On November 1, 2021, the Rev. Canon Karen Davis-Lawson began serving as the 3rd rector and the 1st female rector of St. David’s Episcopal Church, Cambria Heights.
The Rev. Davis-Lawson was born in Trinidad, West Indies where she completed both her primary and secondary education before immigrating to Brooklyn, New York. She attended Brooklyn College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and Master’s Degrees in Arts and Science. As an undergraduate, Mother Karen discovered her gift for administration starting as a volunteer in an administrative office and working her way up to become the director. She worked at Brooklyn College and at Borough of Manhattan Community College.
While attending college and working, Mother Karen was an active member of the Church of St. Mark in Brooklyn, NY where she served on the vestry, Stewardship Committee, as a Eucharistic Minister, and a volunteer in the parish office. She was also a member and officer of the Young Adults, Usher Board, Choir, Sunday School, and served on Brooklyn Youth Ministries and a diocesan committee on lay ministries.
Mother Karen credits her mother, grandmother, her confirmation, and making a Cursillo weekend with acquiring spiritual disciplines and expanding her love for Christ and his people. In 2005, that love moved her to discern a call to ordained ministry. In that same year, she met Noel Lawson, the man who, in 2007 would become her husband, companion, and biggest supporter until his death in 2020.
In 2006, Mother Karen entered the General Theological Seminary in NY where in addition to required courses, she elected to concentrate on preaching and stewardship – skills that serve her well in ministry. During her seminary years, Mother Davis-Lawson served as a sacristan, in the schola (choir), as a chimer, and on the Admissions’ Committee. She graduated in May 2009 with a Master in Divinity and was ordained as a transitional deacon on June 22, 2009 and to the priesthood on January 16, 2010.
After graduating from seminary, the Rev. Davis-Lawson served at the Church of the Redeemer, Astoria (2009- 2011) and St. George’s Church, Astoria (2009-2021).
In the Diocese of Long Island, the Rev. Canon Davis-Lawson serves as the Secretary of Convention and a member of the Committee on Dispatch of Business and the Disciplinary Board, a clergy coach, and a trainer in the Diocesan Church Development Institute. She is a former president and current member of the Black Clergy Caucus, and a member of the Union of Black Episcopalians and the Cursillo community.
In her spare time, Mother Karen loves to travel, sing, and crochet.