Pastor & First Lady

Reverend Alphonsus E. Platt was educated in the Newark Public School system and graduated from Weequahic High School. He has two Master’s degrees in Education from New Jersey City University and The College of New Jersey. He has a Certificate in Christian Ministry from New York Theological Seminary. He studied at Seton Hall University on a Scholarship in the Judeo-Christian Education Department. He also studied Holocaust education at Yad Vashem in Israel during a tour of Europe and Israel. He has a gospel music background as a drummer, writer, producer, and Vice President of Operations for Joyland Records.

Rev. Platt is a retired Public School Principal. He completed a stellar 33 year career in education as a teacher, coach, and administrator in the Hillside, NJ Public School District. He served at Good Neighbor Baptist Church in Newark for 20 years as a Musician, Deacon, Associate Minister, and Assistant Pastor. He has been the Pastor of Nia Fellowship Baptist Church since September 2004 and he was installed in January 2005. He is a Past President of the United Clergy of the Oranges, Inc. He serves on the Board of Directors for “David Shoes”, a Non-Profit Organization dedicated to reducing Teen Violence.

In July of 2014, Rev. Platt led Nia in the successful acquisition of the former Ridgeview Community Presbyterian Church in West Orange, NJ valued at 1.2 million dollars. He also led the church in a project called “Project PACK UP” - Preparing to Advance Christian Kingdom building United with a Purpose. That initiative helped the Nia Fellowship congregation to move in, renovate and restore the church building after the building had suffered fire damage and had been unoccupied for almost 2 years before the purchase. Recently, he created the Nia Purpose Partnership program to continue church improvements and keep the church relevant in the community.

Rev. Platt has made a positive impact on the lives of thousands with his music, education, and ministry background. His goal is for the Nia Fellowship Baptist Church to stay relevant as a new community church that helps maintain and enhance a positive quality of life in West Orange and Vicinity. He has been the recipient of many community service awards. He works hard to improve the quality of life for all people. He believes that the healing formula to help our communities is the mixture of God, Education, and Love.

Rev. Platt resides in Union, NJ and is married to Gwendolyn Denise Platt who is a Union Township Public Schools teacher coach.  They are the parents of two lovely adult children named Parminder and Marcus. They are also the proud grandparents of 2 Grandsons named Gideon and Zion. His favorite scripture is Psalm 34:1, “I will bless the Lord at all times. His Praises shall continually be in my mouth”.


Lady Dr. Gwendolyn D. Platt was born in Bronx, New York. She had humbled beginnings. She was abandoned at birth by her birth mom and struggled with medical complications at birth. At the age of two she was legally adopted by Willie and Charles Foster and was raised in Roselle, New Jersey. She was educated in the Roselle Public Schools, St. Joseph’s Catholic School, and graduated from Girls Catholic High School which is now known as Roselle Catholic High School.

Lady Platt continued her education at Kean College in Union, New Jersey. She received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Elementary Education. After graduating from college, she began working as teacher for St. Catherine’s Elementary School in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

After working briefly as a teacher, Lady Platt began working in Social Services.  She became a certified Social Worker, Substance Abuse Counselor, and HIV Counselor for the state of New Jersey. After a few years of working with Choices Inc. and Planned Parenthood, Lady Platt had a desire to go back into education.

Lady Platt began teaching again in private schools before moving on to working in Public School Education. She currently works for the Township of Union Public Schools. While teaching in Union Public Schools,  she has completed her Master’s Degree in Education with certification in Special Education in May 2011 from New Jersey City University and Supervisor Certification in May 2016. She is presently working as a PIRT Teacher Coach for Pre-K Teachers in the Township of Union Public Schools. In May of 2021 she earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ.

Lady Platt is the First Lady of the Nia Fellowship Baptist Church in West Orange, New Jersey.  She has been married to Rev. Alphonsus Platt since 1988. She and Pastor Platt have two children named Parminder and Marcus. They also have a Grandson named Gideon and a Grandson named Zion.

Lady Platt gives all the praise, glory and honor to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon her.

Her favorite Scripture is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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