Reverend Dietra Christine Bell is a native of Atlantic City, New Jersey. She was born the oldest of four children to the late Rev. Barbara L. Bell, who entered the ministry after her daughter. Dietra was dedicated to the Lord by her mother while still in the womb. Her Christian experience began in the home and in St. James A.M.E. Church in Atlantic City, NJ. She was baptized at age 2, made a full commitment to the church and Christ at age 14, and was filled with the Holy Spirit during her freshman year in college.
It was during the First Episcopal District A.M.E. Church Christian Education Congress in 1977 that she answered the Lord’s call to preach. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from Douglass College/Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ), and a Master of Divinity Degree from Turner Theological Seminary/ITC (Atlanta, GA). Rev. Bell was ordained an Itinerant Deacon in 1981, and an Itinerant Elder in 1983 in the NJ Annual Conference AME Church. Post Seminary, she completed four (4) additional units of Clinical Pastoral Education (C.P.E.) as a Hospital Chaplain.
The Lord has blessed Rev. Bell to serve as a Pastor in the A.M.E. Church since 1984. She was bless with five (5) pastoral appointments in the past 35 years in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. She had a brief tenure as the Presiding Elder of the Atlantic City District in the NJ Conference, and then returned to the pastorate to serve St. Paul AME Church in Pleasantville, NJ as of June 2019.
Rev. Bell has actively served on all levels of the AME Church, and has been active in the communities in which she lived. If there is one thing to remember about her is that she loves the Lord, she loves her family and close friends, and is grateful for each day the Lord sends her way!