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Reverend Claudia Elaine Lawton

The Reverend Claudia Elaine Lawton is the Pastor of Bethel AME Church, Huger SC, and the Mt. Pleasant District Women in Ministry Coordinator.  Both of her natural parents are deceased, and she is the stepdaughter of Mr. Emerson Murray of Moncks Corner SC.  “Reverend Claudia”, as she is affectionally called, is the mother of two sons, one daughter and the grandmother of three.  She has two daughters-in-law.

A 1981 graduate of Burke High School, she received an Associate in Arts degree from Trident Technical College in 1991and was inducted into the Honor Society there. Rev. Lawton received her BS in Nursing in 1994 from the Medical University of SC College of Nursing where she is a Lifetime Alumni member.  She earned her MDiv degree from Erskine Theological Seminary in 2004.

After accepting her call to preach in 1998 over 26 years ago, she preached her trial sermon in 1998 at Mother Emanual AME Church.  She has pastored five churches since 2005 over 18 years and served as an associate minister at Mother Emanuel AME Church in 2000 thru 2005 under Rev. Dr. William Smith Jr.

Reverend Lawton has an extensive career in the healthcare field where she has been a registered nurse for 29 years and currently works as a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse at MUSC’s Institute of Psychiatry/Senior Care Unit for the past 14 years.  She also precepts nurses, medical residents, and therapeutic assistants to help focus on the relevant issues integrating evidenced base practice on the interdisciplinary team. This in-patient team helps mental illness patients and families get refocused to pursue healthier lifestyles as a viable option.  Reverend Lawton also works as a Clinical Practice Nurse at MUSC in Charleston. 

Reverend Lawton combines ministry with her healthcare career in various ways.  She is a Certified Parish Nurse under Melissa Altman of the Steven’s Ministry where she has been planning health fairs in our communities since 2002.  Reverend Lawton is currently a member of the Sigma Theta Tau, Phi Pi Chapter, an International Honorary Nursing Society since 2018 where she continues to use current research to improve health in her current practice.  She is a lifetime member of the Tri-county Black Nurses Association since 1992 joining under the late Dr. Ida Spruill and she promotes MUSC-Hollins Cancer Awareness and Prevention Programs in the Community.  Serves on the 7th Episcopal District AME Church Executive Health Committee and is a Coordinator of Annual Conferences/ COVID testing/vaccines clinics, and first aid rooms.

Rev. Claudia is a past 4-H Club Leader in Moncks Corner and enjoys listening to music and spending time with her children and family.

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