Pastor Charles Jenkins
Pastor Charles Jenkins “Strengthening and Empowering the Community”
Interviewed and written by Aaron Robinson - Editor
Pastor Charles Jenkins has been senior pastor of the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church Chicago, Illinois for more than ten years. As a man of God, he is definitely pursuing his calling as a religious leader and extraordinary role model. He has not only been making a difference in his Chicago community, but also with his music ministry nationwide, having an impact on many people’s lives.
I had the opportunity to interview the Grammy Award-winning Pastor who shed light on many issues in the community as well as gave possible solutions to our everyday struggles and concerns. He speaks about his humble beginning. “I was raised in a house hold with my mother. I grew up around a mother who taught us how to be interested in the well-being of others and how to serve others. I really have to say, it has been the influence of my mother serving other people and helping people,” says Pastor Charles Jenkins regarding of what led him to want to make a difference and change in people’s lives. Jenkins has a membership of 8,000 under his leadership where he has collectively shared his ministering and teaching gifts.
Jenkins has sought many community initiatives and economic development projects, as well as made significant improvements for the community businesses, churches, and neighborhoods. Being a part of various organizations, he looks to create over 400 jobs in the urban inner city communities. “It’s vital for the need of substantial investments that are made in inner city neighborhoods. Gravid communities are made up of schools, churches, businesses and families. So I think that those four things are vital for the successes in the neighborhood, and those communities that are impoverished or desolate, or destitute. You know when people are working crime goes down, property values go up, in which businesses come in, group services and venues. People’s needs are met. When there is quality education that gives the people an opportunity to make better choices, there are greater opportunities,” says the inspirational and visionary pastor.
There are numerous organizations in which Jenkins is a part of. He is President and CEO of Goodcity non-for-profit. He serves on the Board of Trustees for The City Colleges of Chicago, the Clear Channel Chicago Advisory Board, the Illinois Attorney General Advisory Board and the Board of Directors of New Schools for Chicago. In 2011, he filled a key role on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Transition Team. The enthused pastor is also active in various youth outreach and educational programs that has made a difference for many of our inner city youth. With so much violence committed by our youth, such as murder and shootings on the streets of Chicago, Jenkins continues to take a stand to reverse the high rate violence statistic in hopes to deter our young black males from going down a path of destruction. “There is this amazing passage John 10:10, when people come to kill, steal and destroy. Sometimes people confuse Satan out there with what Jesus is. Jesus is a guy who takes your life to places you could never imagine it could be and enable you to accomplish what you can never imagine. The biggest thing I will say is why just exist when you can live and live at another level. He comes to bring you life. If you want to be on another level, you have to connect with Jesus Christ. All the amazing things that happened in my life, it wouldn’t ever have happened if I had never given my life to Him,” genuinely says Jenkins.
Jenkins is also the author of Thriving In Change. In 2009, he was inducted into the prestigious Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers and Scholars of Morehouse College. Many people have had the opportunity to be honored or recognized for their work, but have not witnessed the true power of God’s work that has made them recognizable. Jenkins briefly shares a testimony of God’s work of how he emerged to where he is today. “A lot of people prayed for me, I had a lot of support; I had a lot of people in my ear encouraging me. I think that I was the underdog that overcame, but I didn’t come over by myself. I had such some amazing people, my mother, my grandmother, my grandfather, a lot of souls, and just some amazing people over the years…to peers…leaders in our churches. [There was] stuff that I acted like I didn’t need or wanted to hear to groom, but I’m really grateful to have the blessing of people who wanted to help me to make some sense to get where I am today.”
Living in an era of hardship and trying times, people begin to drift away from what God may have in store for them. With so much lack of encouragement in people’s lives now-of-days, there always seems to be a bit of hope to make it through another day. For those who are going through some hard times, Pastor Charles Jenkins shares some powerful words. “He’s got a plan for you, you got to keep with it, to commit. He’s got a life for you. He’s got peace for you, power for you, joy for you and strength for you. But it all begins with a relationship that He got for you. And that’s not one or two times, it’s every day 365 times. He can always give us the gift, the skills and capability.”
Pastor Charles Jenkins and Fellowship Chicago’s mega-hit, “Awesome” is an amazing and wonderful song. Jenkins recently released “I Will Live” from the new album The Best of Both Worlds that can be found at Walmart, Target, Best Buy and at Christian Book stores. “Being very new to the music business, I wanted to trust God for His guidance from a decision standpoint. And that’s when He told me to give the music away. I felt like that’s what God wanted me to do, so I did it. With the The Best of Both Worlds it did became the #1 Christian Album in America, the #1 Gospel on Billboards and Amazon. It just kind of went around the world. I’m just really blessed to see gospel success. The Best of Both Worlds is really inspiring and fun, uplifting and encouraging,” excitedly says the Inspired Motown Gospel recording artist.