by Kara Kavinsky
Reverend Dr. James Jackson, Sr., His Message for His Community.
Q: Tell me about growing up in Mobile, Alabama?
a; My father, who recently retired, has been a pastor for 45 years. Our church served downtown Mobile, which included projects. As a kid, this was where all my friends lived, and I’m so lucky and blessed to have my mom and dad in the house. There are many who do not have this. I had a lot of brothers who would stay in order to get that connection.
Q: What did you do after high school?
A: After graduating from high school, I had the opportunity to go to college. She received a master’s in elementary education from Tuskegee University. There I was called to the ministry. Then I earned a Master of Divinity degree from Richmond, Virginia from Virginia Union Theological Seminary in 2000. United Divinity School in Dayton, Ohio, where I earned a doctorate in ministry in 2007. I have sought to integrate ministry and education, which is my focus, To involve parents in the educational development of their children.
Q: You served for a while in the Tampa Bay area in Florida, how did you end up in Indianapolis?
A: I came to serve Indianapolis at ZIP Code 46218 with Eastern Star Church, and received an invitation to serve on staff with Reverend Jeffrey Johnson, Assoc. In Preaching and Development, (2) and in 2004 I was transplanted to the Far East Side, who planted me to the Far East Side, at ZIP Code 46229, for the past 17 years. Oddly enough, I left Tampa around the same time as Tony Dungey for Indianapolis.
Q: When was the New Beginnings Fellowship Church formed?
A: The New Beginnings Fellowship Church began inside Fall Creek Valley Middle School in 2004. They experienced a high level of growth and were able to purchase land from 21st Street and German Church within three years. New Beginnings built its current facilities within a year. 2006 bought the land. 2007 moved in.
Q: What were your areas of focus when you grew?
A: Taking care of children’s needs has been a priority. We added to a youth facility in the back of the church for teens, in addition to our existing nursery. We strive to prepare young people for school, development, education and relationship building. Our after school care programs are in the pipeline.
Q: What kind of efforts are you involved in with the community?
A: We participate in community projects with our youth. We’ve partnered with Street Cleanup and Old Bethel to support the pantry. We meet the needs of nearly 300 families with food assistance.
Q: Have you seen any trends within the ministry?
A: Our counseling service is in much greater demand, as is our grief counseling.
We have counselors who help with the emotional health of our children.
Q: What kind of workforce efforts does New Beginnings Fellowship Church support?
A: Before the pandemic, which obviously posed some challenges, the church offered “professional fairs” with our partners. We help individuals prepare for employment and are eagerly looking forward to another job [job fair] In the future. The church motivates young people who may not have the opportunities of parental homes and the economic fluency they believe may dictate their future careers. We are partnering with Eleven Fifty Academy, a program to help follow our intent. People may not have the money to go to college, but other ways to get a good job and benefit from technology is one of them. We provide an opportunity for families to transform their careers through the Eleven Fifty Academy.
Introducing a local group for individuals, with the Eleven Fifty Academy curriculum of Web Development, Software Development, Cyber Security or UX | UI, you will help interview the tech industry deans with their rapid job growth. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 22% job growth rate for software developers between 2019 and 2029, compared to 4% for other occupations. Reverend Dr. understands. James Jackson Sr. Growth, as the New Beginnings membership has grown from 300 to more than 7,000 parishioners. Connecting with their community is important to New Beginnings Fellowship Church, which offers a flow of their services, as well as an app to stay up to date with congregants.
Eleven Fifty Academy’s mission is to build an ecosystem of tech talent that is financially beneficial to the individual, the employer, and their community. There are certainly some synergies with their shared intentions.