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The Atlanta VA is sponsoring two virtual Community Clergy Training Suicide Prevention and Chaplaincy Amidst a Pandemic.

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The overall clergy training is to connect Veterans and Clergy with some resources provided by the Atlanta VA. The topics are: Veteran Suicide Prevention and Chaplaincy in the Midst of a Pandemic. Chaplains are providing spiritual care and assessments to Veterans during this unprecedented time of unrest in our country. The Community and especially the Veterans are dealing with the trauma of grief, loss, isolation, and possibly suicidal tendencies. The Atlanta VA will discuss pastoral/spiritual care interventions available to the Veteran Community to manage and begin the healing process from the moral injury that the pandemic, political unrest, economic hardships caused.

Training will provide information on the facts about suicide and review common myths vs realities of suicide prevention. The session will also provide information and education on what communities can do to help veterans at risk for suicide.

Reverend Brenda Perry Wallace, MDiv., Ed.D. is the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) Certified Educator and Chaplain at the Atlanta Veteran Administration Health Care System in Atlanta, GA. She previously taught CPE at G. V. Sonny Montgomery VAMC, and James A. Haley VAMC. She was a visiting professor and taught CPE at the United Theological College of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. She has served in the parish as an Assistant Pastor of Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, GA and the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. To preach in the same pulpit as the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of Brenda’s highest achievements. She is a second career minister; her first career was as an engineer and project manager with AT&T and NASA.

Dr. Wallace is a native of Daytona Beach Florida. She graduated from her hometown school of Bethune Cookman College now Bethune Cookman University. She is an alumnus of the Morehouse School of Religion at The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia where her concentration of study was New Testament – Biblical Studies. She graduated with honors as a member of Theta Phi Honor Society of theological education. Rev. Brenda Perry Wallace did further study as a member of Princeton Seminary’s Pastor-Theologian’s three-year program from 2004 to 2007. She is a self-published author of the book Clinical Pastoral Education: A Survival Kit. Her other publications include: “A Womanist Approach to Pastoral Care and the Use of African American Spirituals” in Theologies From REM’s Women of Color: Racial Ethnic Multicultural Network (Watermark Press 2003) “The Bitter Sting of Rejection” and “Prayer on All Saints Day” in Bless This Weary World: Prayers at Oakhurst (Trafford 2003) “Motherhood Archetype: Mothers of Justice” in Society for Biblical Literature Semeia Studies (Society of Biblical Literature 2009). Rev. Wallace served in leadership on the ACPE National Curriculum Committee. Rev. Brenda is married to James O. Wallace now in their 49th year. They have two beautiful daughters, two grandsons, and twin granddaughters.

Reverend Dr. Donna K. Coleman, Esq, “On any given day, at any moment, for any number of big or small reasons or for no apparent reason at all, anyone, can become overwhelmed and lose centering. The vicissitudes of life can give rise to fears, doubts, uncertainties, which in turn can become moments of mental frailty. My passion is helping people be resilient and empowered to make quality, life affirming decisions that add value and meaning by meeting them at their points of need.” Donna holds a Juris Doctorate, is a licensed attorney, has a M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy with two specializations in 1. Sex Therapy and 2. Christian Counseling, an Ed.D. in Pastoral Community Counseling, and has 4 completed units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).

Donna has worked with a wide variety of vulnerable populations, children, adolescents, and adults grappling with mentally illness. At a major Metro Atlanta hospital, she created protocols and trained chaplains on the 1013 Involuntary Commitment processes. She has served on the Governor’s Taskforce Faith Based Chair for Fulton County/Atlanta for the Georgia Prisoner Reentry Initiative (GAPRI). At the Clayton Transition Center, the largest Georgia Dept. of Corrections transition facility, she created a chaplaincy program for residents to pro-socially reintegrate into society equipped to reduce recidivism. As a veteran from a long family lineage who have served in the military, Donna is empathetic to the unique needs of people, veterans, and their families. Prior to becoming a Staff Chaplain at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, she was a Responder at the Veterans Military Crisis Line where her job was to prevent veteran and civilian suicides. This was on the backdrop of years working with highly complex trauma, abuse & neglect, crisis intervention, anger/impulsivity and countless criminal cases. Donna is especially passionate about the work she does dealing with secret patterns of maladaptive behaviors in people. She provides competent, confidential pastoral care also for staff, leaders in business, clergy, and community who grapple with vices and impaired mental health but are often fearful of getting help.

Central to the reasons that Donna can relate to diverse issues is because she is a mother and long-term caregiver of an adult child on the Autism Spectrum who has a serious mental illness diagnosis. Her Doctoral dissertation, The Phenomenology of Caregivers to Young Adult Children with Serious Mental Illness on the DSM-IV-TR. At the Atlanta VA she works at the main hospital and various Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC’s) as Mental Health Chaplain. She currently works with several Committees: Suicide Prevention Committee; Suicide Postvention Committee; and the Military Sexual Trauma (MST) Support Team. Donna is a spiritual care provider, facilitator, and mentor with a heart for people and is very relatable with an easy-going approachable personality who is ever ready to serve.

Chaplain Cherrye Bess-Branch is a Chaplain Resident at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She is a graduate of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) with a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Church Music. Chaplain Bess-Branch also earned a Master of Christian Education. Chaplain Bess-Branch is a professional singer, musician, song and play writer and is a hilarious Clean Comedian. She enjoys serving as chaplain to the veterans and staff at the VA.

Cherrye Bess-Branch is a graduate of Bethune-Cookman College where she earned a full scholarship in Music Performance. She is the Director of Music and Arts at two local churches: Holly Grove AME Church in Peachtree City, Georgia and Flat Rock AME Church in Fayetteville Georgia where he Pastor Reverend Edward Johnson serves as the Mayor of Fayetteville Ga. Chaplain Bess-Branch also serves as Associate Pastor at Flat Rock AME Church. Cherrye is widely known for her anointed singing voice and her uplifting hilarious clean comedy. She has recorded 12 albums and comedy stand ups. She is the mother of 5 adult children, twin girls and 3 boys, all who have served or is serving in the military.

Rev. Anthony (Tony) Lee, MDiv. is currently a chaplain resident at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. He has been an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in the Korean Southeastern Presbytery (KSEP) since 2014. He has also been a youth pastor for over 12 years and has worked with a homeless outreach ministry called Stepping Stone Mission for the past 6 years and currently serves on their board of directors as the sharing and caring chair. He enjoys hiking, baking, and Korean BBQ.

Earl L. Jones, Jr., is a native of Pensacola, Florida. He was enlisted in the U.S. Army for over 9 years before his calling into ministry. Chaplain Jones is the husband of the former Natasha David, the father of two lovely daughters, Amber and Jazzmen, the bonus dad of Shawn and Keely-J, and the G-Daddy of 3 granddaughters, Abigail, Jenna, and Rosey.

He is an ordained minister with a degree in Ministerial Theology from Oakwood College and a Master of Divinity from Liberty University. He served as a district pastor in Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee for over 8 years, and is now completing training as a chaplain. Chaplain Jones has a passion for youth and urban outreach ministry. He is the Senior pastor of Midtown Ministry, where he and his wife are meeting the temporal needs of the community by serving as volunteers for non-profit organizations, churches, hospice, and youth detention centers to build relationships for the kingdom.

He is also the founder of Truly Blessed Media, a media and marketing support company for ministries and Christian owned businesses. He and his wife are working on their second documentary about the impact of HIV/AIDS among African American women, through their joint collaboration, Blue Sunshine Productions. Pastor Jones believes we should present the gospel with whatever God places in our hands and whatever God places on our hearts.

The Atlanta VA is sponsoring two virtual Community Clergy Training Suicide Prevention and Chaplaincy Amidst a Pandemic.UPDATE: To enter the meeting, click the following link. You may want to arrive early, to complete your login with WEBEX.Seats are limited at this event, so please REGISTER to RESERVE your seat now.

The Atlanta VA is sponsoring two virtual Community Clergy Training Suicide Prevention and Chaplaincy Amidst a Pandemic.

Training Information

The overall clergy training is to connect Veterans and Clergy with some resources provided by the Atlanta VA. The topics are: Veteran Suicide Prevention and Chaplaincy in the Midst of a Pandemic. Chaplains are providing spiritual care and assessments to Veterans during this unprecedented time of unrest in our country. The Community and especially the Veterans are dealing with the trauma of grief, loss, isolation, and possibly suicidal tendencies. The Atlanta VA will discuss pastoral/spiritual care interventions available to the Veteran Community to manage and begin the healing process from the moral injury that the pandemic, political unrest, economic hardships caused.

Training will provide information on the facts about suicide and review common myths vs realities of suicide prevention. The session will also provide information and education on what communities can do to help veterans at risk for suicide.

Reverend Brenda Perry Wallace, MDiv., Ed.D. is the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) Certified Educator and Chaplain at the Atlanta Veteran Administration Health Care System in Atlanta, GA. She previously taught CPE at G. V. Sonny Montgomery VAMC, and James A. Haley VAMC. She was a visiting professor and taught CPE at the United Theological College of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. She has served in the parish as an Assistant Pastor of Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, GA and the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. To preach in the same pulpit as the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of Brenda’s highest achievements. She is a second career minister; her first career was as an engineer and project manager with AT&T and NASA.

Dr. Wallace is a native of Daytona Beach Florida. She graduated from her hometown school of Bethune Cookman College now Bethune Cookman University. She is an alumnus of the Morehouse School of Religion at The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia where her concentration of study was New Testament – Biblical Studies. She graduated with honors as a member of Theta Phi Honor Society of theological education. Rev. Brenda Perry Wallace did further study as a member of Princeton Seminary’s Pastor-Theologian’s three-year program from 2004 to 2007. She is a self-published author of the book Clinical Pastoral Education: A Survival Kit. Her other publications include: “A Womanist Approach to Pastoral Care and the Use of African American Spirituals” in Theologies From REM’s Women of Color: Racial Ethnic Multicultural Network (Watermark Press 2003) “The Bitter Sting of Rejection” and “Prayer on All Saints Day” in Bless This Weary World: Prayers at Oakhurst (Trafford 2003) “Motherhood Archetype: Mothers of Justice” in Society for Biblical Literature Semeia Studies (Society of Biblical Literature 2009). Rev. Wallace served in leadership on the ACPE National Curriculum Committee. Rev. Brenda is married to James O. Wallace now in their 49th year. They have two beautiful daughters, two grandsons, and twin granddaughters.

Laura Williams, LCSW

Laura Williams received her BA degree in Psychology from the Univ. of Alabama in 1987 and MSW degree from Clark Atlanta University in 1995. Mrs. Williams has more than 20 years of experience working in mental health, medical social work, substance abuse, crisis intervention, and counseling, and child protection issues.  She has been employed with the Atlanta VAMC since 2008, where she has worked in the Psychiatric Emergency Room, General Mental Health as a therapist and currently serves as the Regional Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the Suicide Prevention Team.

Reverend Dr. Donna K. Coleman, Esq, “On any given day, at any moment, for any number of big or small reasons or for no apparent reason at all, anyone, can become overwhelmed and lose centering. The vicissitudes of life can give rise to fears, doubts, uncertainties, which in turn can become moments of mental frailty. My passion is helping people be resilient and empowered to make quality, life affirming decisions that add value and meaning by meeting them at their points of need.” Donna holds a Juris Doctorate, is a licensed attorney, has a M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy with two specializations in 1. Sex Therapy and 2. Christian Counseling, an Ed.D. in Pastoral Community Counseling, and has 4 completed units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).

Donna has worked with a wide variety of vulnerable populations, children, adolescents, and adults grappling with mentally illness. At a major Metro Atlanta hospital, she created protocols and trained chaplains on the 1013 Involuntary Commitment processes. She has served on the Governor’s Taskforce Faith Based Chair for Fulton County/Atlanta for the Georgia Prisoner Reentry Initiative (GAPRI). At the Clayton Transition Center, the largest Georgia Dept. of Corrections transition facility, she created a chaplaincy program for residents to pro-socially reintegrate into society equipped to reduce recidivism. As a veteran from a long family lineage who have served in the military, Donna is empathetic to the unique needs of people, veterans, and their families. Prior to becoming a Staff Chaplain at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, she was a Responder at the Veterans Military Crisis Line where her job was to prevent veteran and civilian suicides. This was on the backdrop of years working with highly complex trauma, abuse & neglect, crisis intervention, anger/impulsivity and countless criminal cases. Donna is especially passionate about the work she does dealing with secret patterns of maladaptive behaviors in people. She provides competent, confidential pastoral care also for staff, leaders in business, clergy, and community who grapple with vices and impaired mental health but are often fearful of getting help.

Central to the reasons that Donna can relate to diverse issues is because she is a mother and long-term caregiver of an adult child on the Autism Spectrum who has a serious mental illness diagnosis. Her Doctoral dissertation, The Phenomenology of Caregivers to Young Adult Children with Serious Mental Illness on the DSM-IV-TR. At the Atlanta VA she works at the main hospital and various Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC’s) as Mental Health Chaplain. She currently works with several Committees: Suicide Prevention Committee; Suicide Postvention Committee; and the Military Sexual Trauma (MST) Support Team. Donna is a spiritual care provider, facilitator, and mentor with a heart for people and is very relatable with an easy-going approachable personality who is ever ready to serve.

Chaplain Cherrye Bess-Branch is a Chaplain Resident at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She is a graduate of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) with a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Church Music. Chaplain Bess-Branch also earned a Master of Christian Education. Chaplain Bess-Branch is a professional singer, musician, song and play writer and is a hilarious Clean Comedian. She enjoys serving as chaplain to the veterans and staff at the VA.

Cherrye Bess-Branch is a graduate of Bethune-Cookman College where she earned a full scholarship in Music Performance. She is the Director of Music and Arts at two local churches: Holly Grove AME Church in Peachtree City, Georgia and Flat Rock AME Church in Fayetteville Georgia where he Pastor Reverend Edward Johnson serves as the Mayor of Fayetteville Ga. Chaplain Bess-Branch also serves as Associate Pastor at Flat Rock AME Church. Cherrye is widely known for her anointed singing voice and her uplifting hilarious clean comedy. She has recorded 12 albums and comedy stand ups. She is the mother of 5 adult children, twin girls and 3 boys, all who have served or is serving in the military.

Rev. Anthony (Tony) Lee, MDiv. is currently a chaplain resident at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. He has been an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in the Korean Southeastern Presbytery (KSEP) since 2014. He has also been a youth pastor for over 12 years and has worked with a homeless outreach ministry called Stepping Stone Mission for the past 6 years and currently serves on their board of directors as the sharing and caring chair. He enjoys hiking, baking, and Korean BBQ.

Earl L. Jones, Jr., is a native of Pensacola, Florida. He was enlisted in the U.S. Army for over 9 years before his calling into ministry. Chaplain Jones is the husband of the former Natasha David, the father of two lovely daughters, Amber and Jazzmen, the bonus dad of Shawn and Keely-J, and the G-Daddy of 3 granddaughters, Abigail, Jenna, and Rosey.

He is an ordained minister with a degree in Ministerial Theology from Oakwood College and a Master of Divinity from Liberty University. He served as a district pastor in Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee for over 8 years, and is now completing training as a chaplain. Chaplain Jones has a passion for youth and urban outreach ministry. He is the Senior pastor of Midtown Ministry, where he and his wife are meeting the temporal needs of the community by serving as volunteers for non-profit organizations, churches, hospice, and youth detention centers to build relationships for the kingdom.

He is also the founder of Truly Blessed Media, a media and marketing support company for ministries and Christian owned businesses. He and his wife are working on their second documentary about the impact of HIV/AIDS among African American women, through their joint collaboration, Blue Sunshine Productions. Pastor Jones believes we should present the gospel with whatever God places in our hands and whatever God places on our hearts.

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