557 Randolph Street NW, WDC 20011  |  (202) 723-5795

Senior Pastor

Born in Concord, North Carolina, The Reverend Dr. Ricky D. Helton was reared just a few miles away in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He matriculated in the Charlotte school system and graduated from the Independence High School in 1979.  After High School, he was accepted into North Carolina Central University (NCCU) in Durham, North Carolina where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1983.  Immediately following this, Rev. Helton applied and was accepted into Duke University's Theological Seminary where he completed a Master of Divinity degree in 1986.  Not resting upon these academic achievements, Rev. Helton then enrolled into Hartford Theological Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut where he completed a Doctor of Ministry degree in 1992.  In 1993, Rev. Helton was accepted into Yale Divinity School to further pursue theological studies.

Rev. Ricky Helton's Christian experience began at an early age.  He accepted the call into ministry at the age of seventeen during his 12th and final year in High School.  In college, he headed the largest student lead Christian organization on campus for two years.  He began pastoring immediately following his graduation from NCCU in 1983 at the Sweet Springs CME church in Holly Springs, North Carolina.  His tenure there lasted four years.  During those four years as pastor of Sweet Springs CME church, Rev. Helton also was a Campus Minister at Duke University for two years and also a certified Chaplain at Duke University Medical Center.  In 1987, he transferred to Russell Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Rev. Helton remained in Bridgeport for seven years until he was transferred to the Lewis Temple CME church in August of 1994.

While in Grambling, Rev. Helton worked with the NAACP, the Board of Directors for the United Campus Ministries of Grambling State University, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance (IMA), and was involved in several community projects to enhance the town of Grambling.  Along with his pastoral duties, Rev. Helton found time to lend his skills to serve as an Adjunct Professor in the Earl Lester Coles' Honors College at Grambling State University from 1995-2005, an Adjunct Instructor at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) Extension Program and served as an Instructor at Wiley College.  He also served on CORA (The Commission On Religion in Appalachia) Executive Board.

In July 2007, Rev. Helton was transferred to Israel Metropolitan Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, DC where he currently is serving as Senior Pastor.

Rev. Helton enjoys writing, community organizing, and flying model aircraft.  He is married to Loretta Shaw Helton.  They have three lovely daughters--Crystal Faith, Candice Hope and Chloe Love. 


Rev. Dr. Ricky D. Helton, Sr. Pastor