Pastor Helen C. Fleming, 79, a retired local pastor, died Dec. 13, 2018. She was the lead pastor at Mt. Vernon Place UMC in Baltimore. A memorial service was held Dec. 21 at Epworth Chapel UMC in Baltimore, officiated by District Superintendent the Rev. Dr. Wanda Bynam Duckett and hosted by the Rev. Dr. C. Anthony Hunt. Bishops LaTrelle Miller Easterling and Cynthia Moore-Koikoi participated. The Rev. Dr. Rodney Smothers gave the eulogy.
Helen Fleming was born Aug. 13, 1939, to the late Cephas and Ellis Fleming in Baltimore. She had two sisters. She was educated in Baltimore City Public Schools, attended Baltimore City Junior College, Baltimore College of Commerce and Delaware University. She studied at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She held a Doctor of Ministry degree from the California Graduate School of Theology.
Fleming had been in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and came to Baltimore-Washington Conference in 2005 in Extension Ministry in the Office of the Bishop (Bishop John Schol). In January 2007, she became pastor at Douglas Memorial UMC in DC and a Guide for the Washington Region. She retired in 2010 then returned to Douglas Memorial from 2011 to 2017. She filled in at St. John UMC in Pumphrey for a year, then in 2018 became pastor of Mt. Vernon Place UMC in Baltimore.
Fleming was known as a prayer warrior and a mighty woman of God. In addition to her appointments, she was director of Leadership Development under Bishop Schol, where she guided 18 churches, designed the first Discipleship Academy and the first Certified Lay Minister School. After retirement, she became a church leadership consultant. She was the founder of the Women Veterans Resource Center and received recognition for that work from First Lady Michelle Obama. She was the keynote speaker at the Africa Leadership Conference in Zimbabwe.
She assisted the United Nations and the Namibian political leaders in the transition from Apartheid to independence and election of the first African president. The Career Development Business School she founded and was CEO of prepared 4,000 welfare recipients for career positions. She hosted a radio and television talk show.
Fleming received many other awards and citations, including as Tennessee Honorary Citizen, presented by President George W. Bush at the 2004 State of the Union address. She authored two books: “The Mind of a preaching Woman” and “Community Partnership: Developing Community Partnership Handbook.”
Survivors include her daughter Tracye Stafford, a grandson and a granddaughter. She is also survived by a sister, many nieces and nephews.
Condolences may be sent to her daughter, Tracye L. Stafford,11 Caitlin Circle, Windsor Mills, MD 21244.