Spiritual Leadership

Woodlawn Park Church of Christ is proud to be under the dynamic leadership and guidance of a strong team of pastors, staff, and leaders. See below for more information about our leadership.

Ministers & Evangelists

picture of Minister Elmer Sembly III

Elmer V. Sembly III


As you visit and walk the corridors of the Woodlawn Park Church of Christ you will most likely hear the name “Doey” called out! No worries, that’s me! This nickname has stuck since early childhood –and I’ll only tell you what it means, if I see you in person! Nevertheless, I share that because this typifies and characterizes the relaxed disposition and friendly atmosphere we have at Woodlawn Park!

I was destined for the ministry from my youth! My father (Elmer V Sembly, Jr.) has been in the ministry for well over 50 years, and I was trained in ministry by one of the most dynamic Gospel preachers in modern history (Humphrey Foutz). I’ve been a preacher of the Gospel since 1987,  but my path into the ministry was anything but straightforward. Hence, the term Real People, with Real Problems, and Real Solutions in Christ was coined by me –and speaks to me, and is woven into the fabric of love, patience, and tolerance that Woodlawn Park members have for those seeking a true relationship with Christ.

In speaking of love, patience, and tolerance, a key benefactor to the success of this ministry has been my wife, Sophelia (Lynn) Sembly. Together, we started from scratch what has now become the Woodlawn Park Church of Christ, in 1999. We share and have raised four children, all of whom are grown, Shawnta’, Ace’, Cory, and Kayla.

Teach, Encourage, and Motivate is our mantra, and my ministry approach in sharing the Gospel  and growing the congregation. This multifaceted approach to church growth is focused on teaching individuals to learn ‘HOW’ to apply the principles of God in their lives, and was cultured and developed through many years of diverse experiences, venues, and scholarship. The apex of my academic scholarship is a graduate degree from Johns Hopkins University, as well as several doctoral courses.

No matter what your issue or circumstance in life, I would love to meet you in person, and share with you what God has done for me and many others, and what He could do for you! Remember, God loves you, and wants you to have a saving relationship with Him.

picture of Minister Walter Bland

Walter Bland

Associate Minister

Elders & Deacons

Ministry Leads