top of page
Return to Top


Churches Loving Schools

 Biblical Conversations About Race and Ethnicity (B-CARE)


Project InSPire

Pastors' Prayer

Prayer Walk for Williamsburg

Building a Skills Trade Bench

12 Verse Challenge

Holy Smoke!

Pray For Me

More to Come

View More

More to Come

View More
Churches Loving Schools

Churches Loving Schools (CLS) provides a model for churches to tap into the “heartbeat” of every community-the public schools! By collaborating to “adopt” one or more schools, churches send a powerful message of unity and willingness to serve their community by supporting teachers, staff, students, and their families.

CLS provides churches with ways of impacting outcomes for students by tutoring, mentoring, assisting with after school clubs, supporting teachers and staff-the list is almost endless!


There is an abundance of data that suggest public schools do not foster equitable outcomes. Students of color, particularly those from economically disadvantaged households, typically score lower in every measure of academic success than their white peers.

While it is not entirely correct to say that corrections officials use 4th grade reading scores to predict future prison space needs, there is data that shows 4th grade literacy rates are predictors of graduation rates which in turn are predictors of criminal behavior. There is also research that shows sentencing for criminal offenses is not equitable for black people.

The Village Initiative produces an excellent yearly report on the status of our schools that you may access with this LINK.

Here are some additional data resources for our local school system:​


The model for CLS is based on the book Serving Local Schools: Bring Christ's Compassion to the Core of Your Community by Chuck Bomar.  After becoming aware of a highly successful initiative in Norfolk based on this book a pilot program was begun in late 2019 with New Zion Baptist Church and Williamsburg Community Chapel joining together to adopt James Blair Middle School

End of year BBQ for teachers and staff of James Blair Middle School


  • Partnered James Blair Middle School with New Zion Baptist Church and Williamsburg Community Chapel. Since January 2021 individuals have sent cards/notes, snacks were provided from Jan 21-June 21, cookies were provided, flower vases made, pencil holders made, end of year BBQ provided.

  • Initiated relationship with James River Elementary and Life Enrichment Center and successfully trained 7 tutors who worked individually with 7 2nd grade students every Wednesday from 2:00-3:00 from October to May in the 222-23 academic year.

  • Mount Pleasant Baptist Church adopted Berkeley Middle School for AY 2022-23.

  • Well over 2000 cards or notes of encouragement have been sent to  faculty and staff since the beginning of 2021 to date. These gestures of appreciation continue to be valued and appreciated by their recipients.


  • Minimum of 1 volunteer coordinator dedicated to each school from each of the two involved churches.

  • Volunteers from each church to serve. (Numbers vary by school and programs in place.)


  • Establish CLS at two additional schools

  • Assess needs and implement responsive programs at James Blair and James River, and Jamestown High as WJCC allows

  • Have a functioning CLS Resources Team to provide training and support to churches wanting to participate in CLS.

  • Have cooperative relationships with other volunteer programs in adopted schools

  • Invite selected individuals to join the CLS Leadership Team

  • Create collaborative, coordinated effort among churches who have previously worked in Berkeley Middle School.


  • Churches and schools are in survival/recovery mode from the Covid 19 pandemic which requires significant adjustments in how and when sponsoring churches can be most helpful.

  • Maximize the use of Sign Up Genius to efficiently manage volunteers.

Biblical Conversations
About Race and Ethnicity

BCARE vision is to see the redemption, transformation, and fulfillment of God’s purposes for racial reconciliation within the ethnic and white churches throughout the Greater Williamsburg region, resulting in the spiritual, social, and economic flourishing of all our citizens.

BCARE mission is to engage white and ethnic church communities in the Greater Williamsburg region through small group participation. 

BCARE groups are made up of roughly 50% whites and 50% persons of color who agree to meet weekly for 8 weeks to discuss the book, One Blood, by John Perkins. 

The focus is on relationship building, creating awareness, and allowing for lament, confession and forgiveness. 


First groups met in September 2020 with participants from 3 churches with a total of 29 participants. 

A design team was formed to further develop the BCARE initiative and to include more churches. 

The second groups began in winter 2021 which represented 8 churches, 26 participants.

The third groups started in Spring 2022 representing 5 churches, 17 participants.

The fourth round of groups took place in Winter of 2023 representing 5 churches, 18 participants.


New relationships are forming.

We have heard from both our White and Black participants that their eyes and hearts have been opened to the need for racial reconciliation. 

Two of the groups are continuing to meet regularly.   

Christian group of people holding hands praying worship to believe and Bible on a wooden t


  • Annual rhythm of winter/spring group launches (with fall option). 

  • Train at least 4-6 more facilitators and increase the overall church participation. 

  • Develop ambassadors for change to bring unity between all races and ethnicities.

  • Develop leaders to foster opportunities to create new BCARE groups in more churches. 




Fostering an environment where the participant takes ownership of developing long term relationship with someone of another ethnicity. 


Cost of books


"Learn what you love and you will love what you learn."TM

Going2collegeisEZ, Inc. has developed and successfully implemented their program using the Naviance by PowerSchool educational training platform. Identify students’ prospective career paths at an early stage through assessments, evaluation of potential opportunities, and identification of required college, vocational or technical preparation to achieve career goals. 


This initiative also is accompanied by a featured add on opportunities to access ACT & SAT PowerPrep. Tools and resources to help build students’ proficiencies.- The PowerPrep is sponsored by eKnowledge, All Access SAT/ACT Math supplement Premium yearly subscription (going2collegeisEZ platform). The official prep of the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) is made up of 19,500 member schools and 12 million students. Over a 15+ year experience 250,000+ students served, 45,000+ positive reviews. 


As of April 30, 2022 the Educational Attainment in the Williamsburg Public School:

  • 15.7 % Less than a HS graduate

  • 23.5 % High school graduate 

Data Source: Data Source: Williamsburg City Public School


Here is the Educational Attainment Chart:


In 2020 an introduction to Going2collegeisEZ during a Virginia Cities Movement weekly Saturday call created a vision to prepare a Going2collegeisEZ marketing plan for the Greater Williamsburg area. This initiative has evolved to a final model to offer to the Greater Williamsburg community and  school




  • 10 participants total.

  • Nine students are currently registered.

  • One student completed a year’s subscription to the PowerPrep program and was notified by the eKnowledge Director of Student Relations of being recognized by eKnowledge as an ACT stand out Super student. (Accepted into AF Academy)


  • Establish a pilot program to develop a Proof of Concept for scalability. 

  • Register 10 participants in EKnowledge All Access SAT/ACT Math supplement - Completed


Yes. Academic Tudors for the Naviance by PowerSchool program. 




  • Obtaining buy-in from academic staff at local schools to include in their curriculum.

  • Tutors/Mentors for Naviance by PowerSchool program


Project InSPire is the umbrella for all initiatives that require investment of capital, private donations for investing in students’ and youth potential and their future by providing products, services and coaching, which will help them build a solid foundation for their future achievements. The following initiatives are funded under the Project InSPire banner:

  • Cotney Consulting Group - Roof Estimating Training Program.

  • Going2collegeisEZ, Inc.

  • eKnowledge - ACT & SAT POWERPREP

  • CTE – Skilled Trades Career Development 

  • VPCC Trade Center  collaboration - Virginia Peninsula Community College Trades Center

  • FreshINCed - Entrepreneurship Program 


Poverty and Benefits (in the past 12 month)s

  • 13.9% Families with income below the poverty level

  • 22.5% Families with Food Stamp/SNAP benefits


  • 30 % Female householder, no husband present

Employment status

  • 21.5 % Not in labor force

Educational Attainment

  • 15.7 % Less than a HS graduate

  • 23.5 % High school graduate

Internet capabilities

  • 14 % Households without broadband

Data Source: Williamsburg City Public School


Established 2019 with the gift of 30 Chromebooks from a private donor to assist with computer needs. The vision became clear, this was greater than just a one off of providing Chromebooks. This was about the awareness of a need to invest our time, talents and treasures into our youths. It was about taking ownership and the use of personal and pecuniary influence to bring about results.

It is more efficient and cost effective to invest in students during their best days rather than wait to save them during their worst days. There is a need to nourish the landscape of potentials and strengths by directing the river flow of capital through communities to nourish opportunities. 

Project InSPire Logo-5.24.22.jpg



  • Individuals who are willing to for grants and funding solicitations. 

  • Donor and grant leads

  • Tutors for PowerSchool-Naviance


  • Develop a list of 5-10 qualified candidates to participate in the Project InSPire initiatives.

Completed- 10 participants achieved through the eKnowledge ASAT/ACT PowerPrep program.

  • Develop a Virtual Building Construction Trade Fair using major construction divisions. 


Yes, to fund ongoing, established and newly created initiatives.


  • Fund solicitations and yearly donor contributions.

  • Grants that focus on and include Career Technical Education and skilled trades workforce development.

  • Community buy-in

  • Developing and implementing a network of companies who offer apprenticeship and internship  program.


This monthly meeting of regional Christian pastors is a response to Jesus's prayer for unity of His Church in John:17.  The focus is on fellowship and prayer for God’s direction, for our community, for one another and for local churches to come together in unifying relationships.  Through commitment to meeting and praying together, we seek to break down denominational and racial divisions.


  • It has been said the that Sunday morning is the most segregated time in America.

  • There are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations in the world.

  • If current trends continue 50% of all American churches will disappear by 2050! (Crossman: The Great Opportunity)


This initiative arose from the work and prayer of the Church Engagement Design Team. The prayer gatherings began in Jan 2021 during the Covid19 epidemic on 4th Tuesday of the month at 8:30 AM.  Depending on public health guidelines, meeting have been via Zoom, in person, or both.

The pastors plan and lead each meeting. They have chosen to have youth a major focus of prayer as well as racial healing and each other.  

Jesus in agony praying in the garden of olives before his crucifixion.jpg

On the night before His crucifixion Jesus prayed.

John 22-23: "The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me." 


Participation has continued grown as more Pastor's choose to move beyond talk of unity to taking actions to make unity a reality.

The first annual Pastors' picnic was held in May, 2023.


We pray  that the pastors will choose add breakfast or lunch fellowship gatherings and a yearly retreat to their monthly meetings.


We continue to pray for an increasing number of pastors will commit to bring their churches together in unity of prayer, worship, and service to the needy. 


The Prayer Walk for Williamsburg is a prayer initiative led by Kingdom Harvest Global Breakthrough Center. It is focused on uniting the community across cultural, denominational, generational, economic, and civil domains through intentional intercession for Williamsburg based upon Bill Bright and Loren Cunningham’s Seven Mountains of Influence. 


In June 2021, Pastor Davet’a Saunders participated in the Movement Scholars Program. The India Movement Day leaders highlighted how they strategically spent years in intercession praying for India based upon Bill Bright and Loren Cunningham’s Seven Mountains of Influence. This method was also something that Pastor Saunders has been doing daily with a prayer ministry she started since 2013. 


The weekend after the program, Dr. Mac Pier shared on the Virginia Cities Movement call about how it took Nehemiah 52 days to rebuild the wall. This sparked a prayer by Pastor Saunders to intercede for guidance from God for how Kingdom Harvest Global Breakthrough Center can be used in Williamsburg, Virginia. In August, during a time of fasting almost 52 days after the Virginia Cities Call, God told Pastor Davet’a to lead the ministry with dropping breadcrumbs in the City of Williamsburg through prayer in the parks based upon the seven mountains of influence. Initially, the prayer walk was supposed to just be for the ministry, but after some discussion with community members and prayer, God reminded Pastor Daveta, “When God’s people are on one accord in alignment with His will, transformation occurs” (Acts 4:24-35). 

Greater Williamsburg Movement has enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to partner with this initiative.

Prayer walks continue to take place the third Saturday each month.  Location and time are posted on this sites Events page each month.


Prayer Walks have occurred in parks throughout 

Each walk averages participants from 6 ministries/organizations within Greater Williamsburg with around 15-23 participants. 


Connections have been made while walking in the community with at least four pastors that never heard of GWM and showed interest in learning more. 


During each prayer walk, participants have been able to pray or witness with individuals within the park or surrounding community. This includes being used to pray for marriage restoration, and a pastor reconnecting with a member that had stopped attending service.


Leslie Williams has provided cross necklaces and Ebenezer stones for participants to be used symbolically as a witnessing tool about Jesus and how God is our help. 


Collette Roots and Charlie & Leslie Williams met at the Ironbound Prayer Walk. Since, November 20th, they have used their combined agency professionally, within their churches, and GWM to begin the church remodification process for Oak Grove Baptist Church.


  • Pray monthly at each park in Williamsburg/JCC thus covering the city in prayer.

  • Build relationships across the community that tear down the walls of division, bring awareness of the cultural history and experiences of Williamsburg citizens beyond the textbook, and ignite a passion for citizens to work together to produce positive change within the community for the glory of God. 


Individuals that are willing to spread the word about the prayers walks to citizens of Greater Williamsburg that have a heart for God, faith that God can do the impossible, and a love for all citizens of the community of Greater Williamsburg. 

Building a Skill Trades Bench

A Purpose with Passion Navigated by Will.

This is a solution to the shallow skilled labor and career bench which exists in the construction industry. A scalable model to offer career opportunities for the youth who may or may not be college bound. This initiative evolved from a need for skill trades careers for youths and a historical need in various industries. Faced with changes in labor force demographics within the next 10 years, there will be growth and increased demand for skill professions that cannot be automated or outsourced. The shortage of tradespeople is and will have a direct impact on the inability to keep up with industry demands.


“The skilled trades are in dire need of workers right now, with a particularly high demand for apprentice-level and skilled labor positions.

  • Plumber apprentices: Job postings have increased by 24% in the past month, and jobs are sitting unfilled for an average of 29 days.

  • Roofer apprentices: 50%; 39 days.

  • Carpenter helpers: 12%; 28 days.

  • Carpentry apprentices: 33%; 31 days.

  • Construction workers: 17%; 27 days.

  • Electrician helpers: 15%; 27 days.

Data Source:


In 2021 this initiative evolved from a need for skill trades careers for youths and a historical need in the industry. Faced with changes in labor force demographics within the next 10 years, there will be growth and increased demand for skill professions that cannot be automated or outsourced. The shortage of tradespeople is and will have a direct impact on the inability to keep up with industry demands.


This is a solution to the shallow skilled labor and career bench which exists in the construction industry. This is a scalable model to offer career opportunities for the youth who may or may not be college bound. 


Cotney Roof Estimating Training Program for the roofing industry. This on-line course covers the fundamentals in both residential and commercial applications as well as new construction and re-roofing. It was designed for both newcomers to the industry as well as those seeking to advance their career with estimating skills.

Currently 3 scholarships have been given and the students have enrolled in the online training program. December 2022 1 student completed the course, passed the final test and received a Certificate of Completion. The two remaining students are in the process of program completion. We thus far have a 33% completion metric.


Cotney Consulting Group Certification for Completion of the Roof Estimator Training Program.pdf

VPCC Trade Center Collaboration

A collaboration with a purpose with the Virginia Peninsula Community College Trades Center - to support the accelerating and enhancing career education programs. The Virginia Peninsula Community College Trades Center offers courses to give students the skills required to begin a career in the growing building and construction industry. The trades center provides a quality learning environment through a hands-on curriculum designed to train and get you into the workplace faster. 


  • Provide tuition scholarships to qualified economically challenged, first generation college 17–27-year-olds for Career Technical Education at local two-year colleges, workforce development training and trade schools.

  • 3 scholarships for Cotney Consulting Group roofing estimator training program. Completed

  • Create a mentorship network of  industry leaders for each skill trades discipline.

  • Obtain commitments for internships and apprenticeships.

  • Relationship development with vocational, technical and colleges for skill trades

  • 5 Student enrollments in welding, carpentry, masonry and machining programs at the Virginia Peninsula Community College Trades Center in Toano Industrial Park.




  • Overcoming the stigma placed on construction skill trade careers.

  • Developing and implementing a network of companies who offer apprenticeship and internship  program.

  • Obtaining passionate applicants who are interested in skill trades.

  • Funding for enrollments.


Funding for enrollment in  2-year Voc/Tech Schools and Cotney Estimator training program.

12 Verse Challenge

IllumiNations is a collective impact alliance of Bible translation partners and resource partners working together to eradicate Bible poverty in this generation. The mission is to make God’s Word accessible to all people by 2033.


Prosper's Story is proof positive how Bible translation can help to eradicate Bible poverty. Prosper's Story



Launched on 6/27/2021. What would your life look like if you did not have access to the Word of God? For over 3,800 language groups across the globe, this is their daily reality. No access to our living hope, and no way to share it with others. We are changing that. Right now, 10 of the leading Bible translation agencies and their global partners are working together to translate and deliver the Scriptures to all people. There are two ways to access giving:



Scan this custom QR code, and you will be invited to take the illumiNations 12 Verse Challenge for the campaign. 



Yes in the form of 1,000 donors/givers.



Expanding the giving participants list.


$35.00 per month X 12 months = $420.00 year

Minimum of 1,000 Givers = $420,000


Holy Smoke is a non-profit, mobile,  fresh meal based initiative designed to feed those in need, to assist in mission fundraising. We  support church unity and build relationships through ‘breaking bread’ and fellowship.


Started in 2012 with a focus on outreach in the community.  Provided hot, fresh meals for church functions and partnering with other area non-profit organizations.


Prepared and served an estimated 100 + events throughout the Williamsburg area


End of School Year BBQ for James Blaire Middle School

Middle- Joel Gorelick (Holy Smoke leader) with organizers from Churches Loving Schools Claire Jacobs and Leslie Williams.


Potentially  serve a large local pastor gathering to further build unity and determine other opportunities to meet area needs via prepared meals.


Holy Smoke  is fully dependent on volunteer help for each event. Ideally, we would like to train up some younger individuals to step in as Holy Smoke leaders and build a team of area-wide volunteers.


Seeking a person or persons with a similar passion and background that can eventually ‘run the show’ if needed plus allow for expansion of the ministry.


Per event just to cover the cost of goods.  Some funds provided via The River Church.  

Pray For Me Campaign (P4M)

The central idea is for each participating church to is that 1-3 older adults commit to pray for a teen or family with younger children daily for an entire year. Every year each teen or family get 1-3 new older adults to pray for them. The model used is from the non-profit “Pray for Me Campaign”.


Mental Health

  • 29 % of high school boys and 51% of high school girls report persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the past year.

  • 31% of nominal Christian teens have had suicidal thoughts in the past 3 months.

Trusted Adults

  • Only 38% of young people have a positive role model for a successful life.

  • As the number of trusted adults in the lives of 13-25 year olds increases from 0 to 5, these percentages change from: 

    • 62% to 9% feeling completely alone

    • 70% to 24% not feeling understood

    • 59% to 21% feeling left out

    • 73% to 39% feeling stressed and overwhelmed.


  • The requirement for and promised results of prayer are a primary Christian doctrine.

Sustaining Faith 

  • If trends continue 50-80% of our youth brought up in the Church will have left before they are age 30.


In 2022 GWM sponsored a meeting for youth leaders in the community and churches to come together to identify youth needs in our community.  Three areas of greatest need included youth mental health. It was determined that there were many social and professional resources in the community with much greater resources and expertise the GWM.  However, we realized that many churches in our community were struggling with how best to address these issues in their teens.  The Pray for Me Campaign seemed a perfect fit.  This was confirmed with interviews of almost 20 pastors. 


Over 10 churches complete the first year of their campaign and to continue in the following year.

By 2026 over 30 churches have adopted P4M


Each church recruits their older adults and their teen volunteers.




It is always a challenge for churches to embrace new church-wide initiatives and for GWM to coordinate efforts when there is such diversity in decision-making processes, resources, other efforts in place, and unique needs among community churches.


Eleven churches expressed interest in a P4M Campaign and additional churches are being invited to initiate campaigns beginning in the Fall or 2023.

bottom of page