Terence has over a decade of experience in business consulting, government affairs, project management, and economic development in various roles in local and state government.

He is an Associate Supervisor of the Durham County Soil & Water Conservation District.


Terence began his career working with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. He furthered his career with Trinity Wellness Community Care Services as an Area Outreach Coordinator serving throughout the State of North Carolina. To further his knowledge of regional economic development projects and initiatives, he served on numerous community committees.

As a mental health professional and community leader, he developed a passion for government affairs and public engagement. He worked to ensure that members of the public, particularly marginalized communities, were informed and included as community projects developed. Priester has dedicated his time and efforts into dismantling homelessness, and various mental health concerns around the Triangle. 

Community Involvement

Terence was a re-organizer, and has been appointed as the Regional Director for the North Central Region of the African American Caucus of the North Carolina Democratic Party. He is a member of the NAACP of Durham, the Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society, and numerous other organizations in Durham County and in the State of North Carolina. Terence is the North Carolina Implementation Assessment Director of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. 


Terence is a native of Philadelphia, PA but grew up in Halifax County, NC. While growing up, he assisted his grandfather with the family's Agriculture and Agribusiness operations. He has been in Durham for over 9 years and is a proud Durham County homeowner. He received a B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration and a Master of Public Administration with honors from the University of Phoenix. He has also completed graduate studies in Divinity at Rhema Bible Training College and the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In 2017, Terence launched Embracing Word Church of Raleigh-Durham, a non-denominational worship center where he serves as Senior Pastor. He serves as Community Outreach Director of the United Covenant Churches of Christ under the leadership of his father, Bishop Priester, Overseer Dr. Byron Battle Sr., and Bishop-Prelate G.E. Livingston of Decatur, IL. 

Terence lives in Durham with his wife, Shakeema, their three children, Zion, Brianna, and Arriyl, and the family dog, Willow.

Committee Involvements

Terence has served on the Durham Substance Abuse and Mental Health Committee, the Five County Cultural Competence Provider Committee, the Duke Men's Health Council Committee, and the Alliance Independent Living Initiative Committee, to name a few. Terence Priester has also served as an organizer of the MacDougal Terrace Donation Drive, which provided food, drinking water and toiletries to the 360 families in the MacDougal Terrace Community affected by Carbon Monoxide. This was a collaborative effort of Embracing Word Church, the Durham Alumni Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and the Durham Alumnae Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. in order to expand the program; which resulted in a donation of chrome books valuing $24,000 to technologically disadvantaged students in the MacDougal Terrace Community due to COVID 19. 

As a Mental Health Area Outreach Coordinator, Terence advocated for expedited Mental Health authorizations, expansion of the Independent Living Initiative Program and coordinated a physical and mental response, helping residents of the families with Alliance Behavioral Health.