First Lady’s Bio


Elder Sheila Bowens Kelsey is a native of Philadelphia, PA, and was reared in Hyattsville, Maryland. She is one of four daughters born to the late Bishop Joseph T. and Clara W. Bowens. Elder Kelsey accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior at the tender age of twelve and developed a passion and desire to serve Him in ministry. She received her early religious education and spiritual nurturing at the Faith Tabernacle United Holy Church, under the pastorate of her father, who also served as the Presiding Bishop of the United Holy Church of America, Inc. She has served as Minister of Music in various churches, served as director and musician at Faith Tabernacle and is the founder of the University of Maryland’s Gospel Choir, which is currently performing today. After completing her formal education in the public school system of Maryland, she attended the University of Maryland College Park, later continuing her college education, achieving a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She has also Post graduate studies in Theology.

Elder Kelsey developed a passion in a variety of areas within the church including Music Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Mentoring of Young Girls, Christian Education, Church Growth, Leadership and Discipleship Development. She has used her many spiritual gifts to birth a variety of ministries including Chosen Vessels Women’s Ministry, the Daughters of Destiny, Judah Praise Dancers, the Alpha and Omega Steppers Ministries, the Ministers-in-Training Program, the Mothers of the Church, the Elders Council, among many others.

Elder Kelsey was licensed to the preaching/teaching ministry on November 24, 1996 and ordained on January 16, 2005. The evangelistic call on her life has afforded her the opportunity to speak at The Pentagon, preach nationally at the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International Conference and the United Holy Church of America National Convocation as well as internationally in both Bermuda and Germany.

Married for over 30 years to Bishop Michael V. Kelsey, Sr, she counts as her greatest accomplishments by far, their three sons, Michael Jr. and his wife Ashley who serve in full-time ministry and global missions; Kevin who is pursuing a career in criminal justice; and Eric who is pursuing a doctorate degree in dentistry. All are saved and serving in the church. She is the loving and devoted grandmother to Ava Noelle and Michael Vernon, III.

Compassion, Conviction, and Connection