A Richmond, Virginia native, Rev. Dr. Madeline McClenney-Sadler accepted a call to ministry in high school. In 1989 she was licensed to preach by Riverview Baptist Church, and in 1993 she was ordained to ministry to the homeless by New Bethel Baptist Church in the District of Columbia, led by Pastor Walter Fauntroy and Rev. James H. Wilson.
Dr. McClenney-Sadler completed a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, and a Master of Divinity Degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she was an active advocate for the homeless. She continued her education at Duke University where she earned a Ph.D in Old Testament Studies in 2001, with minors in Women’s Studies and Islamic Law.
In 1999, while completing the dissertation, she founded Exodus Foundation.org, a Christian faith based charity dedicated to serving formerly incarcerated African-Americans and those at risk for incarceration. Dr. McClenney-Sadler and the governing board spent the first four years planning and organizing activities. The initial launch of programs occurred in 2004 with the first scholarship award and Welcome Back Celebration.
Dr. McClenney-Sadler continues to write and publish. In 2007, her dissertation was published by the international academic press T & T Clark in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Library Series. Her research addresses the topic of incest in biblical law and narratives. It is entitled Recovering the Daughter’s Nakedness: A Formal Analysis of Israelite Kinship Terminology and the Internal Logic of Leviticus 18. In 2009, her article “For God’s Sake, Mommy Help!” appeared in the first chapter of Mother Goose, Mother Jones, Mommie Dearest: Biblical Mothers and their Children edited by Cheryl Kirk-Duggan and Tina Pippin. In this work she addresses the need for mothers to support children that disclose abuse. Without sufficient intervention, many abuse survivors will develop mental health issues that result in criminal activity. In April of 2011, Ministry with Prisoners and Families: The Way Forward was released by Judsen Press and edited by W. Wilson Goode, Charles E. Lewis Jr., and Harold Dean Trulear. Dr. McClenney-Sadler was one of several nationally known contributors to this groundbreaking tool for pastors and congregations. Her chapter is entitled: “A letter to African-American Churches Concerning the Saints Coming Home from Prison.
As a published author, frequent pulpit guest, and classroom instructor, Rev. Dr. McClenney-Sadler reminds believers that we serve a Savior “who died to exonerate and redeem people with a record, and before God, we all have a record.”