My name is Yvonne A. Davenport from Athens, Georgia (USA), and I am taking free Bible classes online at the Christian Leaders Institute. I am an undergraduate from the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism and a Master’s in Public Administration from Piedmont College. Besides my public education, I have had the opportunity to attend many Leadership and Christian Education seminars and conferences. These fueled my desire to teach and serve in the ministry.
Christian Leadership Experience
Unlike many places, Christianity is supported and encouraged where I live. This fact by no means implies that Luke 10:2, “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborer’s are few: pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborer’s into his harvest,” is not relevant. I serve in the ministry in my local church and on the regional and state level. My passion is teaching and serving others.
At my church, I have served and still serve positions including Christian Education Director, Sunday School Superintendent, Youth Director, Church Secretary, Pastor’s Administrative Assistant, President of Usher Board, and as a teacher for Sunday School and Bible Study. On a regional level, I currently serve as the Women’s President for the Northwestern Baptist Association#1, which covers three Districts. I am an inspirational speaker and a Christian author. I am inspired to reach the saved and unsaved by using all my gifts in God’s service.
Free Bible Classes Online at CLI
Presenting God’s Word and moving others to action is often challenging. Many have the habit of attending events and church but not putting their convictions into action. Through my free Bible classes online at the Christian Leaders Institute, I am learning much about leadership and relationship with God. The Seven Connections discussion in one class at CLI gave me a better understanding of building stronger foundations for those looking for Christ. It also strengthened me on a personal level to develop habits for my walk with God.
A woman in ministry can run into some unique challenges in some cultures. However, I have the support and encouragement of my pastor, family, and mentors.
Childhood Commitment to Christ
For as long as I can remember, I had a thirst for the Word and a need to be a part of God’s program. My public confession of belief came when I was eight years old at the Springfield Missionary Baptist Church in Athens, Georgia. It was on Mother’s Day. Pastor N. Mathis extended the invitation to Discipleship. In the African American community, this invitation was “opening the doors of the church.” Now to me, a child, it appeared to be a quick process. and I panicked because I sat against the wall, and I could not hold back. I closed my eyes and dove across the laps of others and landed on the floor in the middle of the aisle. I remember one of the older mothers in the church seated up front, saying, “Wait…here comes my baby!”
I grew up in a Christian home with my father, mother, siblings, and grandmother. All were highly active in the church and community. We often opened our doors to those in need of a place to stay or older relatives that needed assistance when ill. All the adults held various positions in the church. What was expected of us was modeled by my parents, grandmothers, and those around us. Our church encouraged youth and youth activities. We participated in every phase of church activity.
The pastor’s I grew up under encouraged learning and family activities. They supported all the members in their church activities and their work life, school activities, and family celebrations. It is still true today. Our current pastor and my mentor, Pastor John K. Pinckney Sr, is exceptional in his commitment to our church family and his desire to order the church in sound doctrine and practice. Love remains the foundation in Christ that teaches all to serve with a sincere heart and purpose.
As a youth, I attended church and Sunday School regularly. I participated in Christian education workshops and conferences. I began teaching at the age of 14 and served on the Youth Usher Board.
As time went on, I continued to grow in Christ. I served as a teacher for Sunday School and Bible Study, Superintendent, Christian Education Director, church secretary, and Pastor’s Administrative Assistant. I also produced the church’s newsletter, In My Father’s House.
Ironically, I learned that as you grow in Christ, many people discourage you by saying you are too young to be so wrapped in the Lord. Invitations to certain events were far and few in between for me. Taking a stand for right, I was considered naïve or just a little off. However, these events did not cause me to take a detour.
One of the most rewarding experiences and humbling was when I began my work with the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services. As a caseworker, I saw situations and living conditions that I had never imagined. I saw the life light gone out in the faces of children and adults alike. It was then that I realized that in and of myself, I could do nothing, but Christ could do all. Initially, victims of child abuse, neglect, exploitation, and so much more prayed to ask God why. It was the 30 years of working in this field that opened my eyes to see God even in dire situations.
My spiritual dream is to allow the Lord to use me as He sees fit. I want to walk out His Word in a way that will serve as a living testimony that God is real. To model that faith for others and point them Christ so they may see the beauty found in this new life is my goal.
I am in this place and at CLI because God was positioning me for more. All my gifts are to glorify Him. Then, after the unexpected death of my niece in February of this year, I knew it was time to step out of my safe place. I am to go back into working with those in distress and helping them see the light that shines in the darkness.
Thank you, CLI, for this opportunity for free Bible classes online!