Rev. Emily Pickens-Jones has been serving as lead pastor of ESUMC since July of 2020. She was born in Santa Monica, California as the daughter of two United Methodist clergy. She moved to San Francisco when she was five and grew up all around the Bay Area. During this time, she was involved in many parts of the UMC: Sunday school, youth group, youth and young adult delegations, church camps, and more. She graduated from UC Davis with a BA in International Relations and a minor in Vocal Performance. During college, she was very involved in campus ministry which tugged her towards her call to ministry. She worked at local churches and campus ministries before attending seminary at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC where she earned her Masters of Divinity. She also gained experience by working at the General Board of Church and Society of the UMC on Capitol Hill. She married her seminary sweetheart, Jacey Pickens-Jones, who comes from Pennsylvania and is serving as pastor at First UMC of Point Richmond.
Her passions in ministry are dedicated to serving the community. By following Jesus, she believes that we all choose a life dedicated to service, speaking truth to power, and advocating for the oppressed, all while acting in love. She is devoted to building interfaith connections and has provided involvement in numerous social justice activities and coalitions. She also provides spiritual support to all no matter where they are on their faith journey.