THE REVEREND ANDRA D. SPARKS
The Reverend Andra D. Sparks is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. He is the eldest son of the late Cedric L. Sparks and the late Doris Jones Sparks. He is a lifelong member of First Missionary Baptist Church East Boyles. He has been actively involved in all aspects of the ministry. He has previously served as an Associate Minister, Deacon (Vice-Chairman), Trustee (Vice-Chair) Director of Youth and Children’s Activities, Sunday School Teacher and the church’s legal advisor.
Reverend Sparks was educated in the Birmingham Public School System. He is a 1981 graduate of West End High School. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1985 from Tuskegee Institute and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1988. Reverend Sparks is a graduate of the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s School. He also pursued studies at Birmingham Theological Seminary.
Reverend Sparks had long sensed a call to serve in the preaching ministry and in June 2001 he followed the example of his paternal grandfather, the late Reverend George Jones, and accepted the Lord’s call to preach. He served as an associate minister at First Missionary Baptist Church East Boyles under the discipleship of the late Reverend Clyde Beverly, Sr. who ordained him in 2003. On March 3, 2004 he called to be the ninth Pastor of Forty-Fifth Street Baptist Church. Since his arrival, the church has experienced a resurgence in membership and mission. Reverend Sparks brings energy and a vision of community outreach with a focus on youth and senior citizen activities. The church has been totally renovated, physically (having undergone a complete modernization of the worship facility), programmatically (revamping of the worship service to make it more contemporary refocusing church’s community outreach and mission efforts) and spiritually (exponential personal and numerical growth) as it strives to be the friendliest church from the parking lot to the pulpit. Reverend Sparks also serves as a board member of the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist District Association. Reverend Sparks has long been actively involved in the community.
He is a member of the following organizations Alabama Municipal Judges Association, Leadership Birmingham, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., American Bar Association—Judicial Division (he currently serves as chair of the Specialized Judges Conference), Alabama Bar Association, National Bar Association, Magic City Bar Association, Birmingham Bar Association, NAACP, National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
In March 2008, he was appointed Municipal Court Judge for the City of Fairfield, the first African American to hold the position. In August 2008, the Birmingham City Council appointed Judge Sparks to a newly established seat on Birmingham’s Municipal Court to establish and preside over the Drug Court and Gun Court Dockets. He was reappointed in 2012, 2017 and 2022. In December 2010 he was appointed Presiding Judge for the City of Birmingham Municipal Court (the largest Municipal Court in the State of Alabama with five full time judges, two part-time Special Judges and more than one hundred employees) by the Mayor.
Reverend Sparks has been happily married to the former Karen Moore since June 28, 1986. They are the proud parents of Anthony (who works for Jefferson County) and is married to Ashley (a teacher in the Hoover School District) and Brittany (a registered nurse with UAB). They are the proud grandparents of Aidan, George Solomon, and Ashton Donell.