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 nationally syndicated columnist as well as a TEDx speaker, Susan’s first book, Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor, was named one of the best spiritual books of 2010 and has sold over 25,000 copies.
Susan is the recent recipient of the University of North Carolina “Habey” Award for the Arts presented to Susan by the internationally renowned comedian and alum Lewis Black. She was also awarded the Intersections International Award (along with Senator Corey Booker) for her use of comedy in fostering reconciliation and building bridges.
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
Laughter is one of the most powerful, yet under-appreciated tools we have in this life. It can reduce stress, improve health, build relationships, foster forgiveness, awaken our spiritual connections and inspire hope.
As an ordained minister, comedian and cancer survivor, Susan has learned this firsthand. This keynote is for anyone who wants to lighten their perspective, focus their energies and tap the power of their innate sense of joy.
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 knows a thing or two about risk and reinvention. Specifically targeted at those facing life transitions, The Road Never Traveled tells her story and offers entertaining, yet concrete tools that will help you take 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 offers speaking secrets Susan has learned from the courtroom, the comedy clubs, and the pulpit.