Joyniece Kirkland

Can you tell me how being a Covenant of Action (COA) Partner has impacted your approach to pastoring?
It’s given me focus more on trying to build partnership and realizing that you can’t do it all, but we can do it all together. 

What program are you most proud of and why?
Our after-school tutorial program to help kids that are struggling academically. We have been doing this for about three years. Volunteers work with students K-12 on reading comprehension and math as the focus. We also feed the kids a meal and when they finish their school work they also do some character building exercises as well. 

We also have a program where we work to register voters. 

How impactful has this program been?
We have not seen a whole lot of what we’d like to see because Alabama is a deep red state. But we’ve seen people vote for the first time and have been able to clear up misinformation and provide education for [those who are interested in voting].

We also have been working with a legal firm to get small offenses off of [people’s] records…clemency or pardons that can limit their right to vote. In fact, some felons have the opportunity and have the right to vote depending what the felony is.

Anything new on the horizon?
We will try to focus on virtual programming in order to keep people safe…and continue to do the feeding program and limit the number of volunteers to keep [COVID-19] numbers down…just looking at the science, local numbers and see what we can offer without coming into physical contact. Continuing to build upon the programs we currently have to reach more people.

…Making head way to provide economic opportunities and create an economic engine to provide affordable and helping people become homeowners. Those are the main focuses. When people are proud of having a place to live in it helps them to have better self esteem and when people become homeowners it allows them to plan better for the future and become financially healthy.

What would you tell someone who is interested in becoming a COA Partner?
It will bless your life and ministry and open you to new possibilities. Sometimes to grow you have to step outside of your comfort zone. It will broaden your perspective and dream big. Have the faith and step out there and leave room for God to do the impossible and unthinkable. No matter where God has placed your ministry, God is always able to provide. Prosper where you’re planted and be faithful to the work.

— By Joyniece Kirkland, Director of Communications for New Baptist Covenant

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