Kingdom Partners Mentoring Collective hold Leadership Training Event

Participants at the Kingdom Partners Mentoring Collective Leadership Training and Celebration event. (Photos: Submitted)
Deborah Gunn (center) takes a selfie at the Kingdom Partners Mentoring Collective Leadership Training and Celebration event last Saturday.

The Kingdom Partners Mentoring Collective marked a significant milestone with its Leadership Training and Celebration last Saturday at 10 a.m. The event, attended by around 100 stakeholders, took place at the New Covenant Fellowship Church on 1326 North Moore Rd. 

Attendees were treated to a hearty breakfast as they gathered to discuss the impactful city-wide initiative.

The Mentoring Collective aims to harness the strength of the faith community to support the city’s youth. By partnering with local churches, the initiative seeks to place mentoring coordinators in these institutions. This collaborative approach will encompass both group and individual mentoring.

All mentors are screened and trained by Big Brothers Big Sisters in accordance with stringent Mentoring Standards. The Mentoring Collective will also provide ongoing support to mentors and mentees throughout the mentoring relationship.

During last Saturday’s event, Dr. Bernie Miller, pastor of New Covenant Fellowship Church, extended a warm welcome via video, setting the tone for the gathering. The occasion was blessed by Elder and Youth Pastor Joe Vesselles’ opening prayer.

Jefferson Davis Herring, Kingdom Partners’ senior advisor/consultant, emphasized the significance of collective effort in the charitable community of Chattanooga, and underlined Kingdom Partners’ commitment to bridging diverse sectors.

“Chattanooga, we have what I call a charitable community that provides lots of supplemental services,” Herring said. “Kingdom Partners provides some of these services. And we try to affect charity to change by involving faith-based groups, government, nonprofits, business and our educational system. We like to move from battlegrounds to playgrounds. Your being here is an example of community coming together to help our young. As evidenced today, our community has come along beside us in this journey, and we hope to build strong relationships with you as partners.”

Edward Ellis, Diversity Partnership manager at Big Brothers Big Sisters, delivered a stirring message of encouragement.

Structured and naturally occurring mentoring relationships have powerful effects which provide young people with positive and complimentary benefits in a variety of personal, academic and professional factors,” Ellis said. “In other words, you are helping to grow and nurture children, individuals who will become great members of society. And the longer the mentor relationship lasts, the greater the value for you.”

Ellis also serves as Senior Pastor at Mt. Peria Missionary Baptist Church in Ringgold, Georgia.

Deborah Gunn led a training session on the “Characteristics of Successful Leaders.” Her insights highlighted accountability, authenticity, caring, citizenship, courage, conscientiousness, commitment, fairness, forgiveness, generosity, honesty, humbleness, influence, integrity, kindness, loyalty, optimism, perseverance, politeness, reliability, respect, responsibility, self-discipline and trustworthiness as traits that shape effective leaders.

In 2019, Gunn founded INSPIRE, a company that provides professional development workshops and coaching. The company’s acronym stands for INSPIRATIONAL, NETWORKER, STRATEGIC, INNOVATOR, RELATABLE and ENTHUSIASTIC. Gunn’s connection with New Covenant Fellowship Church and her commitment to youth development added a valuable dimension to the event.

Each mentee present was gifted a $50 Walmart prepaid card, a heartwarming gesture that reinforced the notion that support is a tangible token of care.

Representatives from various organizations attended, including Boys to Men at the Beth; Changing Direction for Success; City Community Church Corner Evolution; Every Valley Leadership Academy; Kingship Chess Academy; Re-Wake; The House Ministry at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; and The Young Ladies of Power. 

For more information about Kingdom Partners, visit