Alisha C. GrayAlisha C. Gray, MPH
Alisha is currently the Project Coordinator for both the Disease Burden & Simulation Unit and Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Program within the Global Pediatric Medicine Department at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She also writes grants for Childbirth Survival International, an NGO that provides health services and information for women and children largely in Africa. In prior roles, Alisha has worked to advance influenza emergency response in Mexico, Panama, and Chile by presenting epidemiological data and facilitating communication and service initiatives between in-country Ministries of Health and global health partners from the Pan American Health Office; she also helped to reduce the incidence of guinea worm disease in South Sudan by providing clinical care and designing health communication strategies aimed to eradicate the disease. A graduate of Florida A&M University and Drexel University School of Public Health, she is an extremely passionate and energetic traveler, public health advocate, and servant leader especially dedicated to vulnerable populations. Alisha lives by Galatians 2:20- “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Aniyah WatkinsAniyah Watkins, is a devoted wife, servant leader and minister. She grew up in Fort Washington, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA with her Husband..
She serves as an Outreach Servant Leader, a Youth Servant Leader, and Minister at High Calling Ministries; Pastored by George Hawkins Jr. Aniyah is a Towson University Alum, and currently enrolled at the University of Maryland University College; She is seeking a Master’s degree in Non-Profit Management, with the hope of helping non-profit organizations create a sustainable impact in the communities they service through strategic program development. Aniyah founded Sustainable Impact Planning and Consulting, LLC earlier this year to provide non-profits with strategic recommendations to building a sustainable non-profit.
Aniyah serves as the Director of Community Programs for the Human Trafficking Awareness and Advocacy Group, a small non-profit with a mission to the transform the lives of young girls through advocacy, education and empowerment.
In her spare time, Aniyah enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking and binge watching! She is most compassionate about serving others.
Brian J. Smalls, Esq.Brian J. Smalls, Esq., is an Estate Planning and Business Law Attorney in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia (Williamsburg, VA and Newport News, VA). He is the founding partner at The Law Office of Brian J. Smalls, P.C. A former football player at the University of Michigan, Brian is married to the beautiful Sonya Renee Smalls, and they have two wonderful children, Brayden and Brielle.
Carolyn LeevyCarolyn Leevy is an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Exercise Physiologist who has worked in the field of health and fitness since 1979.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from Philadelphia University and an Applied Associates of Science degree in Health and Fitness Professional Studies from Montgomery County Community College. In addition, she studied and completed course work in Social Gerontology, Sports Management and Nutrition.
Carolyn received her certification as a Balance and Mobility Specialist from the nationally recognized “Fall Proof™” program from California State University Fullerton’s Center for Successful Aging. Carolyn became a “Wellcoaches®” Certified Health and Wellness Coach in July 2018.
After years of experience in various health and fitness roles and positions, it was her passion to work specifically with the older adult that ultimately resulted in her career as Fitness Director of a Life Plan Community in 1993. Through the years, Carolyn witnessed the evolution of the fitness industry as it became more responsive to the needs of this special population of adults, and is directly involved with local colleges and universities, serving as a learning advocate to students aspiring to serve in the field of Geri-kinesiology.
Carolyn conducts workshops and speaking engagements for retreats and special events; is founder and owner of Firm Commitment Fitness, LLC; and has recently become an adjunct faculty member at Montgomery County Community College, teaching in the Exercise Science and Wellness program.
Charmayne CarterCharmayne Carter is an author, speaker, coach and the founder of Wife UP a 501(c)(3) women’s marriage empowerment nonprofit organization that supports women in their pursuit for marital success in their current and future relationships. Charmayne married in 2015 and was under major attack in many aspects of her life, especially in her marriage. She felt alone, but looked beyond her circumstances to bridge the gap between new and experienced wives, happy and hurting wives, and women who desire marriage. She launched the 31-day Wife UP Challenge to enhance love in marriage and started a Wife UP Facebook Support Group.
The Wife UP Challenge has had over 5,000 participants and has been featured on WUSA-9 and Princeton TV. The women's support group is now over 25,000 members strong, reaching over 50,000 men and women, and growing rapidly every day.
Charmayne also hosts summits for women and couples, and signature events such as Coupled UP Marriage Getaway in efforts to prevent burnout in marriage and the Wife UP Sleepover Conference to encourage women's wellness and self-care.
Florencia RobertsonFlorencia C. Robertson is a devoted wife and working mom who has authored 2 blogs focusing on the functional application of the 31st chapter of Proverbs and the daily rush hours for working families of 5-9am/pm. She aspires to complete her first fictional book in the near future. Her previous works can be found at byFlorencia.com. You can follow on Twitter @byFlorencia. Florencia is a native of Maryland and currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Crystal BoddieSince elementary school, Crystal has always had an interest in the computer field until 2009 when God guided and redirected her towards ministry. During this time, she began to send encouraging and inspirational text messages to about 20 family and friends. The list grew, and in 2010 these messages were sent by email. Currently, these inspirational messages are emailed to over 200 people and are being seen by over 1700 members in her inspirational Facebook group titled "Inspired Inspirations by CrisB." In 2013, Crystal received a Masters in Biblical Studies from Calvary Christian College in Waldorf, Maryland. Crystal has a deep thirst for knowledge and loves to share what she learns. She also admires spiritual growth in others as well. Crystal is a member of High Calling Ministries located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Florence R. SmithFlorence R. Smith is a self-motivated professional skilled in directing and organizing tasks to achieve overall mission objectives. She has been employed with the Federal Government since December 2004. She serves in many capacities within the Gospel Spreading Church of God. Florence has a Bachelors in Business Administration and Masters in Technology Management, both from University of Maryland University College; and a Master of Strategic Studies Degree from the U.S. Army War College. She is a published author and owner of Teachable Moments Press, a Christian publishing company. A woman with a message of hope, encouragement, and inspiration, Florence will leave you motivated and inspired in fulfilling your purpose!
Jasmine MerrillJasmine Merrill is a 5x Author, Inspirational Speaker, and Entrepreneur in Kansas City, Missouri. After spending several years in college and becoming a single mom, Jasmine felt led to build inspiration, leadership, and empowerment in the communities around her. In 2017, Jasmine went on to developing a community outreach, SMILE (Single Moms Inspiring Leading Empowering), which catapulted her speaking career and ultimately launched her into becoming an Author. In Late 2017, Jasmine went on to publish her first book, “UNVEILED”, which transformed lives on both National and International levels. After publishing her first book, Jasmine began speaking at local events and for various organizations. Her uplifting and empowering topics such as, “The Power of You” and “Dashing to your Destiny”, have built communities of inspirational leaders and powerful entrepreneurs. In 2018, Jasmine was afforded the opportunity to come onboard a national newspaper publication company, The Dispatch Post USA, where she successfully contributed over 30 inspirational articles as a Journalist. A few of the articles contributed to the newspaper eventually were selected for an International Magazine, Inspiring Lives Magazine, thus creating an even larger platform for her words of empowerment. Later in 2018, Jasmine went on to publishing 2 additional inspirational books, “The Second Wind” and “How Big Is Your Faith?” As her voice began to inspire the world, so did her passion for transforming lives. As Jasmine continued publishing books, she realized that there were so many people who desired to share their story with the world, so Jasmine sought out to create a platform for aspiring Authors. In 2019, Jasmine launched her Author Consulting and Publishing company, The WRITE Goals, where she assisted aspiring writers into becoming Inspirational Authors. Since launching that business in 2019, Jasmine went on to publish several other books, further providing inspiration, leadership, and empowerment to the world. Everywhere she goes, Jasmine makes it a habit of transforming the mind and inspiring the heart of every person she encounters. She hopes that every person she can cross paths with will walk away feeling empowered and unstoppable. In her own words, “The only thing stopping you from becoming all that you can be, is the thought in your head that says, I Can’t.” Believe in the power of YOU.
Elder Jerome Woods, IIElder Jerome Woods, II is the husband of Alana M. Woods and is the son of the late Jerome Woods, Sr. and Larina Woods. He is a Washington, D.C. native and associate Elder at High Calling Ministries pastored by George W. Hawkins, Jr. Elder Woods is a graduate of The George Washington University (1994) where he received his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with minors in Sociology and Latin Classical Humanities. Elder Woods received his Juris Doctorate in 1997 from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.
Keona EllerbeKeona Ellerbe is a wife, mother of four children and on a mission to seek and serve God’s people. She graduated from Virginia State University with a B.S. in Pre-Med Biology. Served as a nurse for several years before transitioning into the Government. After almost a decade, she realized that she was allergic to bosses and fired hers. After leaving her job, she started Redesign of U to become the solution to breaking through mental barriers, to redesign individual lives. She’s an Author, International Speaker and Redesign Coach™. Keona is truly thankful and grateful to have found her calling to serve God’s people by empowering them to get off the carousel and design the life they deserve to live.
For more insight on what I LOVE to do. Please visit www.redesignofu.com.
Kristin C. JenningsKristin C. Jennings was born on January 1, 1979 in Fort Washington, MD to James and Pamela Woods, Sr. Kristin is the sixth child out of seven children and completed her early education in Prince George’s County Public School System. In December 2002, Kristin graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with an undergraduate degree in Sociology. In May of 2016, Kristin graduated from Howard University with a Masters Degree in Social Work.
Kristin is currently working at First Home Care as a Community Support Specialist who offers supportive services to families whose children have been removed due to neglect and/or abuse, which ranges from physical, sexual, verbal or emotional. Kristin supports children in foster care to help them transition into their new home with as little trauma as possible. Kristin’s mission is to pass the Licensure State Board Exam to become a Psychotherapist and has a long-term goal of opening her own private practice that specializes in Marriage and Family Therapy.
On October 18, 2004, Kristin married the love of her life, Johnathan L. Jennings, Sr. Kristin and John have been married for 11 years and have four beautiful children, Isaiah Jennings (17), Johnathan L. Jennings, Jr aka Chizz (11), Joshua J. Jennings (9) and Ivori K. Jennings (6). Kristin’s desire is to always serve her family as her first ministry. Kristin is currently the servant leader over the Women’s Ministry at High Calling Ministries where she has been a member since 2008.
Kristin has a passion for helping others uncover old thoughts, emotions and patterns that prevent them from moving into the areas where God is calling them. Kristin’s desire is to help people see their full potential and begin to view themselves through God's eyes. Kristin’s desire is to help people know more about Christ, which will in turn help them learn more about themselves and the gifts and talents God has placed in them.
Kwanza GipsonKwanza was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but she currently lives in Owings Mills, Maryland with her husband of 28 years, Quinton and their two adult children Quinton Jr. and Nia.
Kwanza is a Christian Publisher, Author, Conference Host, Speaker, Radio Host and Ministry Consultant. She is the President and CEO of First Fruits Publishing, LLC, the Founder and Director of Girlfriend Therapy®, Inc. and the President and CEO of The Consulting and Communications Group, LLC. Blessed with the gift of creative communications, Kwanza travels the country helping men and women of God establish themselves in the truth of God’s Word in both life and in business.
Kwanza received her Undergraduate degree in Communications (Public Relations and Advertising), from Bowie State University, her Graduate degree in Marketing Management, from the University of Maryland and she is currently working on a PhD. In Philosophy at Faulkner University.
Publisher and Author, Kwanza is the President and CEO of First Fruits Publishing, LLC. First Fruits Publishing, LLC was established in August 2009 as a Christian Publishing House. Kwanza is the author of No Greater Love (2009, fiction) and According to Your Faith Be It Unto You (2012, non-fiction) and Girlfriend Therapy: Reflections of a Life Well Lived (coming in 2017). First Fruits Publishing, LLC’s work includes No Greater Love (2009), According to Your Faith Be it Unto You (2012), Daily Confessions for Victorious Living (2013) and Lord Teach Me How to Fish (2014) and the soon to release Reflections of a Life Well Lived (October, 2019).
Conference Host and Speaker, Kwanza is the Founder and Director of Girlfriend Therapy®, Inc. Girlfriend Therapy®, Inc. is a 501c(3) organization. Girlfriend Therapy® began in March of 2008 as a gathering of women in her living room. In March 2011, Girlfriend Therapy®, Inc. was established as a public ministry. Girlfriend Therapy®, Inc. is a deliverance ministry dedicated to educating, encouraging and, empowering women to be all that God has designed them to be without apology or compromise. Under the ministry of Girlfriend Therapy® Kwanza host an Annual Girlfriend Therapy® Conference, Quarterly Girlfriend Therapy® Forums, bi-annual Girlfriend Therapy® Healing Circle and weekly radio broadcast (currently on hiatus). Kwanza also speaks at women conferences and events around the country.
Radio Host (currently on hiatus), Kwanza is the host of a weekly online radio aptly entitled Girlfriend Therapy Radio. Consistent with the purpose and goal of Girlfriend Therapy Inc. Girlfriend Therapy Radio is designed to educate, encourage, and empower listeners to live a faith lead life. It is about helping listeners to grow in their faith and their personal relationship with Christ. Girlfriend Therapy Radio is designed to equip listeners with the truth of God’s Word to help them navigate life and life’s challenges in real time.
Ministry Consultant, Kwanza is the President and CEO of The Christian Consulting Group, LLC. With over 20 years of combined experience in Communications, Media Relations, Public Relations, Consulting, and Ministry Kwanza established The Christian Consulting Group. The Christian Consulting Group is a consulting firm dedicated to helping Churches, Ministries, and Christian Leaders in the areas of Communications, Media Relations, Public Relations, Brand Management, Image Consulting, Conflict Resolution, and Crisis Management.
Pastor Matthew E. Thompson, Sr.Since May, 2010 Elder Matthew Thompson has served as Senior Pastor of the Friendship Church of God in Richmond, VA. He is joined in the ministry by his lovely wife, First Lady Clariss Thompson.
Church focus and goals: In line with the organizational mission, the Richmond church is working to fulfill the Great Commission through obedience to the great commandment. (Matthew 28:19-20 and 22:37-39) Go. Teach. Spread. Love. Under the leadership of Pastor Thompson, the church has found unique ways to reach those in their community. The church’s outreach program includes: (1) Food/Meal Ministry, (2) Helping Hands Clothing Ministry, (3) Community Fun and School Supplies Giveaway Day at the Church Park, (4) Distribution of the Happy News and Daily Bread in the community and (5) Free GED and Trade School Training Opportunities Awareness – a program through which some individuals have gained employment.
Personal Interest: Many are unaware that Pastor Thompson is also a published Composer and Songwriter and an accomplished musician, a career he left behind to pursue the calling God had placed upon him.
Favorite Scripture: His guiding scripture is Psalms 34:3. “O, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.”
Demetrica "Meechie" JefferisDemetrica L. “Meechie” Jefferis retired from the United States Air Force after 26 years of faithful service. During her tenure as an active duty service member, she held positions as a Security Specialist, Personnel Specialist, First Sergeant, and Superintendent. She has been assigned throughout the United States and also abroad in Guam, Italy, and South Korea. She also deployed in support of Operations NORTHERN WATCH, SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM.
Meechie was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and is a 1988 graduate of Academy of Our Lady High School in Chicago, Illinois. She entered the Air Force in July 1989. While on active duty, she pursued her educational goals. As a result, she also holds an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice, an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Human Resource Management from the Community College of the Air Force, a Baccalaureate Degree in Human and Social Service Administration from Bellevue University. And in 2015, she graduated summa cum laude from Kaplan University with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
Since her retirement in August 2015, she is still trailblazing through life! She has been living cancer-free since January 30, 2014 as a Breast Cancer survivor/warrior. In 2016, she competed in two natural bodybuilding competitions as a Figure competitor. In 2017, she competed in Mrs. Maryland America Pageant and the Exquisite International Pageant. In November 2017, she was recognized by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Decatur/DeKalb Chapter as one of the Most Influential Women of the Year. And in May 2018 she published her first book, “No More Bad Days”, which chronicles her Breast Cancer journey and life beyond cancer. Additionally, she is a certified fitness trainer and business owner/founder of Transform and Prosper Fitness. And recently, she passed the Maryland state exam for licensure as a Life and Health Insurance Producer. She realizes none of these accomplishments would be possible without God; but thank God He also gave her a “Superman” husband of almost 25 years, Anthony “Juice” Jefferis.
Faythe Kamille DanielsFaythe (Kamille) is a 34-year old mother of two. She lives in New Castle, DE with her husband of ten years. She is a member of Seeds of Greatness Bible Church where she is an active member working in various ministries. Faythe is a Certified Middle School Counselor at a Charter School in New Castle, DE. There she puts her God-given gifts to work as she helps young misguided souls with everyday life struggles. Faythe loves spending time with her family and has a deep passion for working with at-risk children.
She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from the University of Delaware and a Master’s in Education Degree from Wilmington University. Faythe is currently attending Wilmington University where she is working on three certifications that will augment her current career field. Faythe lives by the scripture Jeremiah 29:11, as she believes God has her life well planned and it will be all that she hoped for!
Regina SollersRegina has been writing poetry and short stories since high school. The inspiration for her material comes from sermons preached, testimonies she has heard and life's experiences. Regina is a mother, grandmother and an active member of the Lothian Church of God. In addition to writing, she is an etiquette coach for young girls between the ages 10 - 15. Her passion is to help them build self-esteem using Psalm 139:14 "...for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:..." as her guide. After 38 years in the federal government, God instructed her to retire and to do more for Him. Praise God for He is her source!
Rhonda L. SmithCurrently Rhonda is a member of High Calling Ministries under the Pastoral Leadership of Pastor George W. Hawkins, Jr. There she serves as the Lead Instructor for the Ministers In Training Program (Phase I), and Intercessory Prayer Team Member. Prior to attending High Calling, Rhonda served for 17 years at Hope Church of God in Washington, DC under the leadership of Bishop Samuel L. McPherson, Sr. While at Hope Rhonda served as the Director of Youth Ministries. Rhonda was also the Youth Bible Study teacher and headed various evangelistic outreach activities.
Rhonda graduated from Peirce College with an Associate in Paralegal Studies; Liberty University with a Bachelor in Religion; and is currently pursuing her Master in Religious Education from Liberty University. She has been employed at the University of Maryland for 20 years.
Rhonda is a strong proponent of Godly entertainment. She strongly believes that what we feed the inner man, will manifest in the outer man.
Shareda M. RollinsShareda M. Rollins is a Kansas City, MO native, educator and writer of poetic praise; poetry dedicated to life as a Christian and varied experiences with the living God and his word. Married nearly 14 years, Ed shares her kingdom mindset, love of poetic praise and he is the father of their three beautiful children; Valerie our angel who joined our Lord in heaven in 2010, Victoria our sometimes shy, always eclectic 10-year old and Vaida, our baby girl whose personality and smile are infectious and seems to be loved by all who meet her. Together, we operate a Christ-centered entertainment company (4HISWILL) that provides an audience for aspiring or seasoned artist to have a live experience to test or perfect their talents.
Towanda ColesTowanda Coles is a native Baltimorean with a passion for teaching and developing Servant Leaders to serve in the spirit of kingdom excellence. Towanda holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Bowie State University. She is a proud wife and mother and resides with her family in Baltimore County. Towanda shares her thoughts on leadership at www.kingdomexcellenceconsulting.com. Connect with Towanda online via Twitter @TCInspires and on Periscope @TCInspires.
Minister Tracey ClevelandMinister Tracey Cherry Cleveland is the youngest of five children born to William and Reatha Cherry in Philadelphia, PA. She was reared in a home full of music and the Word of GOD. She has been singing and playing the piano and violin since the age of seven, and accepted JESUS CHRIST as her personal LORD and SAVIOR at the age of ten. She has been gifted to teach, counsel, and exhort others from the Word of GOD both formally and informally. She received her certification in Biblical Counseling from the Christian Research and Development Institute in Philadelphia, and a Master’s Degree in Christian Counseling from Faith Bible College & Seminary in Washington, D.C. She has served in various capacities throughout her Christian life, including Sunday School Superintendent, Bible Study Teacher, Instructor at Bible College, Minister of Music, Choir Leader and pianist. She is an anointed worshipper and is part of the Worship Arts Ministry and Ministerial Staff at First Church of Christ Holiness, U.S.A, under the Pastoral leadership of Elder Dr. Ralph A. Martino, Sr. She is married to her Boaz, Wilbur Cleveland, and they have one daughter and two sons.