Pastor Carmen has served as the pastor of St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Beachwood, Ohio since February, 2012. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio; her Master of Divinity degree from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and was ordained to the Ministry of Word & Sacrament by the Presbytery of the Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio in 2002.
Prior to returning home to Ohio, for 14 years, Pastor Carmen served several of God’s churches in Pittsburgh, PA: Bethesda United Presbyterian Church; Bidwell United Presbyterian Church; Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church; and the Mt. Hope Community Presbyterian Church in Penn Hills, PA.
She has worked extensively with higher-risk children, youth, and adult gang members, and was the first and only African American seminary student selected by the national Presbyterian Church’s Office of Theology and Worship to participate in its Excellence from the Start Theological Scholars four-year program.
In addition, she served as worship preacher/workshop leader at Presbyterian Women’s National Conferences; instructor of Pastoral Care at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Metro-Urban Institute, Christian Leadership Program; commissioned writer for Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Metro-Urban Institute, Office of Applied Religion, Bible Study Health Series; chair, African American Clergy Caucus; member/administrator of the Synod of the Trinity’s Street Workers Pilot Project; member of the Racial and Social Justice Ministry Team: Task Force on Racism; graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh XIX; member, Board of Directors, Leadership Pittsburgh; volunteer Chaplain,
Shadyside Presbyterian Hospital; graduate of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Citizens Police Academy; chaplain with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Department and the Penn Hills Police Department.
Currently, Pastor Carmen has initiated an outreach ministry of support to the City of Beachwood Police Department and was recently elected to serve as the Vice Moderator/Moderator of the Presbytery of the Western Reserve.
Her service has been recognized by receiving the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Chiefs Chaplaincy Award for Outstanding Service; the Henry Highland Garnet Freedom and Justice Award in recognition of excellence in the pursuit of youth development; and the Gamaliel Foundation National Community Organizing Leadership Recognition Award.
She is the proud mother of Lauryn Nicole Harwell, grandmother to Nylah, and companion to Silk, her cat! She enjoys decorating, cooking, the theatre, jazz music, hand and ballroom dancing, reading, watching mystery movies, and spoiling her granddaughter every chance she gets!