Karen S. Daughtry
On January 4, 2014, Dr. Karen Smith Daughtry was installed as Pastor of The House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn, New York. Ordained to the Ministry of the Gospel in October 2000, Dr. Daughtry also serves as Director of the National Department of Women’s Work. Additionally, she has been a member of the Church’s National Board of Elders since its establishment in 1985.
Founder of The House of the Lord Elementary School and The House of the Lord Sister-to-Sister Mentoring Program, First Lady Dr. Karen Daughtry is best known for her visionary and creative leadership as it relates to children’s and women’s issues. For more than forty years, Daughtry has served as Executive Director of the Alonzo Daughtry Memorial Day Care Centers, serving more than 125 children annually. She has served as advisor to both The House of the Lord Youth and Sisterhood departments.
Her concern for the impact of the social and political issues on the lives of people of African Ancestry is evident in her work as a community activist, and her participation in countless marches, rallies, and demonstrations. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Randolph Evans Memorial Scholarship Fund, which annually awards ten scholarships to Brooklyn college-bound students, in the name of Randolph Evans, a 15 year old shot to death in 1976 by a New York City police officer.
Dr. Daughtry is the visionary and founding Chairperson of Sisters Against South African Apartheid (“SASAA”), an organization inspired by the courage of Winnie Mandela and dedicated to providing support for those living under the racist apartheid regime in South Africa. Since the dismantling of apartheid, SASAA — under its new name, Sisters Assisting South Africans (“SASA”) — now helps those in South Africa build a society that deals fairly with all of its people. Through its six-point program, SASAA/SASA has successfully shipped material support to Southern Africa on six separate occasions; established Sole-to-Soul Pen Pals, encouraging linkages between American and South African youth through the giving of athletic footwear and the exchange of letters; led three delegations on 14-day missions to the new, democratic South Africa; and took responsibility for the successful building of a day care center in the town of Tamboville and named after the late South African freedom fighter, Oliver Tambo.
In 1990, Dr. Daughtry, with Mrs. Julie Belafonte, co-chaired the Women’s Division of the Nelson Mandela Reception Committee on the occasion of Mandela’s first visit to New York City. SASAA hosted Winnie Mandela at The House of the Lord Church and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Daughtry, a native of New Jersey, holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Adelphi University and The New York Theological Seminary in the areas of Early Childhood and Religious Education, respectively. She is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, having also graduated from New York’s Post Graduate Center for Mental Health. In addition, she earned the Doctor of Ministry Degree from The New York Theological Seminary in 1997. Dr. Daughtry has received numerous awards, citations, and proclamations from all levels of government, as well as from prominent organizations and individuals.
Since 1962, she has been married to the Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry, Presiding Minister Emeritus of The House of the Lord Churches. She has intimately shared in the ministry of the Church through the conceptualization and implementation of many of the programs sponsored by the church. Together they are the parents of four children — Leah, Sharon, Dawnique, and Herbert, Jr., all college graduates — and three grandsons, Lorenzo, Herbert, III, and Myles.
Her favorite saying is: “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything but I can do something and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do what I can do for there is no one else quite like me and I can make a difference with God’s help.”