The best advice Dr. Najuma ever received came from her mother, who told her: “You can do anything you want to!" This invaluable advice always guides her as she strives to complete each task, knowing that all things are possible through Christ. Through her pastoral assignments and Word of Encouragement ministry (W.O.E.), she shares the good news of the Gospel with parishioners, the community at large and internationally. Dr. Najuma is a frequent speaker at churches and conferences. She is grateful to be able to share her gifts, time and talent with ministries abroad.
A native of Southern California, Dr. Najuma, became a member of First AME Church in Los Angeles in September of 1989; a move that changed her life forever. While there, under the leadership of Rev. Cecil L. “Chip” Murray, she immersed herself in the church’s ministries. Additionally, she served in ministries beyond the walls of the church, including the Social Concerns Commission. After several years as a member of the laity, she accepted her call to ministry in 1996 and says, “going into ministry was just the next level of service for me.” Dr.Najuma was ordained as a Deacon in 1996 and as an Itinerant Elder in the AME Church in 2000. Since that time, she has served as Assistant Pastor at Christ Our Redeemer AME Church in Irvine, California; Pastor of A.K. Quinn AME Church in Moreno Valley, California; Pastor of St. James AME Church, in Los Angeles, California for 7 years and served 2 years at COR AME Church in Irvine, California as the Pastor of Family Ministries. Today, Dr. Najuma is the proud Founder and Pastor of Word of Encouragement Community Church, near Downtown Los Angeles area.
In addition to her ministerial duties, Dr. Najuma is Program Manager for the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, and Executive Director for the Southern California School of Ministry. Dr. Najuma has also founded Chocolate Tee’s. an urban apparel company. Dr. Najuma has also launched ‘…And She Can Preach!’ Network, that supports and encourages emerging women in ministry. In addition she has authored three books: The Prayer Makeover: Developing a Prayer Life That Avails Much; More Than a Sermon & Sunday Hymn and a poetry offering entitled Apple Pie & Ice Cream
In terms of education, Dr. Najuma holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Pepperdine University, a Bachelor of Theology from the Southern California School of Ministry and a Masters of Business Administration from Woodbury University. In addition she has received Certification from the “Passing The Mantle” program on Civic Engagement and Community Development from USC. She also holds a Doctorate in Ministry, from United Theological Seminary.
On the lighter side, she is affectionately known as “Rev Juju”, has several hobbies including reading, going to movies, skiing, snowboarding, writing and traveling. Her travels outside of the country have taken her to Canada, Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Belgium, France, St. Lucia, Lesotho (South Africa), China, Egypt, Israel, India and Kenya (East Africa).
She is wonderfully married to Felix Pollard and they have three sons Daniel, Dillon and Dorian.
www.damalijanu.org facebook.com/RevJuJu Twitter @RevJuJu