OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Reverend Portia Cavitt has been ministering for three decades and many of those years have been spent in Omaha. She began in South Omaha at Allen Chapel AME and now serves at Clair Memorial United Methodist Church in North Omaha.
"It's not a position people just seek after, you have to be called and led by God and as God placed it upon my heart over 32 years ago I accepted my call to ministry," Rev. Cavitt said.
This will be her 15th year pastoring at Clair Memorial, an unusual tenure for an AME pastor, but she's excited and humbled to take on the challenge, calling the congregation and community her family.
She leads the church through a community-first mindset, saying it's important to her to help all people of all generations. Rev. Cavitt has worked to fight against health disparities, helping the Douglas County Health Department to set up COVID vaccine clinics at Black churches, food insecurity by planting community gardens and homelessness by giving out hygiene packs.
Her leadership style at Clair Memorial is the same approach she takes as the president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, the first woman to hold the position. The group is comprised of faith leaders of all denominations, working together for the advancement of underserved communities.
"It's all about us coming together, sharing. Yes, I might have an idea or someone else has an idea but we have to listen and what is the best way to approach it and carry it out. So in that leadership, I've watched a long time and now it's time to share and give direction of where we're going," Rev. Cavitt said.
She's served as president since 2020, but due to COVID, they were not able to honor her historic role. She's been reelected and Sunday the IMA held the Installation of Officers service.
Rev. Cavitt says as president she wants to continue to reach out to the congregation and the community, advancing as we adapt as the community tries to get out of COVID. She says it's about going to the people.
Rev. Cavitt thanks the community for welcoming her with open arms, as many ministries don't believe in women at the pulpit, but she says that hasn't been the case here in Omaha.