Paula Whatley Matabane is a spiritual director and ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). She is minister of prayer and visitation, and coordinator of church archives at Turner Monumental AME in Atlanta. She researched and wrote an expansive history of that church. Paula’s experiences in ministry include teaching and preaching, evangelism in East and South Africa, practicing contemplative prayer, working with homeless women, seeking racial reconciliation and social justice, producing films on the Black presence in the Bible.
Paula is professor emerita of the Howard University School of Communications, and director of publications for the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. One of her great loves is researching family history and genealogy, which has led to genuine friendships with descendants of former enslavers of her ancestors. Paula holds an M.Div. degree from the Howard University School of Divinity and the Certificate of Spiritual Direction from Springhill College. An Atlanta native, she has one daughter, Mashadi, who is an educator and writer. Paula enjoys biking, hiking, swimming, fishing, gardening, reading, cooking, travel, family reunions, southern history and culture. She loves cats and getting to really know people outside her usual circles. Her favorite scripture is Romans 11:29 – The gifts and call of God are irrevocable.