Editorial Have you noticed? Well as I lost weight so did the format of TCP Magazine. It has been a year and both of us are maintaining our slim new look. Even after a 24 city tour with WIDU radio and experiencing buffets all over the state, my sessions with my personal trainer were not in vain. Let me update you on the tour. In partnership with WIDU radio in Fayetteville, we embarked on WIDU Vision/TCP Magazine Hometown Hero Summer Tour. We visited cities as far North as Danville, VA; East Greenville, NC; South - Bennettsville, SC and West - Winston-Salem, NC. We fed, we presented, we hugged and loved on our faith-based friends and neighbors. Our Kingdom Coordinators in each city selected fellow citizens who helped the homeless in their city or suppressed other economic turmoil. In search of single honorees we were pleasantly surprised to find, teams who worked as one. On Saturday, October 12, we are proud to honor 27 Hometown Heroes prior to Mary Mary taking the stage at WIDU Radio’s 55th Anniversary. TCP Magazine getting exposure in front of a live audience of 10,000 people is a milestone. To God Be the Glory. It was an honor to work with Wes and Sandy Cookman, Cyndi McKoy, Wesley Johnson, Apostle Miner, Linda McCall and others who traveled with the team from city to city. The journey will also be featured in a documentary by Akela Thigpen with Vision on Film and interviews shown on Kingdom Connections TV. Mark your calendar for January 30-February 1, 2014 for TCP Magazine’s 10th Anniversary Reunion. We are looking for those of you who have graced the pages of TCP over the past 10 years to attend our Anniversary Gala and “Coming Home Celebration”. Each of the 38 issues of the magazine will have a captain coordinating your attendance. A special full-size commemorative issue of the magazine will be published. Please join us in this grand celebration. Visit our website or give me a call for more information if you would like to attend or volunteer. Until next time..... Peggy Tatum, Publisher (919) 796-4724 firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributors: April Mial Dr. Francene Hash Cyndi McKoy
Contents 5 – Editorial 6-17 Hometown Heroes 19 – Unity in The Community 20 – Mary Mary Still On Top 23 – WIDU Pastors’ Coalition 29 – Surviving Cancer
Pastor Lillian Spearman Melissa Wade Denver Wright, WIZPRO Imagineering John Riddick, 421 Studios
Volume 03, Issue 5 The Connection Place, Inc. 181-104 Wind Chime Court Raleigh, NC 27615 www.tcpmagazine.com email@example.com 919-796-4724
It is through The Knights of Pythagoras that Deacon Gregory Savannah is able to mentor young males ages 7-18. In the program, he takes young males to visit the sick, allows them to assist in making food bags and pass out clothing for those in need, thus, giving them a sense of pride and empowerment by helping others who are in worse need. In addition, Deacon Savannah also provides them with a Word and talks with them about some of the things that are going on in the streets, while giving them advice about how to overcome those obstacles. Not only does this program help young males, but it helps him, too. It allows him to be the male-figure for others that he wished that he had for his own life. For six years, Deacon Savannah has been a stable for the youth, as well as the elders in his community. He and his wife own an elderly family care unit (nursing home). Currently, he is a member of Citizens for Change, a group of concerned neighbors in his community, wanting to get their community back to the way it was prior to the abundance of crime they have experienced. Most of the crime has been committed by teenagers, so he believes that mentoring youth (pre-teenagers) is the best way to start.
With a church motto, â€œFeeding the total male through the mind, body, soul, and spirit,â€? Pastor Ulysses Sullivan of El-Jireth Pentecostal Apostolic Church in South Carolina, heads a strong outreach ministry in his community. Going into their 5th year, the outreach ministry provides free services to the community by giving out food and non-perishables to families, assists senior citizens on Medicare to receive free benefits they are entitled to, and helps youth through the Youth Enrichment Empowerment program. Through the program, speakers come to the church on the third Saturday of the month and through the Agape Hospice, youth are able to earn credits (volunteer junior nursing program) towards college. His vision for the future of his outreach ministry is to encourage people to build kingdom work by going out into the community. Pastor Ulysses Sullivan was nominated by Minister Ricky McDuffie. Page 6
The Friendly Trio, which includes Charles Edward Strickland, started off with a vision of a musical program to sing in different places in the community. Once walking into that vision, another vision to help the community by feeding them came into fruition. The Friendly Trio brings unity through the community by providing bagged food to thosein-need on the third Saturday of each month and a hot meal on the fourth Saturday of each month. All food is given out at The Friendly Community Center. For the immediate future, The Friendly Trio is providing a mentoring ministry for youth called The Voices of the Youth. This mentoring ministry will help youth inside and outside the juvenile court. For all youth, The Voices of the Youth wants to give them a proper direction in and for life. Its motto is, “Save all lives”, but if they save just one, then they are doing a great job. For the long-term future, The Friendly Trio would like to hold an open bible study for all clergy to be on the same page and truly learn The Truth from the Word. In 1996, Pastors Michael and Sandra Harris formed Outreach Ministries, where they have a Food Pantry and provide clothing for those in need. Michael is also the author of “IF” and is currently working on a book, “Seed”. The Harris’ presently serve the community with annual community days, conferences, seminars, summits, workshops, back to school contributions, scholarships, housing, as well as supporting other outreach ministries, programs, and services. In addition, for many years, together, they serve other ministries outside the church wallssuch as the Lay Ministry for Ashwood Home for Adults, Local Human Rights for Lifeline and Intervention Counseling Centers, Human Relations, Inter-Faith Group, Mentorship Program at GWHS, Bicentennial Religious Heritage, Chairman for NonViolence March and Quilt, Stop the Violence, SCLC, Ministerial Alliance of Danville Vicinity, Chairman of Public Relations, Board of Directors of PATHS, Sickle Cell Anemia Association, and many others. Page 7
For many years, Pastor Dennis Manuel has served as Chaplain for Hospice, the Police Department, EMS and The Fire Department in his community. In addition, he has served as Lead Pastor of East Granville Church of God for the past thirty years. Thatâ€™s not all that he does. He also serves as the coordinator of the first community soup kitchen in the area, which his organization, A Sound of Abundance Ministries (ASAM), partnered with East Granville Church of God. The idea of having a soup kitchen in the area was presented by Rachel Young, who ran a successful soup kitchen in another state. Pastor Manuel welcomed the idea because there were a lot of people he could service and serve. Seven years later, he has fed the hungry meals from staff with a culinary background, along with an abundance of volunteers. His next goal is to have a mobile unit, which will allow the ministry to extend its territory. He believes that if you live this life and never have the opportunity to pour your life into others, then you are not living.
When William Hemphill moved to Elizabethtown, along with him came his measured risk-taking drive to enhance the lives of those around him. As an active member of Baldwin Branch Missionary Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, where Reverend Louis Boykin is his pastor, William is passionate about keeping the church informed regarding matters in the community that impact their lives. He does not hesitate to initiate action in the church and in the community to address unmet needs such as his Back-to-School project, inviting guests in to educate the members on resources, services, and volunteer opportunities. He is also a member of the all-male Laymenâ€™s League. In addition, he is chairman of the Bladen County Democratic Party, a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, and a member of the American Legion: McDowell-Lessane Post No. 404, Elizabethtown, North Carolina. Page 8
As the Senior Pastor at My Fatherâ€™s House Christian Church for eleven years, Pastor Reginald Johnston is very involved in his community. As an outreach ministry arm of his church, the Capital Community Assistance Program provides leadership skills training, assistance with food, clothing, and shelter. In this nine-year program, there are currently ten apartments. Nine apartments are used to house people who have fallen on hard times â€“ and there is currently a waiting list. These apartments are offered for free and are supported through donations from the community. One apartment is used for Life Classes, a program that helps those in need to gain life and job skills, develop their character, show them how to apply for a job, how to budget, as well as any other skills needed to transition back into the community. Pastor Johnston started this program after one of his church members went to prison. Through his visits with that member, he ministered to other prisoners seeking hopeand wanting to learn more about the Gospel. From there, the church ministry blossomed and grew into an outreach ministry. He has big plans for the Capital Community Assistance Program. He understands that more funding is needed, so that he can continue providing housing and other assistance to those in need.
Elder Adeen L. George is the Founder and CEO of the HGDC Community Crisis Center, a 15-room facility located in Goldsboro. The Crisis Center provides programs and services to meet the basic human needs of the economically disadvantaged person, homeless, victims of substance abuse, and those who have fallen by the wayside. The Center currently operates a soup kitchen, clothes closet, bathing facilities for the homeless to take hot baths, a food pantry, and supported counseling. The Center also operates a transitional house for the homeless, operating Monday - Friday from (9am-5pm). She is inspired by the Word, especially Matthew 25:35-36 that says To feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and house the homeless, and works hard to fulfill its commission. In addition, she plans to partner with Wayne Community College to provide pre-employment and lifeskill management sessions for the homeless and unemployed, and wants courses to be taught satellite from the Center. Page 9
About seven years ago, Rev. Nancy McLean started Joseph’s House in honor of her only son, who battled with drug addiction and was in and out of the prison system. Instead of being angry, she used her situation with her son to help other mothers and sons, so that they would not go through the same heart ache. Even though she and her husband were supportive and loving to their son through his ordeal, they realized that there were many males who did not have the same support. Joseph’s House is a transitional housing program and is available for males ages 18-24. Six months before their 24th birthday, they are taught how to become gainfully employed, to solidify housing, and to become viable citizens in society. Prior to leaving the House, these males adhere to specific guidelines and curfews, offering them structure that they might not have been exposed to previously. Currently, Rev. Nancy McLean is working on how to improve the business model and help young males even more. Pastor Rodney Coles, Sr. heads The Churches Outreach Network where they are Bringing Ministries & Organizations Together As One. Through this organization, not only does he bring church leaders together as one to outreach to the community, but his main focus is to bring broken people back to Jesus Christ. In addition, his outreach ministry includes The WE CARE Program, an emergency food bank, and The Elderly Touch of Heart Program, as well as many others. The WE CARE Program assists menwho have been released from a correctional facility or live in a shelter, in gaining employment and solidifying housing. Their emergency food bank feeds the hungry, and from 20102013, the food bank fed over 53,000 families. Further, The Elderly Touch of Heart Program assists senior citizens by providing food every month and handyman services when needed. The Churches Outreach Network also works together with other companies to have toy give-a-ways for children in need during Christmas. This past year, over 928 children received between 3-4 different toys. Pastor Coles is also a chaplain that trains chaplains in the Greenville area. Inspired by the Commodores song, “Jesus Is Love,” Pastor Coles has future plans to continue touching people worldwide and wants to finish his purpose, so that he can pass the baton to someone else who can take this ministry to a higher level. Page 10
Courtney Patterson is involved with giving poverty and homelessness a face. In March 2012, he participated in The NC NAACP Poverty Tour, where he was exposed to a true representation of poverty. During the tour, Patterson visited southern North Carolina where he witnessed homeless shelters with only a few beds accommodating over 1,000 people, mothers attending community college during the day and staying at a shelter at night because they could not afford housing, and people living in the woods in tents and under bridges. Even with this knowledge, he says that many politicians, stemming from the Governor’s Office to the General Assembly to local officials, are in denial that poverty and homelessness exist because many are embarrassed. Patterson grew up in a segregated era that treated Blacks as “less than.” It has been his purpose to provide opportunities for those without a voice
Overseer Jane Hasty has been the Pastor of New Greater St. James Word Praise and Worship Ministries in Laurinburg for 17 years. For the past 6 years she has broadcast her radio program with not only her message but the preached word of neighboring ministers. Her proud moments come when she support her community by feeding and clothing the hungry. She has a soup kitchen and will feed either inside or outside in the streets. Her clothes closet is open to anyone in need. There are quite a few of homeless individuals in Laurinburg due to loss of jobs, the lack of jobs and the inability to pass drug tests. Her outreach to the Youth comes every first Friday. Guest professionals (along with Overseer Hasty’s staff) enlighten the youth on job skills, interviewing and interpersonal skills. She says, “A lot of them don’t know how to make friends in school.” Educational films are also shown. This is a small ministry doing big things. Overseer Hasty leads from the heart. Her compassion for people is remarkable coupled with her main goal which is for souls to be saved and educated. She is a woman of wisdom and is on a mission to satisfy a need, not judge. Page 11
Having a special place in her heart and taking care of children in need has always been the mission in Mother Willie Mae To w n s e n d ’ s life. She may get children in the middle of the night from Social Services or other family or friends in need, and her door is always open – sometimes for months until suitable placement is found. In addition to taking care of children, she also helps guide young mothers to become better parents and how to budget their food stamps. She also provides day care services (and many times it is free) while young mothers go to school or work. Mother Willie Mae Townsend is known also for her integrity and reliability, making her a staple in the community. She says that she funds her deeds through Jesus and herself. For the future, she would like to have a soup kitchen, especially for children who do not have adequate food during the summer months.
Pastor Reggie Sconiers founded The Walkabout Ministries for Christ, the name of his church that literally does that – walks about the neighborhood evangelizing to families living on the streets. His evangelizing means bringing the Word to the people and not limited by the four walls of a building. In many cases, it is in an open area where people gather, often feeding people the bread of life through the Word. He even takes his sons with him to feed and clothe the homeless. Every year on the third Saturday in December, he participates in a rally called Save Gods Children Now, which brings families together and encourages saints and believers to come together and shout (at the same moment) to God in the heavens to heal the land and save our children. The importance of having believers, saints, and distressed families on one accord goes back to the scripture of, “When two or more gather in my Name...” and the support has increased from other community churches. Until Pastor Sconiers is called home to be with Jesus, he wants to continue to bring unsaved people to Jesus Christ because that is what he is called to do. Further, in order to support his ministries that help families in need, Pastor Reggie Sconiers sings at paid events, writes songs, and sells his CDs. His CDs can be purchased on CDBaby.com/RevReggieSconiers. Page 12
Even before she was saved, Sandra Locklear was always cooking for the hungry out of her house. It was about six years ago when her niece, who worked for a non-profit distributing food, introduced her to helping the hungry on a larger basis. Two years after serving food through the organization, Sandra dedicated her life to Christ. Her neighbor Eva Gillespie recognized the tremendous work that she does in the community and nominated her. Sandra hopes to one day have a soup kitchen in Hoke County where she can feed the hungry three times a day. She is thankful for the Lord giving her the strength to serve others every day.
About 4-5 months after getting over his heroin addiction and almost being homeless, Reverend Phillip Brickle dedicated his life to stopping homelessness in the community. In 1996, he sat down with five volunteers and over a bowl of chili, laid out his plans of doing work that would improve the lives of those in need. Eighteen years later, his vision and incredible work has paid off. His organization, Lost Sheep Outreach Ministries, has been a referral service for those looking for work. They host Holy Ghost Block Parties once a month in different locations, where hundreds and thousands of attendees come out and are ministered. These parties are held on the street where talent comes out to sing, dance, preach, offer gifts, perform spoken word or Christian rap â€“ and tons of clothes are given away. There is also HIV testing. The last celebration was October 5, 2013 at 1500 Garner Road in Garner (10am-3pm). During Thanksgiving and Christmas, over 5,000 donated gifts and food are given away.
Over twenty years ago, Betty Brewington started Willing Hands, a group of women, who cook and feed the hungry in the c o m m u n i t y. There are several reasons that they cookâ€“ from someone hungry on the street to a family who has just lost a loved one and need the food prepared for guests paying their last respects. The group started with twelve people, but years later has blossomed into about forty women - all from various locations in North Carolina that include Richmond County, Hamlet, and Rockingham. Funding is not provided by a sponsor or grants, but by Betty or other women digging into their own pockets to purchase food. Her organization started off with a dream from God outreaching His hands and placing into her thoughts specific women (with various talents) who He named, all pulling together to help the community. Soon after, she contacted them and Willing Hands began. In addition to Willing Hands, Betty also volunteers at the Sandhills hospital in Hamlet. She sees herself continuing to be supportive and an inspiration for those in need. Evangeline Bullock says that many people in church are hurting, so she has dedicated her life to show them that God loves them and that she supports them. Her mission is to shine a light on people and encourage them on a daily basis. Through her television show, people are encouraged to call in and speak to her on real-live time, giving them advice for what issues they have in their lives. In addition, she gives senior citizens a voice and things to do. She dedicates time to allow them to share poetry and other works with others; she takes them to different events and nursing homes to be an inspiration to others. In addition, she works with and encourages women prisoners by taking them to church and other church events, offering them a break from the monotony of prison life. She even finds time to prepare hot meals in shelters for the homeless and serve them. About twice a month, she opens the doors of her own home to the community-neighbors, friends, and family- feeding up to 30 people at a time, so that the community can come together. She would love to open a restaurant to feed people and give out clothing. She credits God for her walk. Page 14
Inspired to make a positive impact on the homeless and hungry in the community, Alice McIntyre, Debra Davis, and Monica Monroe make a tremendous effort to feed and clothe them. Every so often, these three friends pass flyers around the community neighborhoods and shelters, inviting the homeless and the hungry to the neighborhood park for a cookout, where they have prepared hot food. Sometimes the cookout is held at Debra’s home. During the cookout, those in need are not only given food and clothes for their physical bodies, but they are also given food for their spirit, being mentored through the Word of God. The three friends started this outdoor ministry over a year ago, and the cookout continues to become even more successful.
Pastor Wilma Hampton’s personal passion has always been to work with and assist those who are HIV positive, and that need blossomed into the service she currently does in helping all those in need – whether people have a drug addiction, mental health disorder, need help in finding stable housing, or need help in obtaining financial or personal resources. Many times, she has taken money out of her own household (or have asked other church members) to provide a few hotel nights for those needing a hot shower and a place to lay their heads. She has seen many times when people did not have a place to go – whether on their own accord or no family support, but she wanted to be known for being someone people could rely on. Her background includes working at a housing agency as a coordinator, and her desire is to open up a transition and/or emergency housing (or independent living facility) in Johnston County for the homeless, so they can get back on their feet. Page 15
Nicknamed “Tall One,” by her pastor because of her height, Dr. Mildred Summerville proudly gave that name to her school -- Teaching Academics for Life Learning I Outreach Ministries (TALL 1-OM). She also started J&L Summerville Academy in honor of her parents that now serves as an alternative school for student who are suspended from traditional schools. By being at the alternative school, students are still able to receive credit for coursework and attendance, even though they are not attending their base school. She is the organizer for the Wilson Idol talent showcase. The money raised from her entertainment entities help fund the school and its subsidiaries. She is also the creator of the award-winning gospel play, “Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child” (Amazon.com). “Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child” is not only used to entertain patrons, but it is used as part of the curriculum for her students, as they discuss community issues addressed in the play such as drugs, crime, poverty, HIV, gang prevention, parents being parents instead of their friends, etc., which has proven to be a strong learning tool for her students. Dr. Summerville also incorporates an Entrepreneurial program where her students are mentored by the CEO of Dudley Products, as he shows them how he marketed and built an empire and shares how they can do it, too. It is her plan to travel around the world with her play, Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child.
Kristin O’Leary and Denita Mitchell have a passion to help women who have gone through some type of abuse, mainly because they are recovering from abuse. Inspired by Peggy Galloway, a woman who encouraged them to become successful, Kristin and Denita are paying it forward and giving other women back what they received. Kristin is the Vice President of Supportive Services and Denita is the Program Manager of Supportive Services at the YWCA. At the Y, they run a program called Hawley House, which is the only licensed facility in Forsythe County that focuses on women with substance abuse. Hawley House collaborates with several different agencies to provide skills, medical care, medication, and work opportunities for women who live there. Most of the women living in the house are considered homeless and started from scratch when they entered the program. After nine months in the house, these women are transitioned to independent living. Kristin and Denita are also a part of Project New Start, where they visit and minister to women prisonersonce a week. Their future plans include running a facility that provides a dual diagnosis for patients and an after care that extends beyond the current transition time for women graduating out of Hawley House, so they can be more confident as they pursue independent living. Page 16
Reverend Paul Robinson has never looked for any honor, as he and his wife serves his community with purpose. Although he started County Outreach Ministries (located in Caswell County, five years ago, it did not take off until two years ago. This, after attending a banquet sponsored by the Northwestern Food Bank, where he learned the alarming high statistics of children being hungry. That night, he couldnâ€™t rest and wanted to do something positive about alleviating poverty in his community. So, as a representative of County Outreach Ministries, he went to the streets â€“ going into drug-infested and poverty-stricken neighborhoods to minister to those in need. In one of those neighborhoods, he uses a stone that serves as a pulpit and the area serves as an outdoor congregation. In addition, once a month, he visits the sit and shut-in, as well as feeds and clothes them during major holidays. He is also the chaplain for the Caswell County jail. He wants to get a 501c3 status for his organization, so they can receive grants. With additional funding, he says that he can minister and feed more people.
Unity in the Community Outdoor Music Festival in Remembrance of 9/11 On Saturday September 7th The Light 103.9 held its 11th annual Unity in the Community Day Outdoor Music Festival at the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. This outdoor music festival is in remembrance of 9/11. The event was free and open to the public and saluted our nation’s military men and women fighting the war against terrorism as well as our local firemen and police. The day consisted of a free concert with national and local artists. This year’s artist lineup included: Kurt Carr, Lexi, Smokie Norful, Jekalyn Carr, Paul Porter, Anthony Brown & Group Therapy, Ontra and more… There was also face painting, inflatable rides for the kids, vendors and the Child Identification Program. This year was one of the largest Unity in the Community events ever. Don’t miss our next big event! Our 12th Annual Lamp Lighter Awards Show on Saturday December 7th at 6:30 p.m. at the Carolina Theater, downtown Durham, NC. The Lamp Lighter Awards Show recognizes local individuals, churches, organizations and businesses that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference in our community through community service. For more information, visit www.thelightnc.com. Melissa Wade Midday Personality/Music Director, WNNL The Light 103.9, Radio One Raleigh (919) 863-4839 Minister Alan Riggs - Radio Man Answers a Different Call by Denver A. Wright
September 21, 2013 at 4pm began a new walk for one of my closest friends. Part of being a radio personality is answering the phones when listeners call into the station to request a song, participate in a contest or just flirt with the DJ. Long time radio personality and executive, Alan Riggs and I have been friends since 1996 and he has now followed the same path I did in 1999 accepting the call to preach the Gospel! I had the pleasure of witnessing his genesis sermon at West Cary Middle School along with quite a crowd of his friends, co-workers and family members. I arrived while the praise team from Alan’s home church, Greater Joy was lifting the praises of God in song. After the offering and some musical selections from the choir that Alan is a member of, Instruments of Praise, Minister Riggs asked us to join him in reading from the book of Matthew the 14th chapter, 22nd through the 31st verse. He titled his genesis sermon, “We’ve Come too Far to Turn Around”. He was poised and relaxed, sometimes joking with the audience speckled with spellbound, wide-eyed well wishers including radio personalities Cy Young, Bobby “Mixmaster B”, and Michael Reese. His message was concise, to the point, well constructed and uplifting. Alan has come a long way and we have both grown from the club-hopping, rip roaring days of the mid to late 90’s. Alan, God bless you and I feel blessed to call you my friend. I am happy that you answered this call above all others. Page 19
“Erica and Tina - Mary Mary “Still on Top” Probably the most controversial and talked about group in gospel music since Edwin Hawkins and the introduction of contemporary music would be Mary Mary. Initially hard to accept by the traditional audience, this group knows the core of tradition with their roots in the apostolic church. Drawn by the hi tempo music and rhythmic beats, the “now generation” can get a little Word and groove at the same time. Sisters Tina and Erica come from a family of nine and are two years apart. For over 12 years this duo has been hitting it hard traveling and raising family at the same time. They recently took a break to refuel, work on family issues and give Erica the opportunity to record her single, “A Little More Jesus”. From what I have seen, grandmas who once shunned the pair are patting their feet and clapping their hands. Yet another hit for this award winning duo. When the group first started and they were asked who they wanted to sing for, they responded that they wanted to sing for the world. They weren’t aware of what a cross over audience was. But God allowed it to happen. The diverse appeal of Mary Mary has allowed them to reach all colors, religions, nations and yes, the world. They realize that everybody is not going to church and someone’s music has to be played in the club and in the park. Tina states, “If you don’t understand, keep praying for us. We’re trying our best to ready a dying world.” She also acknowledges that as long as they are following Jesus, they have to put up with what He put up with. “I’m not a perfect woman and you can probably find fault in me. I repent daily. Sometimes people don’t understand your vision because God didn’t give it to them. It’s okay to use your unique vision that God has given you.” Erica is excited about the bible study in North Hollywood that she and her husband are a part of. God has really been blessing the group. Blessings still continue as they have finished taping the third season of their reality show. They admit that it is scary to open up your life to the public but they can also glorify God in the process. Whether it’s on stage, a celebrity judge, TV or radio, these sisters are transparent and are not ashamed of the gospel. They keep it real. When asked in a recent interview with WIDU Radio what is their next step, they responded, “Pray and reach people.” That’s why they are Still On Top by keeping God first. Page 20
WIDU Pastors’ Coalition by Dr. Lillian Spearman
The Pastors’ Coalition is a unique group of Pastors from every Christian denomination, Nondenomination, and Interdenominational churches in Cumberland and surrounding counties that combined their Kingdom visions to encompass the vision of the WIDU Wake-Up Program.
The Pastors’ Coalition along with the Wake-Up Program participants has grown tremendously over the last five years. The Coalition encompasses over one hundred churches and pastoral members. There are also a one hundred plus members of concerned citizens that work together with the Pastoral Coalition and WIDU. It is believed that one of the things that holds us together is the fact that we meet weekly to have prayer, fellowship, and lunch. This group also discuss current social and political issues that are relevent to our city and county. However, once it is established that an issue needs addressing, this group comes together to carry those concerns to the city and county officials. Together we filled up city hall to peacefully express our concerns and partitioned for change in a non confrontational manner. Some of the more prevalent issues that have been taken on by the Pastors’ Coalition and concerned citizens are: 1. A substandard public transportation system in the city. To include covers for bus stop benches. 2. Not enough current political, nor Christian radio broadcasting. The Pastors’ Coalition along with WIDU has created an avenue for increased information and inspiration. 3. This group has worked tirelessly to support and change the way the homeless population is treated in this community. The coalition has worked together with the community leaders to raised $60,000 dollars for homeless and tornado victims. 4. The Coalition fought and effectively joined with other local groups to advocate for protection against fare increases on city bus transportation for the elderly and disabled citizens. 5. The Coalition met with the Chief of Police and County Commissioners to stop DWB (Driving While Black) in Fayetteville. The historically racial profiling of Fayetteville drivers measured starkly by the disparity of minority drivers that were stopped and searched. This is a powerful group of Pastors and community leaders who pride themselves, to be a voice for the voiceless and have taken two very rich aphorisms to their hearts: First “This Community is not good for any if it is not good for all of us.” Secondly, The statement that President Obama quoted during his candidacy in 2008, “Ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they come together.” With these aphorisms being at the base of the Pastors’ Coalition, has caused this group to develop into an uplifting, community based, grassroot movement for positive change in Fayetteville and surrounding communities. Page 23
October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month
I Survived to Overcome – by Donna Kidd
It all seems like it was yesterday – October 23, 2012, the day I went to have the report read from the biopsy I had 3 days earlier. As I lay on the table waiting for the biopsy to begin on Friday, October 19, 2012, I recall praying to myself in this dimly lit room and I heard a still small voice that spoke encouragement to my spirit. He said, “It is what it is, but I’m with you.” Having God “with me” put me in fight mode and I knew that faith to believe Him is what would carry me through. Ironically, this diagnosis came 3 days after I had just traveled to my hometown of Durham, North Carolina to attend the funeral of my spiritual father, Bishop Leroy McKenzie who passed on October 11, 2012 of stomach cancer. Needless to say, I had already had enough of cancer. I was diagnosed with Invasive Grade 3 Stage 2 Ductal Carcinoma on November 14, 2012. I had a double mastectomy, December 20, 2012. I began chemotherapy and in March 2013, I began six weeks of daily radiation. During my “process” I experienced visions and dreams for plans and purposes for my life. God allowed me to see these things because He has promised me a future and a hope. I remember calling my husband, Pastor Dwayne Kidd, after I received the results. He was working and I told him that I wanted to go do this alone. When I told him, I heard his voice begin to shake as he cried. I said, ‘Baby, why are you crying? This is my chance to finally get that boob job I have always wanted!’ He laughed and said, “Well, if you are going to approach it this way, then so am I.” And from that day, the man I married became the person that was there with me through it all. One thing we both agree on is that faith in God is what has me here to tell this story today. There is nothing that is too big for God, not even cancer. I desire to make that known every opportunity I get. The team of doctors I had was God sent; none of them downplayed my faith, ever! I recall the scriptures in the New Testament about Jesus performing instant healings. I studied those scriptures like my life depended on it, and you know what, IT DID. My life is made better now, because my walk became closer with the Lord. A lot of people use the term “survivor” and I take nothing away from that. But I believe God called me to do more than just survive, through this process my faith has grown and my trust in God is unwavering. Things I thought were too big or too hard for me to do pre-cancer I know now are light things. And as long as God is “with me” I can overcome every obstacle. Trust him, I implore you! Page 29