Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary 2002
Minister of Ministry Operations, New Faith Baptist Church International, Matteson, Illinois; Founder, CEO, and Lead Volunteer, Joseph Assignment and Global Initiative
“I’m honored to do the Lord’s work,” begins Rev. Dr. Alexis L. Felder as she describes a ministry that includes outreach, church planting, transformational discipleship, evangelism, and missions. The Joseph Assignment and Global Initiative is a global humanitarian organization committed to transforming the lives of the world’s poorest children and their families through sustainable initiatives. The organization seeks to meet the spiritual and material needs of people living in extreme poverty in regions such as Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Congo, Angola, Kenya, South Sudan, South Africa, Turkey, Jamaica, Haiti, India, China, and other parts of the world—as well as in areas closer to home, like Pembroke, Fort Heights and Englewood (communities in Illinois), Louisiana, Wisconsin, and Flint, Michigan. The Joseph Assignment Global Initiative has six international offices and programs in 21 countries around the world with 12 corporate donors and more than 3,000 private donors. New Faith Baptist International is one church, on two continents, in three countries, has 22 locations and more than 8,000 members worldwide.
Rev. Felder roots her ministry in love, “a love that transforms lives, gives hope, and dreams for you when you don’t have the capacity to dream for yourself.” The vision is rooted in sharing the love of Christ with the world. Rev. Alexis Felder and her husband, Dr. Trunell, who is the senior pastor of New Faith, her colleagues, and members of their congregation demonstrate this love through a servanthood model that is far-reaching—not only by providing food, access to clean water, clothing, housing, health care, and electricity, but also by hosting free medical clinics, establishing farms, building schools, and planting churches in remote villages throughout the world. Rev. Felder believes a church’s vision for transformation must be global, and her work over the past ten years through The Joseph Assignment, in partnership with New Faith Baptist Church International, has had a positive impact on more than 440,000 lives worldwide. But her vision goes beyond providing for material necessities to include spiritual needs as well: “We believe that just because people are born into poverty does not mean they are destined for a life of poverty.” She faithfully embraces the call to servanthood that God has placed in her life: “I am the Lord’s servant . . . I am committed to making Jesus’ last command the church’s first priority—until all have heard.”
Before Rev. Felder came to Garrett-Evangelical, she served as director of marketing for the YMCA in Milwaukee and Atlanta, vice president and banking officer of marketing at Citizens Trust Bank in Atlanta, worked as a radio personality in Milwaukee and Atlanta, and studied broadcast journalism and religious studies. Once they relocated to Illinois, she transferred to Garrett-Evangelical from another seminary, one she felt did not welcome an African-American perspective on biblical interpretation, writing, or preaching. While in seminary at Garrett-Evangelical, she found a place for her own unique perspective, a place that welcomed discovering new lenses for biblical/multicultural interpretation, evangelism, preaching, and teaching: “Garrett-Evangelical allowed me to explore texts, to bring them alive in my context, my culture, and a global context . . . it gave me my voice and gave me freedom in my calling.”