mantra, “One Idea Can Change the World”. She began her
consulting firm to support businesses and organizations in developing sustainable and profitable
marketing communication models.

As a visionary, her work has influenced national and global initiatives that have changed lives and
transformed communities. Alexis’s portfolio includes Harmony Health Plan, Inc., Housing Action Illinois,
McDonald’s USA, Aids Foundation of Chicago, Sears Holding Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Human
Rights Educators, National Urban League, and more.

Although Alexis views her entire life as ministry, in 2005 she answered a formal call and was licensed to
preach. Currently she is pursuing a Masters of Divinity at McCormick Theological Seminary, and serves
as an Assistant Minister at Third Baptist Church of Chicago.

She has served on the Board of Directors for, Black Ensemble Theatre and Athletes Against Drugs.
Currently her board work includes, ABC Metro Chicago Ministers Council, Purple Asparagus, Black Girls
Jump and she is Co-President of Heritage Community Development Corporation.


Rev. Jacki Belile, CPC is the Founder and Director of Living Well Ministries (LWM),
where she offers spiritual life coaching, workshops and retreats. The founder of the
Clear Center Coaching Method TM , Jacki supports lay and clergy leaders across the
country in their life and faith transitions, forgiveness practice, leadership development,
family choices and balanced living.

She has led in numerous roles within the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago since 1992,
having served on task forces, program committees, long-range planning committees, search
committees and as an elected officer. She currently serves on the national Board of Governors of the
Ministers Council (ABC-USA) and as the local chapter treasurer.

Jacki began serving as Pastor of Eden United Church of Christ in April 2018. She has previously
served as pastor of Grace Baptist Church (Chicago, IL), as well as in sabbatical pastorates at Phoenix
Community Church UCC (Kalamazoo, MI), and The South Church (Mt. Prospect, IL). She has been
a member of Lake Street Church of Evanston since 2007.

She has been a leader in the national Welcoming Churches Movement since 1990, and has served as
the convener of the Planning Team of the Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches in recent years.
Jacki is a graduate of Taylor University (Upland, IN), Chicago Theological Seminary (Chicago, IL)
and The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (Shrewsbury, NJ). She is the author of the
forthcoming book Forgive for Life: Finding the Way Forward. She lives in Chicago with her partner
of 29 years.

Communications / MC of Metro Chicago National Chapter Represenative

Rev. Erica Van Brakle serves as Pastor of First Baptist Church of La Grange. A native Illinoisan, Erica graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Television Production from Columbia College Chicago. After working in the Television news industry in Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston and Kansas City, Erica returned to the classroom, receiving her Master of Divinity from Central Baptist Theological Seminary.

Following seminary, she married David Van Brakle and moved to Saginaw, MI where David was Pastor of Michigan Avenue Baptist Church. While in Saginaw, Erica served as Chaplain at Covenant Hospital and Youth Pastor at Michigan Avenue Baptist Church. She also served as the Vice President and President of the American Baptist Churches of Michigan.

Next, Erica and David moved to Syracuse, NY where they served as Associate Pastors at De Witt Community Church, a large non-denominational church. While serving as the Associate Pastor of Worship Arts & Student Ministries, Erica gave birth to their first son, Ethan. A call to the Community Church of Wilmette for David brought the family back to Illinois. Two months after the move to Chicagoland, William was born.

Erica currently serves in leadership own the board of the Baptist House at Northern Illinois University, The Ministers Council of Metro Chicago and the Young Adult Clergy Network of American Baptist Clergy. 

Francine Stark

Member-At-Large (Health/Wellness Focus)

Bio Coming Soon!

Executive Minister ABC Metro Chicago

Rev. Douglas Harris has served as co-interim executive minister for ABC Metro Chicago since 2016. Rev. Douglas Harris and his wife, Rev. Carol McVetty, served as English Language co-pastors of North Shore Baptist Church, Chicago, IL for 20 years. He has also served in leadership of the Ministers Council at the national level.

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