Cassandra Henderson is a licensed and ordained minister, visual and performance-based artist, activist, scholar, community organizer, entrepreneur and all-around renaissance woman. She is currently the Pastor for BTKids + Student Ministries at The Breakthrough Fellowship in Smyrna, GA, the Conference Coordinator for the RISE Together Mentorship Network for Women of Color Ministry Leaders serves as a Teaching Assistant for a preaching course at Emory University's Candler School of Theology, and is Co-Host of the Podcast "The Table Live." In addition to this, Cassandra is on the Board of Directors for the Interfaith Children's Movement, is an active member of the Pan African Koinonia steering committee for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and (as if that isn't enough), she boasts being a 5-star Lyft Driver!
Previously, Cassandra served as Assistant Pastor at Ebenezer Baptist church where she was the Pastor for Children’s & Youth Ministries (ages 1-18). She is a well-versed writer, director, producer, actor and editor. Cassandra earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama & Theatre from Spelman College, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 2004. She went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Film Production from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California in 2007. In 2015, she completed a Master of Divinity degree at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Leadership in Church and Community and received a certificate in Black Church Studies and was ordained at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA spiritual home of the late Civil Rights trailblazer Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 2010, Cassandra was licensed in ministry at the McGee Avenue Baptist Church in Oakland, California. During her time in California, she served faithfully in church as well as her community. Her ministry was not limited to the church, but through her combination of art and faith/theology, Cassandra worked with the San Francisco General Hospital Trauma Unit regarding gang and gun violence on touring piece she co-produced and directed called The Urban Healing Tour which advocated against gun violence. Cassandra regularly opened her home for women’s Bible studies, feeding the hungry in her community, and providing a safe space for reconciliation, mediation and intervention within the community for at-risk and in-risk youth. Her home became known as the “Urban Healing House”.
Cassandra has a particular passion for serving the society’s most marginalized including the economically and socially oppressed. Since returning to the Metro-Atlanta area in 2011, Cassandra has continued her ministry to the marginalized and serves as a volunteer chaplain at Lee Arrendale State prison in Alto, GA, and has previously volunteered in Juvenile Detention centers while living in California. In 2013, Rev. Henderson spent 3 months in the Grand Canyon, where she co-led a team of 11 college students from around the US in leading 9 worship services each week as part of an internship with A Christian Ministry in the National Parks. During her stay in the canyon, Cassandra launched a women’s Bible Study for residents and guests and spent time on the Navaho and Hopi reservations. In 2014, Cassandra co-founded the Community Speaks ATL, a platform created to provide spiritual and communal space in response to the death of Michael Brown. The event received national attention and featured Civil Rights leaders, community activists of all age demographics and was attended by the then, Attorney General Eric Holder. She has also led students in demonstrations and protests against racial, educational, economic, and social injustices. She has been a long-standing member of Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and has advocated for the life of many death row inmates including Troy Davis and more recently Kelly Gissendaner. Cassandra serves as a board member for the Interfaith Children’s Movement and is Co-Founder of the Hymns & Hip Hop Conference, The NEW Leadership Academy and Summer Camp, and Two Strand Productions, LLC. She is the Founder and CEO of Why Not Dream, Inc. and Yardi Entertainment, Inc. In the fall of 2015, Cassandra traveled to the Middle East to study the intersection between the #BlackLivesMatter movement and Palestinian liberation and oppression.
Cassandra has been the recipient of several awards including Who’s Who in American Universities in 2004 and 2015, John W. Rustin Award for preaching, Berta & James T. Laney Award and the Mart Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award.
At the heart of it all, Cassandra is deeply in love with God and God’s people. She is the aunt, guardian and godmother to her 15-year-old nephew Jabari who she is honored to be raising. She is committed to living a life that values all of creation, honors her gifts, God's Spirit and truest self and believes wholeheartedly that with God, nothing is impossible!