Comedian, Breast Cancer Survivor and Minister
A lawyer, turned comedian, cancer survivor, and ordained minister, Rev. Susan Sparks is America’s only female comedian with a pulpit. Tamron Hall of Today says, “a heart that warms you like a huge southern-style breakfast – that’s my pastor Rev. Susan Sparks!”
After ten years as a lawyer moonlighting as a standup, Susan left her practice and spent two years on a solo trip around the world, including working with Mother Teresa’s mission in Calcutta, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and driving the Alaska Highway. Upon returning home, she entered Union Theological Seminary in New York City where she earned a Master of Divinity and wrote an honors thesis on humor and religion.
Currently, the Senior Pastor of the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City (and the first woman in its 168-year history), Susan is also a professional comedian. Her work with humor and healing has been featured in O (The Oprah) Magazine, the New York Times, USA Today, CBS The Early Show, on ABC and CNN. Susan was also a regular guest with country music star Naomi Judd on “Naomi’s New Morning” on Hallmark Channel.
A blogger for Huffington Post, Psychology Today and Day 1, Susan is the recipient of an award from Intersections International for promoting reconciliation among diverse communities through her comedy. Her book, Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor was named one of the best spiritual books of 2010 with over 20,000 copies sold.
Award winning playwright and Broadway producer, Coats Guiles, described her as “a combination of Nancy Grace, Joel Osteen and Ellen DeGeneres all rolled into one!”
Most Popular Topics:
Laugh Your Way to Grace: The Power of Humor in Life, Work and the Spiritual Path
Charlie Chaplin said, “Life in the close-up is a tragedy. But life in the longshot is a comedy.” Whether in the daily grind of everyday life or in the heat of crisis, laughter is a healing gift; it is a holy gift we received at birth; it is a gift that fades, but never fully disappears. Learn how to reclaim this gift of life and spirit; learn to laugh your way to grace.
Laughing in the Tempest
Informed by Susan’s battle with breast cancer, this keynote explores the power of humor in difficult situations. It is for anyone going through crisis, whether physical, mental or spiritual.
Taking the Road Never Traveled
After a complete career U-turn from lawyer to minister and comedian, including a two year trip around the world, Susan learned a thing or two about risk and reinvention. Taking the Road Never Traveled focuses on how to take those risks, face your fears and find your own path of self-discovery.
Grab Any Audience ANYTIME
Want to harness power-packed communications skills? This workshop focuses on Susan’s unique knowledge of communication secrets from the courtroom, the comedy clubs, and the pulpit.
The Power of Humor in the Workplace
Resolve conflict, alter perspectives and create something new!