Pastor Cheryl Mitchell Gaines, J.D., M.Div., an attorney and pastor, is the Founder and Senior Pastor of the ReGeneration House of Praise: "The Church in the Field" meeting in the field at First and Chesapeake Streets Southeast Washington, DC. Her ministry brings the messages of salvation, hope, deliverance and healing through the regenerating work of the Holy Ghost to the least, the last, the lost and as she says, the "NO LONGER" left out. A native of New Orleans, Pastor Gaines earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, the Juris Doctor of Law from the Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, and a Master of Divinity in Theology from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in New York. An attorney licensed in the State of Louisiana and the District of Columbia, Rev. Gaines has also been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
Pastor Gaines was licensed to preach in 1995 by Rev. Dr. Dwight Webster of Christian Unity Baptist Church in New Orleans and ordained in 1998 by the late Rev. Dr. Samuel McCree Jr. of the Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Rochester, New York where she served proudly as an Associate Minister for many years. From the tutelage of Bishop Glen A. Staples of the Temple of Praise Church in Southeast Washington, DC, she began the ReGeneration church and ministry in 2008. Pastor Gaines says, "With just a few friends and family members, on November 24, 2008, I started the ReGeneration House of Praise church in the basement of my home in the suburbs. After the drive by murders of four young people on the corner of South Capitol Street SE in the spring of 2010, in June 2010, the Lord called me to a nearby field at First and Chesapeake Streets where the community youth had created a makeshift memorial." There the community dubbed her the Pastor of "The Church in the Field." With evangelism and soul-winning as the focus of this ministry, Pastor Andrew J. Newell and First Lady Betty Newell of New Covenant Evangelistic Center became the counselors and mentors to Pastor Gaines in support of the move of God in the Church in the Field in 2016.
As an emerging church, The Church in the Field is effective in soul winning and making a positive difference in Ward 8. In the face of incredible odds, Pastor Gaines’ ministry has been able to help secure housing, employment, counseling and national food handling manager's certifications for many underserved youth and families. She has also founded the unique urban garden initiative called Project EDEN or Everyone Deserves to Eat Naturally™. Through EDEN, she has hired more than 50 summer youth and young adult employees since 2013 and has worked with hundreds of volunteers from colleges, universities and community and faith-based groups.
Pastor Gaines' ministry in the community involves strengthening the total person, particularly those who are vulnerable. Much of her strength lies in her passion and ability to connect people to resources and to empower them to move from one level to the next dimension in Christ Jesus.
She is the proud and loving mother of two sons, Durnell (Cheron) Gaines, a veteran member of the United States Army, a brilliant younger son, Kwesi Billups who has a penchant for singing
Gospel and the ecstatic grandmother of two grandchildren, Amir and Taylynn.
Pastor Gaines' greatest desire is to let her light so shine in the world that others may see her good works and glorify our God which is in heaven. (Matt 5:16)