Karen Kirlew has been a pastor within the Jamaica Baptist Union (JBU) for 19 years. In 2003, she became pastor of the St. Ann’s Bay Circuit of Baptist Churches – comprising St. Ann’s Bay, Lime Hall, and Liberty Baptist Churches – where she continues to serve today.
In addition to her work with the local church, Kirlew has served in many leadership roles within the national Baptist union and local association. In 2018, Kirlew made history when the JBU installed her as president, the first woman to hold the position in the union’s 170-year history. Kirlew is co-host of the JBU’s flagship weekly radio program, “Christ for Today,” and has also served the community as Station Pastor of St. Ann’s Bay Police Station.
Kirlew is a graduate of the United Theological College of the West Indies with a Diploma in Ministerial Studies and of the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Theology and a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Theology.
In 2019, she was appointed to Jamaica’s The Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander for service to Religion and Community Development.
She is married to Raymond, and they have a son named Dominic.