Rev. Dr. Maisha I. Handy, a native of Chicago Illinois, was licensed to preach in 1991 and ordained to the gospel ministry in 1994 at First Baptist Congregational Church (Baptist/U.C.C.) of Chicago. She is an ordained Elder in Presbytery of Greater Atlanta PCUSA, and served for 7 1/2 plus years as the Minister of Music & Worship Arts at First African Presbyterian Church of Lithonia, GA. With over 22 years of ministry experience, our pastor is committed to emulating the life, ministry, and social justice witness of the liberating Christ.
Dr. Handy a.k.a. Pastor "K" began her journey through higher education at Lincoln University (MO) and received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1989. After relocating to Atlanta, Georgia, she received the Master of Divinity degree with honors from Candler School of Theology, Emory University (1994) and the Ph.D. degree in Religion from Emory University (2002). She currently serves as both Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs/Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Christian Education at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia where she has been teaching for 15 plus years. She is also commissioned as an Umi (Mother) in the Nzinga & Ndugu Rites of Passage Society (Clark Atlanta University).
Rize Community Church is a ministry answering the clarion call to be a community that embodies the love, grace, and presence of God. In September 2013, several worshipers gathered for planning and prayer and a phenomenal worship occurred. This became our inaugural experience and Rize became a reality. After a season of preparation, Rize engaged in its first community calling and mbongi (learning session). On February 2nd, 2014, we were established through our inaugural worship experience!
Rize Community Church espouses and strives to embody 7 fundamental principles: Humility, Reciprocity, Discipline, Love, Forgiveness, Wisdom, and Spirituality. As an inclusive, intergenerational congregation of African-centered believers from all walks of life, we are committed to radical inclusion and intentionally engage the critical social justice issues impacting the people of the African Diaspora and all people. Espousing a liberative theological foundation, Rize seeks to both stand in the best traditions of the Black church while correcting the ills plaguing the churches in our communities, providing spaces for healing and transformation. Through dynamic worship, sound teaching, community activism and principled living, we strive to model the example of
Yeshua ha Mashiach (Jesus Christ) and embody Christ Consciousness.