“Laughter, like music, is a universal language. And Susan Sparks speaks this language like no other.” –Naomi Judd, Multi-platinum Country Music Artist
Hi y’all, Susan Sparks here.
I’m the Senior Pastor of Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City.
(Quick fun fact – Talkshow host Tamron Hall spends her Sunday mornings with us! Check out her recent feature in the New York Times where she gives our church (and me:) a lovely shoutout!)
I’m also a trial lawyer turned preacher, comedian, best-selling author, inspirational speaker, award-winning nationally syndicated columnist, and Harley-riding cowboy boot addict.
I know, I know . . . this sounds more like a personality disorder than a career path.
Whatever it is, I love what I do! Why? Because . . .
I help people reclaim their joy.
Stress, unforeseen crises, commitments, aging parents, kids, health issues, and money worries weigh on us constantly. But even in the worst of circumstances, it’s still life. And we can still choose joy.
Here’s my philosophy in a nutshell:
If you can laugh at yourself, you can forgive yourself. And if you can forgive yourself, you can forgive others.
Laughter reduces the effects of stress, promotes physical healing, alters our perspectives, defuses negativity and conflict, bridges human differences, generates hope, restores our sense of purpose, and renews our ability to see miracles in everyday life.
That’s why my mission in life is to change the world . . . one smile at a time.
And you can, too! Here are some ways . . .
ENJOY a free copy of my “Ten Commandments of Joy,” an accompanying inspirational video, and a free subscription to my bi-monthly newsletter, The Shiny Side Up! Just CLICK HERE.
GET INSPIRED by watching one of my sermons, keynotes, Ecourses, or weekly inspirational meditations on YOUTUBE.
LAUGH and THINK while reading one of my award-winning BOOKS.
INVITE ME to be part of your next event! (Check out this fun three-minute summary of what I offer!)
However you choose to do it — JOIN ME!
Let’s change the world together . . . one smile at a time.
As a trial lawyer turned standup comedian and Baptist minister, Susan Sparks is America’s only female comedian with a pulpit. A North Carolina native, Susan received her B.A. at the University of North Carolina where she was President of her class and a law degree from Wake Forest University.
After ten years as a lawyer moonlighting as a standup, she left her practice and spent two years on a solo trip around the world, including working with Mother Teresa’s mission in Calcutta, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, and driving her Jeep Wrangler solo from NYC to Alaska. Upon returning home, she entered Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she earned a Master of Divinity and wrote an honors thesis on humor and religion. In May 2007 Susan was installed as the 15th Senior Minister of the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City. She was the first woman pastor in its 175-year history and she remains there to this day.
A TEDx speaker, Susan’s work with humor, healing, and spirituality has been featured in O (The Oprah) Magazine, the New York Times, and on such networks as ABC, CNN, CBS, and the History Channel.
A professional comedian, Susan tours nationally with a stand-up Rabbi and a Muslim comic in the Laugh in Peace Tour. She is also an internationally known preacher and speaker whose wide-ranging clients include the World Bank, the Chautauqua Institution, Habitat for Humanity, colleges and universities, Canyon Ranch, religious conventions, and national/regional gatherings for cancer survivors and caregivers (Susan is a breast cancer survivor).
In addition to her speaking and preaching, Susan is the author of five books and wrote an award-winning nationally syndicated column through the USA Today network.
Susan is the 20th recipient of the John L. Haber Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts given by the University of North Carolina (and comedian/alum Lewis Black), as well as a recipient of the Intersections International Award for interfaith work to promote justice and reconciliation among diverse communities.
Most importantly, Susan and her husband Toby love to fly-fish, ride their Harleys, eat good BBQ, and root for North Carolina Basketball and the Green Bay Packers.