Sister Erica Kohn has been a member of New Beginnings Ministries of Jacksonville since the start of the church. She is a member of the Praise Team and Young Adult Action Committee.
I was driving in the car to go pick up a friend. I was driving down I-10 passing Cassatt Avenue and there was huge debris in the lane that I was driving in. I tried to swerve and miss the debris, but it was difficult to see because it was late at night.
I don’t remember much from the actual accident. The only thing I remember is waking up upside down on my passenger side floor. Apparently I smashed into the cement guardrail and median.
I woke up to a woman opening up my drivers door asking me not to move because I was trying to get up on my right arm and left leg.
The reason that I could not get up on my right arm is because it was totally paralyzed. I could not get up on my left leg because I had broken my left femur.
I woke up in the ambulance to them cutting off my clothes.
The extent of the injuries were: my right arm partially paralyzed due to nerve damage; punctured lungs, which caused the to collapse; broken ribs on both sides; fractured spine; fractured left femur.
They put a metal plate around my left femur, which is going to stay there forever.
My arm is getting better after a year. Month by month it is gaining feeling and movement back.
My hand is extremely sensitive to touch and temperatures. I try to keep a glove on it as much as possible, because the healing is a painful process. But the painful process is positive, because at least I am feeling something in my arm.
I was in the hospital for over a month. I had to wear a neck and back brace for four months. I was going to therapy twice a week for six to eight months.
Then I got a job at web.com — thank God for that.
I am able to drive again with my one arm. So I thank God for being alive and well after all of those injuries.
Sister Regina Wright has been a member of New Beginnings Ministries of Jacksonville for two years.
I am not originally from Jacksonville, Florida. I’m from Cleveland, Ohio. I came down here in 2009 on the night before Thanksgiving, hoping to leave home all my pain and suffering that I was going through back home.
I was the Madea of the family. I cooked, I cleaned, I washed everybody’s children. I gave my life to the Lord. I have been saved ever since I was a little girl. I have been in many different churches and denominations, looking for the sprit and presence of God. I was looking for the family of God — people that walk in the way that He asked us to, even though we still fall short.
I came down here to get my relationship back with God and to restore my motherhood with my three children, and get a relationship back with my oldest daughter.
When I ran from home, I was running from my daughter being molested by my Pastor for seven to eight years. I trusted them, and pulled them into my family.
When I came down here, I was angry at God. I was angry at myself. I was angry at everything.
I went to prison for three and a half years. In prison I had a nervous breakdown. I lost my mind for five months. The Lord ministered to me through counselors about how to get myself right in my mind. They say that I am schizophrenic, bipolar, post traumatic stress syndrome — I have a lot of issues.
When I came out of prison in January 2013, I moved to a Danese Street, off of East 11th Street, where I did not know the house of God, that God ordained for me, was located.
The Lord showed me the smile of the Pastor’s wife and he told me that I would remember her smile when I saw her. I came to New Beginnings Ministries, embarrassed of what I had done, ashamed of myself and had not forgiven myself.
I came to this church to get some food. Sister Blair prayed for me. I knew the words that came out of her mouth were Godly. Something told me to come to church that Sunday. I came and the word that came from the pulpit that Sunday released something in me, and told me that this is where you need to be.
I did not know at that time that this is a family oriented church. I did not know that Pastor Hawk’s mother, brother, sister and children were members here. I joined the same day.
I’ve been in this church for the past two years and have gotten free from my past, I have been delivered in my mind and spirit and soul.
God has showed me that this is where I belong and this is where I am going to be.
Thank you, God Bless You and God is Good.
Deacon Anderson Blair has been a member of New Beginnings Ministries of Jacksonville for over five years. He was ordained as a Deacon under Pastor Hawk and Bishop Lewis Williams at Household of Faith Church. He works in the Beatification Ministry, Food Bank Ministry, Boys to Men Ministry as well as several other groups in the church.
I was ordained as a Deacon at New Beginnings Ministries of Jacksonville.
Before being ordained, I came to the Lord at NBMJ.
My testimony is that there were just too many good things happening in my life for me not to come to the Lord.
So many more good things have come to me since I accepted Christ as my Savior. I will continue to serve the Lord.
Mother Elaine Carter has been a member of New Beginnings Ministries of Jacksonville for over ten years. She is the head of the Usher Ministry and is also involved in the Food Bank ministry.
Over 10 years ago, my son was a member of New Beginnings Ministries and he invited me to church. I came by myself.
When I came, walking into the church, it was like — this is where I belong.
I was in and out of different churches and I never really felt like I belonged there.
I was so overwhelmed by Pastor Hawk and the way he presented himself.
The comfort and the love that I felt in the church when I came in was so different than what I the feelings that I ever had before.
I decided that New Beginnings Ministries was the church that I was going to join and belong to. I have never felt that way about any church. I’ve been to different ones in New Jersey and I always felt that I was just there.
But when I came to New Beginnings, I felt like I was at home. I felt welcome, I felt like I was a part of the church rather than just somebody that comes to a service every Sunday.
I felt that I wanted to continue and do more in the church. I think I have accomplished some of that.
The main thing that I have accomplished is my understanding from Pastor Hawk’s teaching of the bible and about Jesus. I never really was taught about Jesus. I was only taught about the different parts of the Bible that the preacher was talking and yelling about. I was not given any information, or anything that really hit my heart.
I have found a great understanding of the bible and of the things that God wants for me from being here at New Beginnings.
There has never been a time that I have not felt welcome.
I’ve been through a lot during the more than ten years that I have been here.
Pastor and the church family have gotten me through some very horrific times, especially being a mother and losing children and other situations.
I just feel that it’s been a blessing for me to be in New Beginnings.
I am trying to invite people and am praying for people to join New Beginnings.
I would never say anything against the church because there is nothing bad at this church. If you want to feel at home, this is where you should be.
Elder Douglas Hawk is New Beginnings Ministries’ Minister of Music. Sister Sandra Hawk heads up the Sunday School Ministry. Sister Rebecca Hawk was involved in the Usher Ministry, Dance Ministry (Exalt Dance Team), and Youth Praise Team.
God is still God! We experienced the hardest test any parent can experience and that is the death of our youngest daughter, Rebecca. When Rebecca died our hearts were broken. We were in a state of shock, disbelief and pain; so much pain. There are many sleepless nights. We miss our baby ever single day. During this difficult time we know we were being carried by the Grace of God.
Through it all we knew Pastor Hawk and Lady Hawk were praying for us continually. We could feel their prayers. We also know that our New Beginnings Ministries church family was praying for us. Though we’re still in great pain, we understand that everything is working together for our good. As we stay faithful to God, believe in His word and continue to gather with the saints we’ll get stronger every day.
Sister Patricia Blair and her husband Deacon Anderson Blair have been members of New Beginnings Ministries for several years. She is a member of the Usher Ministry, and also helps out on the Hospitality Committee.
I could not eat, sleep, nor lay down. The only way I could stop the pain was to stand up. I was not saved at the time this happened. But let me tell you something, I could not describe the pain – all I knew is I had to get to a hospital. When my husband came home for lunch break, I was at the door waiting on him.
We went to the emergency room. They rushed me in the back.
The doctors informed me that I had a heart attack, and that I needed three stents in my arteries, which were blocked. No blood could flow to my heart.
I want to thank God for giving me a heart of a servant. I thank him for lifting me up when I was down. I want to thank Him for saving my soul and for making me whole.