Erika E. Cole, Esq., known as The Church Attorney®, is one of only a handful of attorneys in the nation who practices exclusively in the area of church law. Erika has dedicated her life to being willing to help churches of all denominations and sizes ensure that their legal affairs are in order so they can focus on spreading their message, serving their communities, and growing their ministries.
For nearly two decades, Erika has partnered with ministries to address everything from church planting and new leadership transitions to buying and selling property, succession planning, and helping leadership address the spectrum of governance matters. Leading churches and denominations have selected her to serve as their General Counsel. When she isn’t serving as General Counsel for her clients, she has also assisted churches and ministries in obtaining 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with a 100% success rate.
Whether handling an unexpected legal crisis or legal audit or helping churches through the buying, selling, and construction of property, Erika’s philosophy has remained the same: to provide the same level of excellence, diligence, and counsel across the board.
She has shared her skills by teaching the next generation of lawyers and community leaders as a past professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law and Loyola College of Maryland in their MBA program.
Her calling to support churches and empower its leaders propelled her to join a year-long mission in Latin America where she worked with churches and their members and advanced human rights. Upon returning, she started a missions ministry at her own church and subsequently participated in almost a dozen other mission trips.
Erika’s reputation as a thought leader in the church law community has attracted a myriad of opportunities, such as:
2011: Appointed to the Panel of Legal Experts for the Commission of Accountability for Religious Organizations.
2013: Appointed to Board of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
2016: Admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court.
2017: Combined her law firm with Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP, a law firm with more than 160 attorneys, providing an expanded platform for her services as The Church Attorney®.
Erika became an Editorial Advisor for Church Law & Tax in 2017, and a Senior Editorial Advisor in 2020.
Erika and her husband Brien are happily married and are the loving parents of two sons.