Our Pastor


Dr. Carieta Cain Grizzell, born in Washington, D.C.  presently serving as of Pastor of Murph-Emmanuel AME Church-North Highlands, California, received her Bachelor of Arts Degree at Antioch University – Yellow Springs, Ohio; and both her Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry Degrees (1984 and 2014) respectively at San Francisco Theological Seminary – San Anselmo, California.


Pastor Grizzell began her preacher ministry in 1984 and has for many years worked to improve the quality of life for youth and young adults, providing a wide range of programs and has organized Community Development Corporations wherever she has served as pastor.  Her Doctoral Dissertation is Twenty-Four/Seven Church: Bridging the [W]holistic Gap in African-American Congregations.  She believes that the Church should be the center and focal point in the community that serves and meets the total needs of the people providing [w]holistic ministries that include the social, economic, educational, physical, psychological, and emotional aspects as well as the spiritual. 


Prior to being appointed as Pastor of Murph-Emmanuel AME Church, Dr. Grizzell has served as Pastor of Christ Our Redeemer-East Palo Alto, California; St. Paul-Vallejo, California; and Allen Chapel-Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Grant Chapel, Wichita, Kansas.   She has also served as Associate Minister of Bethel AME and Managing Director of Allen Community Development Corporation of San Francisco; and Parish Associate of Ingleside Presbyterian Church and Executive Director of Ingleside Community Center, San Francisco.


Dr. Grizzell has been the recipient of many civic and congressional awards and honors for her exceptional work in the community, including the 2014 NAACP Freedom Fund “Clergy of the Year” Award for her work in social and racial justice.  She also received the 2011 AME Pastor of the Year Award from the 5th Episcopal District and the 2017 Jarena Lee Award in the California Conference.   She has contributed two chapters in a Collaborative Project of Highly Recommend Professionals, Pastors and others working toward Spiritual and Mental Healing on the impact and effects of sexual abuse entitled: “And He Restoreth My Soul”, by Darlene J. Harris, WestBow Press, Bloomington, IN 2011. 

She strongly believes that God can do anything but fail and has in her own life experienced the miraculous power of God through Jesus Christ.  She is married to The Rev. Martin F. Grizzell and together they have seven children and thirteen grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.




Under the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit and through the leadership of Reverend Tyrone Hicks on December 12, 1982, Murph-Emmanuel AME Church held the first worship service at the home of Pastor and Mrs. Hicks.  The church started as the Emmanuel A.M.E Mission, and the first home and service were held at Aero Haven School, in North Highlands. Chartered membership at this time numbered approximately thirty worshipers. During the Annual Conference of 1983, the AME Mission was admitted into the California Annual Conference with Bishop H. Harford Brookins as Presiding Prelate and Rev. Richard Allen Washington as Presiding Elder. After the conference, the church name was changed to Murph-Emmanuel AME Church. The membership outgrew temporary locations and began the search for a permanent home. n May of 1986, Murph-Emmanuel purchased the beautiful edifice at 4151 Don Julio Boulevard, North Highlands. During the 1990 conference year, a cornerstone laying ceremony was held, sponsored by the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge. To God be the Glory for the great things He has done, continues to do, and will do!

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