Board

Rev. Dr. Sidney Williams Jr

Rev. Dr. Sidney Williams, Jr.

Chair
Founder of Crossing Capital Group and The Oikos Institute

Rev. Dr. Sidney S. Williams, Jr. is an impact investor and theologian with more than 30+ years of experience in corporate and community development. Taking advantage of his early experience working on Wall Street, where he learned how to develop sustainable business models, Williams is known for making a continuous effort to identify where theological and marketplace frameworks should interact. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Crossing Capital Group, Inc. and currently serving in his 10th year as the senior pastor of Bethel Church of Morristown (NJ). He previously pastored churches in Cape Town, South Africa while serving as a missionary with his family.

He is the author of two books – Morning Meditations: 100 Days to Believing You’re Successful and Fishing Differently: Ministry Formation in the Marketplace. He is committed to the study of theology and economics and has lectured in graduate business programs and seminaries, as well as consulted with corporate executives from Asia, Europe and the United States.

Read more about Dr.Williams here.

Rev Jon Robinson
Rev. Jon Robinson

Vice-Chair

Rev. Dr. Jon Robinson is an ordained minister with over twenty years of church and nonprofit leadership experience. Dr. Robinson founded and currently serves as the President and C.E.O. of The Building Up Our Youth Foundation, (B.U.O.Y. – www.buoyfoundation.org) a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 youth services organization that offers educational and leadership development programming for middle and high school youth.

In addition to his work at the BUOY Foundation Dr. Robinson also serves as the Smart Surfaces Program Director with Metropolitan AME Church (Smart Surfaces Coalition) where he works with faith institutions and other community-based organizations to change city and metro-area ecological policy and provide funding for the innovation of place-based climate mitigation strategies.

Dr. Robinson also serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of the Oikos Institute for Social Impact which addresses the cultural and organizational challenges churches and community organizations face in bridging faith with the financial capital necessary to engage in meaningful social impact programs and services.

Andrea Wright
Rev. Dr. Andrea Wright, CPA
Treasurer
Partner, Johnson Lambert LLP
Andrea is a graduate of Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary earning both the Doctorate (2023) and Masters (2016) of Divinity. She is also a graduate of Morgan State University (2022) and Howard University (1997).

Andrea is a certified public accountant and audit partner with Johnson Lambert LLP where she serves as the firm’s lead partner for the not-for-profit and governmental industry practice and as the office managing partner for the firm’s Chicagoland area office.

Andrea is a passionate advocate for under-represented people. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her financial and gender justice advocacy work and has served on several boards, including the African American Legacy Fund of the Chicago Community Trust, Association Forum, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, and the Illinois CPA Society. Andrea holds active memberships in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Illinois CPA Society, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Andrea is ordained for Word and Sacrament in the Progressive Baptist Church.

Richard Babcock
Richard Babcock
Secretary
Co-founder of Crossing Capital Group and The Oikos Institute
Richard has a 30+ year professional career which includes senior management roles in operations, sales & marketing, project management, and corporate consulting. A certified Church Consultant and Coach, Richard is a ceaseless student of Christian leadership, practical ministry, and the Bible. Having had the opportunity to work with organizations of various sizes and types, he has developed expertise in addressing diverse developmental needs and leading successful change management initiatives that achieve desired outcomes.
Jeanette Stokes

Rev. Jeanette Stokes

Board Member
Executive Director, Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South
The day Jeanette graduated from Duke Divinity School in 1977, she turned to some friends and said, “They’ll be sorry.” With only an inkling of what she would do next, she felt sure it would have something to do with women, faith, and social justice. A few months later, she and friends founded the Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South, where she serves as the Executive Director.

Though she is not sure whether anyone was ever sorry they granted her an M.Div., Jeanette is sure that the last four decades of trying to change the landscape of religion in American has had at least some effect. Mostly her work has offered solace and support to others on the journey.

A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and a graduate of Smith College, Jeanette is the author of three collections of essays, 25 Years in the Garden, 35 Years on the Path, and Just Keep Going, three memoirs, Hurricane Season: Living Through a Broken Heart, Flying Over Home, Following a Female Line, and a book on writing, Just Keep Going: Advice on Writing and Life. She is happier if she spends some time each week walking, writing, painting, and messing around in the garden.

William W. Towns, Ph.D., MBA

William W. Towns, Ph.D., MBA

Board Member Adjunct Professor of Social Impact, Kellogg School of Management

Dr. William Towns is a scholar, activist, and practitioner, dedicated to helping solve civic and urban issues at the structural level. He believes in the power of increasing access to capital, data, and academic resources to create pathways of opportunity for organizations and individuals to impact communities often overlooked. Using his lived experience, Dr. Towns takes a broad, system-wide approach to problem solving with respect to equitable community development.

Over the course of his career, he has managed more than $800 million in capital directed at reversing economic disparities and racial discrimination across the Chicago region. He has developed multiple corporate strategic plans, directing resources to local organizations to help solve complex civic issues.

He is the Managing Director of 4S Bay Partners, LLC’s Chi-Town Impact, a private equity fund that invests in women and minority operating businesses utilizing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017’s Opportunity Zones.

Dr. Towns received his Bachelor’s in marketing from Loyola University Chicago – Quinlan School of Business, an MBA from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business, and a Ph.D. in Organization Development from Benedictine University.

His goal is to use his research to help cities, anchor institutions, corporations, and non-profits to develop policies and initiatives that welcome in those who stand just outside the door of opportunity to the table of prosperity.

Alan Ferguson

Alan Ferguson, Sr., MBA, MS, BA

Board Member
President and CEO, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity

Alan Ferguson brings extensive experience and expertise in affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization and community development. He was named President and CEO of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity in July 2022. As Atlanta Habitat creates future-forward solutions to address Atlanta’s affordable housing availability, Alan’s vision to help educate Atlanta’s communities around economic mobility and income equality will help all Atlantans realize their ability to create economic stability and growth within their own households.

Alan formerly worked at Invest Atlanta, and during his 8-year commitment to the organization, led teams focused on building vibrant communities and increasing economic prosperity for all Atlantans. Throughout his career, his dedication and focus to completing transactions in the areas of housing, commercial real estate, business finance, public finance, and equity investments furthered his broad experience in community and economic development leadership.

Alan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Banking & Finance from Morehouse College, an MBA from The Goizueta Business School at Emory University, and a Master of Science in Real Estate from the J. Mack Robinson School of Business at Georgia State University. Alan pursued doctoral studies (ABD) in Real Estate Finance at Georgia State University and is currently completing his dissertation requirements for a Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship & Innovation at The University of the Cumberlands.

Alan is married to Janelle and they have two beautiful children.

Joyce Moy
Joyce Moy, JD, BA
Board Member
Founder and CEO of Fintelligent Strategies, Inc.
Joyce Moy is the founder and CEO of Fintelligent Strategies, Inc., a start-up committed to the financial and economic empowerment of low-income individuals, families, and communities. She is the former Executive Director of the Asian American/Asian Research Institute at the City University of New York (CUNY) where her area of focus was economic development, entrepreneurship, and financial empowerment in Asian American and diverse communities. Prior to that, she served as the Director of Economic Development at CUNY, where she had oversight over a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), a Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and a corporate training center at LaGuardia Community College, as well as community development.

Joyce was the first Asian American and founding regional director of a Small Business Development Center in New York State. This was funded by the US Small Business Administration and New York State in response to 9/11. She built a team that spoke English, Spanish, Korean and 3 dialects of Chinese, to serve immigrant businesses and MWBEs who were underserved by the then existing small business technical assistance providers. Under her leadership after 9/11, over $20 million in loans, grants and other financial assistance were awarded to small business owners.

In her work with small businesses, Joyce recognized that immigrants, women, and entrepreneurs of color lacked basic financial literacy skills needed to succeed in their personal lives and in business. As a result, Joyce developed a multi-day financial literacy and empowerment training which has become a national model for financial counselors embedded in community-based organizations and government agencies serving the poor and working poor across the country. As a former practicing attorney, Joyce finds immense reward in being able to use her training and experience to advocate for communities excluded from full economic participation.

Joyce holds a BA from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and a JD from Hofstra University School of Law.

Staff

Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount

Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount

Co-Founder and Executive Director, The Oikos Institute

Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount serves on the faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary as Associate Professor of Formation, Leadership and Culture and teaches in the area of Christian Education, Congregational Leadership and Youth and Young Adult Ministry. He further serves the seminary as Program Director of the Garrett Young Adult Initiative (funded by the Lilly Endowment) and serves as advisor for the Doctor of Ministry in Strategic Leadership in Black Congregations.

Dr. Blount is also the Pastor of Arnett Chapel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Chicago, IL and serves the A.M.E. Church Fourth Episcopal District as Program Director of its Thriving in Ministry Initiative funded by the Lilly Endowment. Dr. Blount, across his many roles—which he considers all one ministry—serves as a catalyst for hope, transformation, and vocation. He speaks and teaches nationally and internationally helping faith communities envision new and creative ways to minister to, with and on behalf of young people, engage in transformative Christian Education and foster congregational and community renewal and social impact. He is a contributor in “Making God Real for a Next Generation: Ministry with Millennials Born from 1982 to 1999” (Discipleship Resources, 2003), “Educating For Redemptive Community” (Wipf & Stock, 2015) and Co-Editor of “Let Your Light Shine: Mobilizing for Justice with Children and Youth” (Friendship Press, 2019)

Read more about Dr.Blount here.

Rev. Regena Thornton
Rev. Regena Thornton
Assistant Director
Regena joined Oikos in 2021 as the Regional Coordinator for the DC Cohort and, prior to her current position, she was the Operations and Training Manager. She was employed by the Department of Justice for 37 years where she led training, supervised for 25 years, and developed projects for personnel security and human resource matters. Regena was ordained an Itinerant Deacon in 2005 and an Itinerant Elder in 2013 in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She currently serves on the ministerial staff at New Hope A.M.E. Church in Waldorf, MD, where she assists with weekly Church School instruction.

Regena holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Grambling State University and two Master of Arts degrees (Practical Theology and Education) from Regent University. She is the mother of two adult daughters and currently resides in Waldorf, MD.

Rev. Dr. Susan Hillary Buckson

Rev. Dr. Susan Hillary Buckson

National Training Director

Susan is a gifted educator who enjoyed a productive 29-year career in public education that started in Baltimore City Public Schools and concluded in the Atlanta Public Schools after serving as a classroom teacher, cooperative teacher mentor, Magnet School Coordinator, Instruction Coach, and Assistant Principal.

Susan answered God’s call to the preaching ministry in 1999 at Waters A. M. E. Church in the Baltimore Annual Conference under then pastor, Rev. Ronald E. Braxton. In 2019, Bishop Reginald T. Jackson appointed Susan as pastor of Allen Temple A.M.E. Church in Atlanta, GA. Susan serves as the first woman to serve in the church’s history. She is the author of The Lenten Experience: A 40-Day Revival and My Praise is My S.W.A.G: A Bible-based curriculum for youth and young adults. In addition, Susan has served as a workshop presenter for the A.M.E. Church on both the district and conference levels with a critical focus on empowering components toward innovative, practical ministry.

Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and her advanced degrees include a MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Coppin State College, Master of Divinity with a concentration in Theology from The Interdenominational Theological Center, and a Doctor of Ministry from Payne Theological Seminary with a concentration in Adaptive Leadership.

Challis Bradford
Rev. Dr. Challis Bradford
Director of Grants
Rev. Dr. Bradford is a Student, Prayer Warrior, Preacher, Psalmist, Teacher, and the servant Pastor to the wonderful people of Greater Garth A.M.E. Church, Dallas, TX. She earned a Business Administration (BA) degree with a focus in Accounting and a Master of Business Arts (MBA) degree with a focus in Finance from Letourneau University. She earned a Master of Arts in Ministry degree (MAM) with a focus in Social Justice and Theology from Perkins School of Theology on the campus of Southern Methodist University. She earned a Doctor of Ministry degree (DMin) from Payne Theological Seminary.

Rev. Dr. Bradford serves as the AME North Texas Board of Examiners Assistant Dean, Greater Dallas District Treasurer, Tenth Future Inc. board member, North Texas conference Board of Trustees Treasurer, Tenth District Finance Team, Tenth District Board of Trustees, and a member of the AME Church General Board. She along with other partners combat the food insecurities in “Our” neighborhood by launching the Seeds Of Faith Community Garden in South Dallas.

Rev. Dr. Bradford serves as Chaplain for the Dallas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.. She also serves on the National Chaplains Council, Regional Chaplains Council, and she serves as the Texas/New Mexico State Chaplain. She is on the Board of Directors as the Parliamentarian for the Dallas Fort Worth Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Professionally, she is a Control and Reporting Analyst.

She is married to Terry and they have three beautiful children and two grandchildren.

Hanna Broome
Rev. Dr. Hanna R. Broome

Regional Coordinator – North Carolina

Rev. Dr. Hanna R. Broome, is a native of Spartanburg, SC, and an ordained Elder in the Central North Carolina Conference in Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Zion Church. Rev. Dr. Broome is a graduate of the University of South Carolina-Upstate with a BA Degree in Information Systems Management. She received her Master of Divinity Degree in Biblical Leadership from Columbia International Seminary. Rev. Dr. Broome completed her Doctor of Ministry degree, Courageous Leadership in a Changing Culture, from Drew Theological Seminary.

Rev. Dr. Broome’s previous pastorate includes Smalls Chapel AME Zion Church, Winnsboro, SC and Catawba Chapel AME Zion Church, Catawba, SC. Rev. Dr. Broome was elevated to Presiding Elder in November of 2016-2021 in the Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District under the leadership of Bishop Kenneth Monroe.

She holds current offices and positions in numerous organizations which include Director of Religious Affairs for Repairers of the Breach, President- Elect of the NC Council of Churches, Church Growth and Development of the AME Zion Church, Faith Communities for the North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign Moral Movement, NAACP, National Council of Negro Women, and Faith Leaders of Color against the Death Penalty. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Rev. Dr. Broome is the proud mother of three sons and six grandchildren.

Mashod Evans

Rev. Mashod A. Evans, Sr.

Regional Coordinator – Detroit

Rev. Evans is a native of Hillside, New Jersey. After graduating from Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey he matriculated to Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey as a James D. Carr Scholar, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History. He also holds a Master of Divinity from Turner Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. During his undergraduate and graduate career, Rev. Evans was extremely active in extracurricular activities and held leadership roles in numerous student organizations.

A life-long and fifth generation member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Evans answered a call to the ministry at the age of eighteen. He began his ministerial career at St. James AME Church in Newark, New Jersey as a youth minister, and has served on the ministerial staff of Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and Charles Street AME Church in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2005, he was assigned to pastor union Chapel AME Church in Newark, New Jersey, where under his administration, the congregation was blessed to undergo a renovation of their worship facility and experience tremendous growth.

In November of 2008, the Rt. Rev. James L. Davis, appointed Rev. Evans as the senior pastor of Saint John African Methodist Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama, where he led the congregation in a capital campaign. In June of 2017, Rev. John F. White appointed Rev. Evans as the senior pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

With a passion for community organizing and engagement, Rev. Evans has served on community boards and non-profit organizations including, the Multi-Cultural Aids Coalition of Boston, Demock Community Health Center in Boston, New Jersey Human Development Corporation, Greater Birmingham Ministries, Alabama Faith In Action, and he has served as chairman of the Union Chapel Community Development Corporation of Newark, New Jersey. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity.

He is married to Leslie Michelle Evans and they are the proud parents of two sons.

Rev. Lisa Hammond
Rev. Lisa Hammonds
Regional Coordinator – Middle Tennessee
Rev. Hammonds is a Nashville, Tennessee-native. She earned a BBA from Middle Tennessee State University and a MDiv. from Vanderbilt Divinity School. She is a graduate of John A. Gupton College with a Funeral Director Certificate and earned a certificate in Non-Profit Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is pursuing a DMin in the Strategic Leadership in Black Congregations cohort at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Following a successful and multi-faceted career in consumer lending, Rev. Hammonds answered her call to the preaching ministry in 1996. She was ordained an itinerant deacon and itinerant elder, both in the Tennessee Annual Conference of the 13th Episcopal District in the AME Church. She has served in numerous leadership roles including chairing both the conference and district Board of Examiners, Conference Trustees, Ministerial Efficiency Committee, Conference Finance Committee, Conference Budget Committee, and Women in Ministry.

Rev. Hammonds serves as the treasurer of the Nashville’s Fellowship for Women of Color in Ministry, assistant treasurer for the Nashville Branch of the NAACP, and treasurer for the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (IMF), and is the board secretary for Congregational Health and Education Network (CHEN) at Nashville General Hospital. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Nu Kappa Omega Chapter, where she serves as the parliamentarian. She enjoys traveling and self-identifies as a “foodie.”

Over 22 years, she has served in numerous leadership positions and as pastor throughout Middle Tennessee. In March 2018, she was appointed as the senior pastor of her home church, St. John AME Church in Nashville (SJN), the “Mother” Church (oldest) of African Methodism in the state of Tennessee. As a community member, clergy person, leader, and activist, Rev. Hammonds is an ambassador for the Kin-dom of God.

Rev. Carolyn C. Cavaness
Rev. Carolyn C. Cavaness
Regional Cohort – Philadelphia

Rev. Carolyn C. Cavaness is a fourth-generation preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She was licensed to preach at the age of 15 and was admitted to the New Jersey Annual Conference at the age of 16.
Rev. Cavaness is a graduate of Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City, with a major in Urban Studies with a concentration in Economics. During her time at Barnard, she served as President of the Student Government Association and was awarded for her contributions to the Barnard Community Carolyn received the Frank Gilbert Bryson Prize the highest leadership award of the College. She was also the recipient of the Barnard Bear Pin for her dedication and commitment to campus life.
Rev. Cavaness graduated in May 2011 from Union Theological Seminary in New York City with a Master of Divinity degree. In her second year, she was awarded the Hudnut Preaching Award. The award is conferred annually by the faculty at the end of the middle year to a student who, in their judgment, has made the best preparation for the preaching ministry.
Prior to enrolling in seminary, Rev. Cavaness was deputy finance director for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s historic campaign for President. She was employed by Barnard College as an Officer to the Barnard College Annual Fund. She was also Finance Director for New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Carolyn was also Director of Development for George Jackson Academy in New York City.
Rev. Cavaness is fluent in Spanish after spending her junior year in high school abroad in Zaragoza, Spain.
Rev. Cavaness’ serves as the first female pastor of Bethel AME Church of Ardmore, PA. Blessed to serve this historic congregation, Rev. Carolyn’s innovative style and initiative has assisted her in leading the congregation to embark on various capital improvements including: upgrade and overhaul of the HVAC system, roofing, and renovations of the lower level of the church. In Spring, 2018, the congregation launched the Bethel Community Garden, which in its first year harvested over 1,000 lbs of produce, which impacted local pantries, members, and friends. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bethel has been on the front line in service to the community providing food and household supplies support, tutoring, mental health support and resources for children and families and COVID-19 testing and vaccine/booster clinics. In response to the church’s critical presence during the pandemic, the congregation received a $1.5 million dollar grant from the Montgomery County Recovery Office to undergird its vaccine, farm/garden and mental health programs. Additionally, due to this support a capital improvement and upgrade plan has been launched which will include a complete renovation and upgrade of the church’s current fellowship hall/community life spaces, kitchen as well as ensuring that Bethel is accessible to persons who experience mobility challenges. In addition, Rev. Cavaness led the congregation in the purchase of a multi-family unit and commercial business unit located directly on the church’s property line. Literally saving three (3) families from being displaced due to gentrification and development.
Paramount to the work has been increasing Bethel’s outreach, evangelism, and community engagement – inclusive of expanding Bethel’s opportunities for worship and Christian education. Strategic partnerships have been advanced with the business community and various non-profit agencies and boards across the Main Line, as well.
Rev. Cavaness has been featured in the CRAINS Business magazine, New York Post’s Page Six magazine. In addition, she has been named a Millennial Superstar by Montco.Today and a Main Line Hero by Main Line Today. Recently, Rev. Cavaness was recognized by Radnor Township for her work in the dedication of a historical panel in honor of Bishop Richard Allen’s walk to Radnor in 1784.
She desires to use all her God-given talents and gifts to reach and help all that she can. She lives by the statement, “Only what you do for Christ shall last.”