Rev. Camille D. Pentsil
Rev. Camille D. Pentsil
Lead Pastor

Born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan, shemoved to Tempe, Arizona in 1990 in the pursuit of sunshine and a career in business-to-business technology sales and management. In 2002, after a difficult divorce she answered God’s call to ministry at Greater Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Phoenix, Arizona.

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Management in 2005 and a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. In 2008, ordained an Itinerate Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Following a one-year internship at Chandler United Methodist Church in Chandler Arizona, she received a full-time appointment with the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church in Las Vegas, Nevada July 2008. She has been an Elder in Full Connection in the United Methodist Church since 2014.

Rev. Pentsil served Heritage United Methodist Church in Las Vegas, Nevada from 2008-2010, Zion United Methodist Church in North Las Vegas, Nevada from 2010-2016 and The First United Methodist Church of Tempe, Tempe, Arizona from 2016-2019 all as Lead Pastor. In December 2010, diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. She underwent surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone therapy. By God’s grace she has been “cancer free” for 13 years.

While serving the Desert Southwest Conference at the request of the Bishop she underwent training and certification in community organizing by Industrial Areas Foundation. She was a founding member of the Las Vegas Valley Interfaith Sponsoring Committee that birth the first interfaith community organizing effort in Las Vegas.

Launched in 2014, Nevadans for the Common Good (NCG) is comprised of more than one hundred faith-based institutions in the Las Vegas Valley. While serving one year as President and one year as Vice President, NCG hosted listening sessions throughout Nevada. The community identified child sex trafficking as a present threat to families. As result of collaboration with the community stakeholders, including then Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, the Nevada delegation and local faith leaders NCG was instrumental in the drafting and passing of Assembly Bill 67 in Nevada. Underage children found soliciting for sex are no longer criminals in Nevada, underage children are now victims of this crime and not perpetrators.

She served on the executive board of the North Las Vegas Choice Neighborhood community transformation project from 2012-2016 One Saturday morning during Sidewalk Sunday School, she asked the children “Where does an apple come from?” One answered, “Wall Mart” Initially the problem seemed that this young man had never seen an apple tree. Wal-Mart was 2.5 miles away from the local community where Zion United Methodist church is the nucleus. After some examination we discovered that we were also at the nucleus of a “Food Desert” God cast a vision that she shared. In 2014, Zion UMC launched the community garden with 3 acres of barren, land locked desert just east of the sanctuary. (www.urbanfarm.org)

In 2016, she moved from Las Vegas, Nevada to Tempe, Arizona, appointed as Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church of Tempe. Located on the campus of Arizona State University. Both Laity and clergy ministries flourished amid some challenges. The church experienced a traumatic full campus emergency sewer replacement project that displaced the congregation for 8 weeks. They did not miss a worship experience and grew in membership during that time. The Young Adults felt empowered and called to build a praise team, known as AfterGlow on Friday nights. There were many solid relationships made in a remarkably diverse community on the campus of Arizona State University.

In 2018 she heard God’s call to head east after spending time with the Virginia delegation at a GCORR workshop on Cross Racial/Cross Cultural Appointments in New Jersey. Appointed to Crossroads United Methodist Church in July 2019 as lead pastor in Portsmouth, Virginia. Maneuvering the challenges of the Covid 19 Pandemic proved to be a challenge for the world. During that time, Crossroads UMC continued with virtual worship and made it out of the pandemic. The food pantry has achieved USDA status, and our community ballet program continues to thrive.

She served as recording secretary for the Elizabeth River Board of Missions from 2020-2022. She is now serving on the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Virginia Annual Conference, and considers this Holy work to be an honor.

Married to Gerald Pentsil in 2009, he retired from the Clark County School district after 29 years of teaching high school science and sharing his passion for soccer as an esteemed coach and mentor throughout those 29 years. They have two adult children, Del, is a production manager at CNN in New York City and Mia is a Poker dealer in Las Vegas.

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