Rev. LaVelle hails from Chicago, Illinois. She is a registered nurse and has worked in health care as an administrator, clinician, human resource manager, and nurse recruiter for inpatient and outpatient facilities. She has also served on the Board of and worked for nonprofit faith-based community health centers in the areas of HIV/AIDS and childhood asthma.
Rev. LaVelle came to Washington, DC, to attend a semester at the Wesley Theological Seminary to study ethics, public policy and theology. Her semester in DC turned into a career change when in December 1998; she joined the staff of The Faith & Politics Institute, which is a non-profit, bi-partisan, interfaith organization on Capitol Hill. She served as Program Director giving leadership to and traveling with bi-partisan Congressional delegations to historic sites in Alabama, Tennessee, and South Africa. She also co-facilitated weekly Reflection Groups for Members of Congress and congressional staff. She has organized Member/spouse retreats, Capitol Hill Forums and other events that provided those called to public service, safe and sacred spaces for building communities and engaging in moral reflection.
Rev. LaVelle served for eight years as a Chaplain in Residence at Georgetown University and provided Pastoral Presence, to students, faculty and staff.
Rev. LaVelle joined the arena of politics in November 2007 by becoming the Staff Director for the Democratic National Committee’s Faith in Action Initiative. This Initiative facilitated ways for Members, leaders, and laity, from diverse faith traditions, to engage in the political process. She also cultivated and maintained relationships with a 60 member Faith Advisory Council representing Catholic, Muslim, Protestant, Jewish and Evangelical traditions. She spent 5 months on the Obama for America campaign as a Senior Advisor Religious Affairs and worked on the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
Rev. LaVelle has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Rush University and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) with an emphasis on parish and community revitalization from McCormick Theological Seminary. She has trained in the areas of community leadership development, group mediation, facilitation, consensus building, and appreciative inquiry. In May 2004, she completed a 5-month certification course entitled Connecting Communities Fellowship Program sponsored by Hope in the Cities of Initiatives of Change. This program provided her additional skills in the areas of facilitation and dialogue curriculum design.
She serves on the Board of Initiatives of Change, USA; and Grace and Race Ministries based in Richmond, Virginia, and Silver Spring, Maryland, respectively.
Rev. E. Terri is a member of Metropolitan Baptist Church, Washington, DC, where she was ordained in 2003 and serves as an Associate Minister.
She enjoys movies, plays, meeting people, traveling, and engaging in lively conversation. She has a passion for Connecting People, Ideas & Communities as a coalition builder, convener, facilitator, and retreat leader.
Rev. E. Terri LaVelle has an adult daughter who works as a communications and public relations professional.