First female pastor installed at 100-year-old Oakland church

One of Oakland’s oldest churches celebrated a major milestone on Sunday.

Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Thompson was officially installed as senior pastor of Allen Temple Baptist Church on International Boulevard. She is the first female pastor to serve in the 100-year-history of the congregation.

She also grew up in Oakland, and was raised in a single-parent home where she said her mother laid the foundation that would become her own personal relationship with God.

“Thank you for the courage you display in recognizing the gift and calling of women,” she told the congregation, highlighting female clergy before her and all those who support them. “And then taking that step of licensing women. And then taking another step and ordaining women. And then taking an additional step and hiring licensed and ordained women.” 

Thompson is a graduate of UC Berkeley and holds a a masters of divinity degree from Howard University. She said she first joined Allen Temple when she was 12.

Thompson also made sure to call out and thank Pastor Alfred Smith, who retired and then asked her to serve.

Guest preachers from all over the country came to Oakland to attend this groundbreaking ceremony.