Dr. Roderick Mitchell surrendered his heart to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1977. He has been proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ since July of 1978. He is the Founder and Pastor of the New Life Church, Inc. of Cleveland, Mississippi since March of 1994. He was consecrated to the office of Bishop in October 2003 under the leadership of Bishop Nate Holcomb, Presiding Prelate of Covenant Connection International and Pastor / Founder of the Christian House of Prayer Ministries of Killeen Texas / Copperas Cove Texas. As a Pastor-Teacher to the Body of Christ, the Spirit of God through him enlightens, empowers, and encourages the lives of men to embrace the will of God. Consequently, he travels extensively, ministering to clergy, victim service advocates, students and church congregations alike. His life is summed up in this verse of scripture. “But by the grace of God I am what I am and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain, yet I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I but the grace of God that is with me”(Corinthians 15:10). He is married to the former Mary Butler. They have been blessed with one child: Isaac.
Paula Bingham Granger is the Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator for the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In this position, she gets to be a part of one of the most important causes in our state, country and the world - helping to raise awareness about interpersonal violence and to promote healthy relationships. She does this by offering support to Mississippi’s twelve certified domestic violence shelters who serve victims and survivors irrespective of gender, race, or religion. Her work as Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator affords her the opportunity to interact with teens and adults statewide, offering them tools to form healthy relationships in hopes of creating neighborhoods, communities, cities and a state where interpersonal violence is recognized for the evil that it is, and is not tolerated.
Ms. Granger’s involvement in non-profit work began at Camp Pioneer where she worked as a summer camp counselor, Program Director, Girls Club Leader and Kitchen Manager. She is a graduate of Jackson State University with a degree in Communications, and the mother of three adult children—Reuben, Rachel and Ryan.
Dr. John L. Casteele executive director of Casteele Williams & Assoc since 1986. Major in Public Health Ed. in 1973. Pastor of Lamb of GOD C.C.C. since 1997. Achieved his Masters in Psychology Counseling in 1986. He earned his Doc. Min. of Theology in 1994. His PhD. in Psychology with a focus on Christian American Family in 1996. He is the President of United Theological Seminary of Tacoma branch since 2005. John L. Casteele Jr. is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and Chemical Dependency Professional. He is also a designated Domestic Violence Counselor Supervisor.
Sherina James has over 20 years of experience in the victim services field, working at both the local and state level. Sherina currently works at Washington State’s Office of Crime Victim Advocacy managing grants and contracts for victim service providers. Her employment history includes the Department of Corrections’ Victim Services Program, the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, as well as the King County Sexual Assault Program. She is the past Chair of the Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence in Tacoma, WA and currently serves as a volunteer with the Commission’s Community Engagement and Communications workgroup. As a Community Victim Liaison at the Department of Corrections, Sherina has engaged with the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC) for 9 years, most recently as a work-group coordinator for the African American Domestic Peace Project initiative in Tacoma. Sherina is a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she earned degrees in Human Services and Social Work with a focus in Gerontology. Sherina brings passion, expertise, a smile and a sense of humor to the African American Domestic Peace Project. She is the current Administrative Assistant for AADPP.
Antonia Drew Vann is a nationally Certified Domestic Violence Counselor and Chief Executive Officer and founder of Asha Family Services, Inc. (Asha). Established in 1989, Asha is an evidence-based, comprehensive domestic and sexual violence intervention and prevention agency located in the city of Milwaukee, WI. Asha is the first and only recognized culturally specific domestic violence prevention agency in the State for African American populations and employs methods specific to groups among this population. Asha (a Swahili and Indian word meaning “Life” and “Hope”) is a private, non-profit, spiritually based agency that also works with incarcerated men and women since 1990. Asha operates Sistahs’ Cafe and Deli and Sistahs’ Nail & Hair Salon - These micro-enterprises are both job training and job development sites for program participants to enhance employable skills and to create jobs. Asha’s approach is holistic also holding State license as an outpatient substance abuse treatment clinic that further includes STD and HIV/AIDS education, testing and counseling.
Dr. Patricia Davenport received her doctoral Degree from Triune Biblical University, Longview, WA, June 3, 1997, Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree for outstanding work with victims of crime and in community services. She graduated from Northwestern University, School of Education, Evanston, Illinois, 1983, Concentration-Human Development and Social Policy; B.S. Degree in Education: Graduated President's Honor Roll. She received the National Crime Victims Rights Week, Award for Outstanding Service On Behalf Victims Of Crime presented by: Janet Reno-Attorney General of the United States and signed by Bill Clinton, President of the United States, April 29, 1993. She is a licensed social worker by the Mississippi State Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage & Family Therapists. She is an active member of New Life Church, Inc. in Renova/Cleveland, MS under the pastoral of Bishop Roderick Mitchell. She is the current Financial Officer for AADPP
Adrienne Casteele is the director of H.O.P.E, victim advocate service, specializing in the African Woman in the community since 2005. She is also director of Domestic Violence Division at Casteel Williams & Associates. Director of Faces of Unity annual conference outreach program for woman since 2000. Licensed Minister and Coach for women ministries. B.A in Counselors of Arts in 2005. B.A in Theology in 2007 and a Masters in Marriage & Counseling Therapy.
Jennifer King has over 32 years of criminal justice experience with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Community Justice Assistance Division (TDCJ-CJAD). Currently, she is a Regional Director with the TDCJ-CJAD and is assigned to the state oversight of 42 of the 123 probation departments in the State of Texas. Additionally, Ms. King oversees the Funding and Accreditation of all Batterers Intervention and Prevention Programs (BIPPs) in Texas. Ms. King has held several positions while at TDCJ-CJAD which include Director of Family Violence Intervention Programs, Assistant Regional Director, Planner, Field Services Specialist and Interstate Compact Analyst. While serving as Director of Family Violence Intervention Programs Ms. King worked on and was responsible for leading stakeholders in the State of Texas in the development of an Accreditation process for Batterers Intervention and Prevention Programs (BIPP). Additionally, Ms. King has worked on several Federal initiatives with the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC) which include the Safe Return Initiative as well the African American Domestic Peace Project (AADPP). Ms. King has a Masters in Criminal Justice Management and a B.A. in Criminal Justice.
Ms. Lashandra Vinson is currently the Director of Programs for First Choice Social Services, Dallas TX and has over 15 years of experience working with diverse populations with the social services community. Ms. Vinson also worked as an investigator for Child Protective Services in Collin County for over 5 years ensuring child safety.
Ms. Vinson has a bachelor in Science and a double minor in Human Services and Drug Addictions from the University of North Texas. Ms. Vinson completed her Maters program in Human Services from Capella University and is currently a certified Drug Offender Instructor with the state of Texas.
Dr. Sharon Ellis Davis is a United Church of Christ (UCC) pastor and is the Pastor Emeritus of God Can Ministries, United Church of Christ, located in the south suburbs of Chicago. Rev. Ellis Davis, was ordained in 1988 and brings over 30 years of pastoral ministry experience. Since her retirement as Senior Pastor, (2014), Dr. Sharon now resides in North Carolina.
Dr. Sharon Ellis Davis served as a Chicago Police Officer for 31 years until her retirement. over Her service within the Department included working as a Patrol Officer, a Criminalist Forensic Examiner in the Crime Laboratory, and upon her retirement, serving as one of the Department’s full time Police Chaplains, providing pastoral care and crisis ministry to police officers and their families. Crisis ministry is an immediate around-the-clock chaplain response to any critical incident involving police personnel. This included officers killed or injured on or off duty, death notifications, response to suicides, and family emergencies, (death of a child, family disturbance, house fire, etc.).
Bridget Vinson-O’Neal,MS, LBSW –IPR is a Licensed Social Worker, group facilitator, presenter and is currently the Executive Director of First Choice Social Service Non-profit agency in Garland, Texas. Mrs. Vinson-O’Neal has over 20 years of experience working with diverse populations with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. Mrs. Vinson-O’Neal implemented the first grass root domestic violence outreach program for women of color at The Family Place in Dallas Texas.