The Rev. Lester J. Drayton, Jr. received his pastoral appointment to serve at Chappelle Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church for the 2017-2018 conference year. The assignment was given on Saturday, September 30, 2017, at the close of the 140th Session of the Columbia Annual Conference, held at Pine Grove AME Church, by the Presiding Bishop of the Seventh Episcopal District (SC) of the AME Church, The Rt. Rev. Samuel Lawrence Green, Sr.
Rev. Lester J. Drayton, Jr. is an ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and has previously served Greater Saint Paul AME Church in West Columbia, South Carolina as pastor for the past seven years. A 1989 graduate of Georgetown High School in Georgetown, South Carolina, he has earned his Bachelor Degree in Religion from Allen University in 2004, graduating summa cum laude and in August 2009, he received his Master of Divinity degree from Columbia International University. He currently serves as a clinical chaplain in the Pastoral Services Division for the South Carolina Department of Corrections and is stationed at Broad River Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison for men.
Mrs. Jackie Eichelberger, chairperson pro-tem of the church’s Steward Board, introduced Rev. Drayton and his family to the congregation as pastor of Chappelle Memorial AME Church on Sunday, October 1, 2017. Excited to serve this new congregation and community, Rev. Drayton says he’s ready for the challenge and believes that with God’s grace, mercy and favor, the best is yet to come. Rev. Drayton is married to Mrs. Sonia Drayton and together, they have three daughters and one son.