FLINT, Michigan — They often work behind the scenes, the hidden force helping a new mom find a job, taking care of church business, or organizing funeral luncheons. She is a pillar of support for her family, her church, her community.
These are the first ladies of Flint
Each brings their own mission to the table, but now they are also coming together as a united force. It’s about reaching outside their church walls, past their different faiths, and beyond their individual work.
“It’s been amazing,” said April Cook-Hawkins, one of the founding members of the new initiative. “We are trying to work together. Let’s really help our community.”
Cook-Hawkins is first lady of Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church, wife of Rev. Jeffery Hawkins. While the group so far consists of first ladies, it also is open to including women who are leaders in their religious community regardless of faith and title.
The group still is in its formative stages, but First Lady LaVern Rogers of Restoration Bethel Ministries sees this as an opportunity to develop more impact around individual women’s projects. For instance, Rogers, wife of Rev. David A. Rogers, creates baskets for families in need and heads a wellness program.
“There is a lot we can do to support one another,” Rogers said.
While there is a long history of active and influential interfaith groups of pastors, this is the first known group in Flint looking to bring together women in the local religious community.
The group formed through a combined initiative from six Flint first ladies, but it is actively seeking other women who would like to participate. A tea celebrating an official launch of the effort is being planned for April.
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 [email protected]
For more information on the women’s group being formed, please email April Cook-Hawkins at [email protected]