Rev. Dr. Carl H. Balark, Jr. and Sis. Ella J. Balark are natives of the Eastern Shore of Virginia and have served as pastor and first lady here at Ebenezer Baptist Church since June 1992.
Pastor Balark’s parents, Eloise and Carl Sr., recognized his keen interest in the church, love of people, and leadership ability early in his childhood. His mother and father encouraged him to succeed through education, hard work and faith. He holds degrees from Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD), Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology (Richmond, VA) and Virginia University (Lynchburg, VA).
Pastor Balark has led Ebenezer Baptist Church to a keener sense of understanding and responsibility in mission, ministry and model. The church is growing spiritually and in membership, commitment and missional outreach; locally and globally. Each Sunday, two morning worship services, 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., personify Pastor Balark’s vision of equipping the saints in renewal of the church for ministry and mission. This renewal compels each member to bring people to our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, and membership in His family, develop them in Christ-like (Christian) maturity, and equip them for ministry in the church and life mission in the world in order to magnify God’s name.
At Ebenezer, every member is given opportunity to share in the work of missional ministry and intentional evangelism. Under his leadership, Dr. Balark has added staff and august team of volunteers that participate in inclusive ministries that serve the church, community and world. Missionaries from the church have been sent forth to teach and preach the gospel in foreign lands and has established partner-ships with sister churches and a school aboard. Several ministers have been licensed, ordained and installed under his watchful care and now pastor various Baptist churches. Pastor Balark encourages all of the ministers to seek higher learning in preparation for purposeful, relevant, and applicable ministry. He diligently works in empowerment partnership within the local communities. Pastor Balark ensures that the youth and new members of the church are involved in missional ministry and community empowerment, as well.
Dr. Balark was the first African American President of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches. He has served as the first Moderator of the Greater Fellowship Baptist Association of Rhode Island and Vicinity. Currently, Pastor Balark serves as President of the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island (ABCORI). He also serves as a member of the Rhode Island ML King State Holiday Commission.
Pastor Balark has been recognized by numerous organizations for his leadership in the church and community.
Dr. Balark has been married to Ella for over 36 years. Holding multiple degrees, Lady Balark formally has worked in the Providence Public Schools System as an inclusion math and science teacher. Presently, Lady Balark serves as the Director of the Ministry of Christian Education at the Ebenezer Baptist church. As one in Christ, Dr. & Lady Balark enjoy their work together in ministry; they continue to work assiduously to impart lives both at Ebenezer and the Rhode Island community.