Rev. Sadie Woolford is a published writer, minister, and pastoral counselor and is associate pastor at St. John the Evangelist Baptist Church of Columbia, Maryland, which she cofounded in 1971. She is also a film producer and is the executive producer of the multi-award-winning 2018 experimental short Generation, based on her life growing up in the rural south in the '30s, '40s, and '50s, and associate producer of the 2020 critically acclaimed short Interrupted: Prologue to a Mem-Noir about the history of anti-Blackness in America. She is a recipient of a 2021 Maryland State Arts Council Creativity Grant for her upcoming documentary short. For nearly 10 years, Rev. Woolford has been a member of the Board of the Howard County Foundation for Black Educational and Cultural Achievement, where she serves as chaplain. She is retired from the U. S. federal government as a social insurance policy specialist and also served as a social insurance systems analyst.
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ABOUT REV. WOOLFORD'S WRITING
"a very powerful voice"
Marita Golden, NPR Best Book author and two-time NAACP Image Award nominee
"a sacred piece...like the 'Book of Genesis.'"
Grace Cavalieri, host of the Library of Congress's The Poet and the Poem
America's Grandest Moments essay contest, sponsored by Mature Outlook magazine
2021 Maryland State Arts Council Creativity Grant
2019 Black Continental Independent Movie Award for Originality
2019 CR8:BLK (Create Black) Black Women Cinema Week Audience Choice Award
2018 North Beach American Film Festival Jury Award for Best Experimental Film, Animation Film, or Music Video
2018 Canada Shorts Award of Commendation
2018 Experimental Forum Honorable Mention Award for "vision and the film's unique contribution to cinema"
SADIE WOOLFORD ARTIST BIO
Ordained pastor, pastoral counselor, and memoirist Rev. Sadie Woolford has a long history creating and producing arts programs, worship services, and interfaith programs incorporating the arts for groups such as the Iota Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; the Columbia, Maryland, chapter of Jack and Jill of America; the Growth Center community mental-health group, where she worked as an advocate, counseled, and taught classes; and Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, where she worked as a hospital chaplain.
Rev. Woolford has her master’s and Certificate of Advanced Study in pastoral counseling from Loyola University Maryland and a bachelor of science from Antioch University. As a pastoral counselor, she studied psychodrama, a method of using the art of acting in treating patients.
In college at Morgan State University, prior to attending Antioch, she acted with the dramatic club, and in the 1970s to 1990s she acted in community theater, including productions by Columbia Cooperative Ministry and the drama club, which she founded, at St. John Baptist Church of Columbia, Maryland, where she is the last known living founder and currently serves as associate pastor for pastoral care.
In the 1970s she booked and emceed the musical production Roots and Branches of Afro-American Sacred Music, performed by the St. John Baptist Church Adult Gospel Choir and written and directed by the late Leroy L. Giles, about the history of Negro spirituals. In the mid-1990s Rev. Woolford served as president of the board of directors of Jambalaya, Inc., which showcased the work of people of African descent, including programs with noted filmmaker Haile Gerima, author and renowned brain surgeon Dr. Ben Carson, and acclaimed poets Lucille Clifton and E. Ethelbert Miller and an interview with Grammy Award winning Gospel singer Wintley Phipps.
In 2017 she assisted with the writing of and co-starred, with her daughter Pamela Woolford, in the scripted vlog Truth & Story. She went on to coproduce Pamela's critically acclaimed short films Interrupted: Prologue to a Mem-Noir and Generation, which received five film festival awards internationally. She is a recipient of a 2021 Maryland State Arts Council Creativity Grant for their upcoming documentary short.
Rev. Woolford is currently writing her life story, From Farm Girl to Pastoral Counselor, excerpts of which are published in the collection of stories by seniors Journeys into Christmas edited by Jean Testerman and published by Warner Press and The Fire Inside: Collected Stories and Poems from Zora's Den edited by Victoria Kennedy with a foreword by Lucy Anne Hurston, Zora Neale Hurston's biographer and niece.
The former clinical director of what is now HopeWorks, Howard County Maryland’s domestic violence and sexual assault center, and once a member of the former Howard County Board for Domestic Violence, Rev. Woolford has also published articles on domestic violence and dealing with loss. And she was a winner of Mature Outlook magazine's essay contest on "America's Grandest Moment." She is currently a member of the Board of the Howard County Foundation for Black Educational and Cultural Achievement, where she serves as chaplain.
Rev. Sadie Woolford was married to the late Llewellyn Washington Woolford, Sr., for 52 years, and lives in Columbia, Maryland, where they brought up their three children, Johnetta; Llewellyn, Jr.; and Pamela.
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