Brighter Day Ministries recently held its seventh anniversary celebration and consecration service at its new Olney location.
“The anniversary and building dedication went very well. We had about 100 persons that were there from all of our past mentoring and fellowship and family,” said the Rev. Leonard N. Jamison.
Jamison, supported by his wife, Marilyn, formed Brighter Day Ministries as an extension of the mentoring that he and his spouse were providing.
It was the couple’s realization of a vision to provide excellent and effective Christ-centered ministry programs that encourage, equip and employ individuals to fulfill their callings, utilize their gifts and gain knowledge to be what God wants them to be in all areas of their life.
“My wife and I began it really as an outgrowth of our support of a college student who we were kind of godparents to in many ways at Eastern University when I was a vice president there,” he said.
“One of the things we did — as we had the opportunity — we took those young people under our wing and we had fellowship opportunity. We mentored them and harnessed their energy and excitement to do community outreach programs.”
The initial fellowship took root at Eastern University/Palmer Seminary in the fall of 2004. The ministry has expanded to now include a licensed preschool, King’s Kids Academy, a regionally-accredited and state-approved post-secondary ministry degree, diploma and certificate program, Logos Institute. It also boasts a media, music and entrepreneurial organization, Greater Works Group Communications. The new location will enable the ministry to house these, and future programs, under the same roof.
“In many ways, it really is a challenge because you don’t feel you have enough arms or legs and time to do all the things and help along all the people that come alongside and so one of the challenges was to replicate in the persons we helped also the ideas and the world view to help others in the way they’ve been helped,” he said.
“Our challenge has been to help more people so that more people can have their lives changed by being interacted with and supported.”
Viola Sewell-Benbow is the director of the pre-school at the church and has been a member for the past four years. She felt that the church and the faithful have grown spiritually under the leadership of Jamison.
“He is a pastor after God’s people. He really has heart for God’s people and doing the work of the Lord,” she said.
Sewell-Benbow said the recent celebrations made her feel inspired to do more not only within the church but outside the four walls.
“We want to meet people right where they are,” she said. “We just want to serve. It’s a place where you can come and be comfortable just as you are and be accepted and loved and cared for and just know that people are praying for you and committed to seeing you grow in the Lord.”
“The possibilities are endless,” she added. “I just don’t want to put a cap on it. I just see where God has brought us to and I’m just excited to see where he’s going to bring us into the future. There’s no limit.”
Stacy Smith is the chief operating officer at the church and also a first time minister there. However, his bond with best friend Jamison dates back 30 years to their time in high school.
“He’s passionate, genuine, sincere,” he said. “He really has the heart to touch others, help others and to equip others. He’s always been the one that would want to take a person one-on-one and walk with them as they’re going through their challenges and let them know it’s going to be alright.”
Jamal Vann shared the same sentiment. He is another member that has been with Brighter Day Ministries from its humble beginnings.
“He’s the catalyst for all of that,” Vann said of the church leader. “His approach to ministry was always low tech, high touch is his coined phrase in a society where technology is so important and we kind of lose touch and so helping a disconnected generation become connected with each other and with God.”
As the church moves in its festive spirit, Jamison is determined to keep the momentum at its peak in order to be of service. To that end, he said the church was looking for laborers and not members.
“They can feel welcomed just as they are and that they will find at Brighter Day Ministries a place where they can find love,” he said. “I call Brighter Day “the help center” — a place of healing, a place of education and empowerment and a place of love and liberty and a house of prayer.”
Brighter Day Ministries
6301 Crescentville Road
Service: Saturday at 5 p.m.