Rev. Sheila Bates

Lead Pastor

Rev. Sheila Bates with her daughter Kira.

Rev. Sheila Bates – Bio

Rev. Sheila Bates is a native of Northern Virginia and currently serves as the Lead Pastor at Cokesbury, UMC in Pensacola, Florida. As an Elder in Full Connection, Sheila has a passion for preaching God’s Word in fresh and dynamic ways. Sheila’s heart is to empower her staff team and church members to lead out of their gifts and strengths to create new opportunities to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Rev. Bates was previously appointed to the Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) located in Nashville, TN where she served as the Director of Student Faith and Leadership Formation for the Collegiate Ministry Office. Rev. Bates designed and facilitated events in the Philippines, Brazil, Germany, Japan, and England.  Sheila was charged with creating events on a national and international scale where college age students, their mentors, and collegiate ministers were nurtured in their faith and leadership development.

Rev. Bates received her Bachelor of Science degree from Suffolk University in Boston, MA and her Masters of Divinity degree from Gammon, a United Methodist Theological Seminary located in Atlanta, GA. In addition, Sheila served as the Children and Youth Pastor in Alpharetta, GA and as the Director of Campus Ministry for the Wesley Foundation at Tuskegee University.  Currently, Sheila is training with the International Coach Federation (ICF) to become a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) focused on transformational leadership.

Rev. Bates clearly defines her passion for college age students, young adults, and all who desire to authentically dig deep into their hearts to encounter and serve God. She has designed and facilitated national and global conferences and her published work may be found in The Prophetic Voice and Making Peace. While serving at the general church level, Sheila was the lead staff for an international United Methodist event, called Imagine What’s NEXT.  NEXT was a biannual event held in Atlanta, GA where college students from around the world, gathered together to imagine and discover how God is calling them to be leaders of a global church. 

Rev. Sheila Bates has a passion for local and global missions, and when she is not in the office serving, traveling or facilitating, you will find her enjoying a good book, traveling, or spending quality time with her friends and family.  Sheila currently resides in Mobile, AL with her daughter, Kira.