Rev. M. Frances Manning-Fontaine grew to be an adult in the village of Harlem in New York City where she received Christian nurture at the Convent Avenue Baptist Church, Harlem USA under the Pastorate of the late Rev. Dr. M. L. Wilson and Rev. Clarence P. Grant. Thoroughly prepared for ministry, she graduated from the College of New Rochelle with the B.A., New York Theological Seminary with the Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry Degrees. Her doctoral thesis was entitled Training and Equipping Laypersons for Prophetic Ministry which is a hallmark of her Pastorate .She has also done additional study at Princeton Theological Seminary, and has a certificate from the Harvard University Divinity School Leadership Institute. She is a graduate of the Institute of Church Administration and Management (ICAM) at Interdenominational Theological Seminary (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia. .She is further certified in Pastoral Counseling through The Christian Counseling Center in Allendale, NJ. Prior to entering the service of ministry Dr. Manning was a media management advertising professional in New York City hav
She has been an invited panelist at the Governor of New Jersey’s State of the Black Church Forum and a featured panelist at the prestigious Hampton University Minister’s conference, A publication entitled SAGE SISTERS. Wisdom for African American women in ministry, Pilgrim Press Cleveland O.,.leads off with her article Wrestling with Ordination. A woman of firsts to the Glory of God, Dr. Manning-Fontaine has the distinction of being the first woman Moderator elected in the State of New Jersey through the 75 member Church North Jersey District Missionary Baptist Association where she served as 2nd Vice Moderator under the legendary leadership of Dr. Lester W. Taylor, Jr, Dr. Manning-Fontaine has also emerged as a leader in the American Baptist Churches of N.J. North regional fellowship as a spiritual director to ABCNJ. Through their pastor to pastor Healthy Pastor/Healthy Church program, she has mentored other pastors and preachers under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer Regional Executive Minister. Deeply committed to the success of Women in Ministry, Dr. Fontaine is organizing member of COADINJ,( Clergy women of African Descent in New Jersey) which now has a thriving branch in Philadelphia Pa. She has licensed and ordained several women two of whom are now Senior Pastors in their own right. Known simply as Manning to many of her colleagues and Pastor Manning to her lay friends, she continues to befriend and mentor women with fresh calls from God on their life unsure of their gifts and direction; as well as those who are serving their congregations as Senior Pastors. She is called upon frequently to strengthen other Congregations through her preaching and teaching in worskshops and seminar leadership. A most recent interest is getting out of debt staying out of debt and living prosperously which she as successfully implemented in her own Congregation . Living free from the burden of credit card debt is her personal way of life .
Ordained on October 27, 1985, in the Convent Avenue Baptist Church, Rev. Manning-Fontaine, a pioneer, has the distinction of being the first woman to be both licensed and ordained into the Christian ministry by that body. Called to the New Hope Baptist Church, a dynamic leading congregation in Hackensack, New Jersey, on May 7, 1993, she is the seventh Pastor and the first woman to lead that congregation. Dr. Manning-Fontaine was the FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN TO BE CALLED TO A MAJOR PULPIT IN THE AMERICAN BAPTIST CHURCH DENOMINATION IN NEW JERSEY where they celebrated her 20th anniversary on Mother’s Day in May 2013. Under her leadership, New Hope Community and Economic Development Corp. Inc., the Church Not-for-profit- Corporation was birthed. Some of their programs have included Camp Hope a state approved Summer Day Camp for children 5 – 12, HIV Prevention Education, Parish Nursing Program and other health related ministries.. Under her visionary leadership New Hope has hosted a Theological certificate program in partnership with New York Theological Seminary. She has further influenced leadership in the Hackensack N.J community having served as President of the local Black Clergy in that town...Her favorite saying is Press on Regardless. Her Favorite biblical saying is “nothing can separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus.”Her latest “mantra” as she moves into a new season is “Legacy is us”. A recently released book (October 2011) Women with Wind in their Wings reveals what she has been thinking about Women in Ministry. Married to Joseph H. Fontaine Sr. together they have 6 children, 11 grand children and Yogi the Bichon Frise’..