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Meet Rev. Dr. Branham

First Congregational United Church of Christ in Springfield, Illinois, has announced the Rev. Dr. Lesa Branham as the congregation’s new lead pastor. 


Dr. Lesa Branham is a lifelong native of Springfield.  She attended Springfield Public schools and the University of Illinois in Springfield, where she completed a Master of Science Degree in Public Administration. Pastor Branham has been a leader in the Springfield community working in public relations, employee recruitment, education outreach, and finance.  She has had a long relationship with community engagement and strategic planning initiatives with a lens of diversity. One of her most significant achievements was her work, in partnership with HSHS, on the commemoration of the cultural legacy of the archaeological site associated with the 1908 Springfield Race Riots. Lesa has an extensive community service record serving on the St. John’s Hospital, Board of Directors; Illinois Women in Rising, Founding Board of Directors; Sangamo Club, Board of Directors; Land of Lincoln Workforce Alliance, Board of Directors; St. John’s School of Nursing, Board of Directors; and  Economic and Community Development Commission, Board of Directors. She also has served with Big Brother/Big Sister, Board of Directors, and Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Board of Directors. Lesa is not only an avid community leader and supporter, but also a committed scholar. She recently graduated from Liberty University with a Doctorate in Ministry with a focus on Spiritual Formation.  


Lesa began serving the First Congregational Church located on the corner of Bates Avenue and Cherry Road in February 2022, when Pastor Dan Dexter retired. She is elated to serve the needs of the church and the Leland Grove community. She shared, “It is a privilege and calling to serve those in our community,” It is her vision for everyone to see that each day is a new day and wonderful things are happening. Pastor Branham invites the Leland Grove community to be a part of that vision. 

Email Rev. Dr. Branham

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