Editor's note: This is part of a series of Flintside articles highlighting women religious leaders in Flint.
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Titus 2:1
April Cook-Hawkins is an encourager by nature. She is a woman concerned about the well-being of people and has become an inspirational role model for many. Her first ministry is to her husband Jeffery Hawkins Sr., who serves as pastor of Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church, and their children. Lady April enjoys serving as a helpmeet to her husband's vision of ministry and strives to join him in his efforts to please God.
April Cook-Hawkins alongside her husband is actively involved in the community. Under their leadership, numerous outreach ministries to assist the community at large were created. Lady April has spearheaded several community events to spread awareness including the annual Stop the Violence Rally, Damaged but not Broken Women’s Conference, Purple Masquerade honoring survivors of Domestic Violence, 1000 Men March, Selma March, and participates alongside her husband in the Michigan State Police Initiative C.A.U.T.I.O.N. to assist in making Flint a better place to live and to help combat the senseless violence that plagues our city. Since the beginning of the Flint Water Crisis, her church has been on the frontline hosting water distributions. When the state stopped providing bottle water, Lady Hawkins spearheaded a program called Flint4000 to serve the homebound and elderly that couldn’t get out to receive water.
Given the mandate to empower women, First Lady Hawkins founded Alternative Solutions for Women (ASW), a nonprofit agency designed to empower young girls and women ages 8-24 to be leaders. Since its inception in 2009, ASW has served over 4,800 girls through various interactive workshops ranging from health and education to finance and self-development. She believes that in order to serve God, we must also learn to become transparent and willing servants to one another. Her belief as a First Lady is to be more than the woman who sits in the pew. She strongly believes: God didn't invite her into this role to sit; He invited her to serve.
Lady Hawkins is more than a pastor's wife; she is a mentor, life coach, motivational speaker and author of “The Process: Count the Small Wins,” a 37-Day Devotional Guide. She is a native of Chicago and holds an associate's degree in Human Service and a bachelor's degree in psychology.
April lives by the motto: “You are not obligated to win. You are obligated to keep trying.”
Throughout the month of March, Flintside will profile women in Flint’s religious community. If you are interested in participating or nominating a woman who should be profiled, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Related story: Flint first ladies come together as united force