Cassandra Henderson is a licensed and ordained minister, visual and performance-based artist, activist, scholar, community organizer, entrepreneur, and all-around renaissance woman. 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, Co-Founder and Co-Host of 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), Pastor for BTKids + Student Ministries at The Breakthrough Fellowship in Smyrna, GA, Conference Coordinator for The Ellipsis Teen Experience, Conference Coordinator for the RISE Together Mentorship Network for Women of Color Ministry Leaders, and was an Adjunct Instructor/Teaching Assistant at Emory University's Candler School of Theology. 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 (MFA) in Film Production from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California in 2007. In 2015, she completed a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology with a concentration in Leadership in Church and Community and received a certificate in Black Church Studies. Cassandra 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 Berkeley, California. During her time in California, she served faithfully in the church as well as her community. Her ministry was not limited to the church, and through her combination of art and faith/theology, Cassandra worked with the San Francisco General Hospital Trauma Unit regarding gang and gun violence through a 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, in-risk, and high-risk youth and young adults. Her home became known as the “Urban Healing House.”
Cassandra has a particular passion for serving society’s most marginalized populations including the economically and socially oppressed. Since returning to the Metro-Atlanta area in 2011, Cassandra has continued her ministry to the marginalized and served 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 injustice. 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, whom Cassandra knew personally. In the fall of 2015, Cassandra traveled to the Middle East to study the intersection between the #BlackLivesMatter movement and Palestinian liberation and oppression. She made her second trip to the Holy land in 2019 as part of a ministerial cohort to do an anthropological journey following the life and ministry of Jesus. In February 2020, Cassandra was part of an intercultural hybrid mission trip to Cuba.
As an entrepreneur, Cassandra has collaborated to not only create impactful creative work, but also to establish significant organizations and growing businesses including being 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.
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, The Peter Games Award for transformation leadership and service, Building & Broadening Horizons for Youth 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 caregiver to her elderly mother, Bernice Henderson, and aunt, guardian, and godmother to her 16-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 her truest self. She believes, wholeheartedly, that with God, nothing is impossible!