Reverend Dr. Herbert Laval Jenkins, Jr. and Reverend Gilbert Lamal Jenkins are the twin sons of Evangelist Mattie Smalls Jenkins and Reverend Herbert Jenkins Sr. They answered their calling.

Their mother, Mattie had three girls and she wanted a boy. She said she prayed the prayer of Hannah, “she promised God that if He blesses her with a son that she would give him back to the ‘Church to serve Him.’” Well, low and behold she was blessed with twins. The boys grew up worshiping at Greater Goodwill African Methodist Church in Mount Pleasant at Highway 17 N. and 41.

They came from a family of educators; principals, teachers, nurses and ministers. Their ancestor Sipio Smalls was an enslaved land owner in the Phillip’s Community. He was one of the largest land owners in the Phillip’s Community located on Highway 41 where his family still lives today.

Herbert and Gilbert graduated from Wando High School. They both matriculated to the College of Charleston. Herbert earned a bachelor of science degree in education and Gilbert a degree in computer technology. Herbert later earned a masters at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta and his doctorate from Drew University in New Jersey. Gilbert earned a masters in counseling from Webster University in Charleston.

Herbert received his call from God in 1998. He was 18 years at the time. He told his mother first and it was her encouragement that helped him see the blessing in trusting in God. Before being assigned to a church, Herbert worked with the youth ministry at Greater Goodwill AME Church. He made such an impression on the youth they wanted to emulate him.

Herbert is married to Kelli A. Jenkins, and they have four children; Janae (12), Herbert II (6), Anderson (4), and Myles (2 months). He is the pastor of St. Luke AME Church in Hollywood, S.C. in the Edisto district. His first appointment was in the Palmetto Conference in the Kingstree District in 2013. Leaving his first appointment was bittersweet. He was excited about the opportunity to serve a new congregation in a new district, but he was also sad that he was leaving the church that molded and supported his growth. He had anxiety about leaving the Palmetto Conference and all the pastors he knew, but God continues to bless.

Herbert plans to enhance and improve the congregation physically and spiritually with:

  • Puppet Choir (engaging youth to participate in worship)
  • Recognition Fund (rewarding students for good grades)
  • News-team (engages children with church announcement and important church matters)
  • A library and computer lab and an after school program.
  • An annual back to school cookout with back to school book bag drive.
  • Seniors Steppers (a social gathering of seniors twice monthly to entertain, educate and strengthen.
  • Health Fairs (partnering with MUSC to address some the community health issue.)

Rev. Gilbert received his calling to the ministry 2015 and his first church in 2018. He was quite an asset to Greater Goodwill under the leadership of Rev. Adrian Kollock. He served as youth minister as well as social media director. Reverend Jenkins used his professional skills and trained the young men at Greater Goodwill AME Church to operate in the media sound room. Most of the young men can operate the system.

Gilbert is now the Pastor of Nazareth AME Church in Hemingway, S.C. The two men hope that God continues to shower his blessings on them.

Emma Jule Gadsden-Williams is a Huger native and Mount Pleasant resident. She is a historian and columnist of African American culture east of the of the Cooper. A former accountant for CBS News Division-New York Yankees administrative office, she is retired as an accounts payable supervisor at the College of Charleston and is the former Scholarship Director for the East Cooper Mass Choir.