Category: Emerging Leaders

My Story for God’s Glory

I was pulled over yesterday and had a gun pulled on me because, as a black man I posed a threat to a white officer that was approaching my car. I giggled because I was listening to “On My Own” by Lecrae on the newly released soundtrack from “The Birth Of A Nation.” Instantly the […]

Racial Reconciliation: Our Identity in Christ

Written by: Marlon Wade, 2015-2016 Emerging Leaders Participant “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28 If you look at the state of our society today, you will see a world divided. We have created so […]

How Emerging Leaders Prepared Me For Life

This blog was written by 2015 Emerging Leaders alumnus, D.J. Skipps. As my last year of college came to an end, I began to feel the pressures of entering what is often referred to as “the real world”. My mind was telling me to continue toward my goal of joining the health field, but the […]

In competition for Millennials, Memphis makes strides with an act of faith (Repost from High Ground)

This post was written by Emily Adams Keplinger and originally posted here . Downline Ministries graduated their fifth Emerging Leaders class last month, and their alumni retention is making an impressive mark on the community.  Of the 41 participants in the year-long program, 36 have decided to make Memphis their home after the institute. But they’re not […]

What Am I Doing Here?

By LaRon Tripp Well, it’s been an overwhelming first two weeks; Downline is going to be a journey to say the least. Even still, I am motivated to endure the task that God has set before me through receiving such a unique intake of rich knowledge from a sound community, teachers, mistakes and from God […]

So About This Dating Policy…

I know what you might be thinking: “I’m so over dating advice.” Slow your roll tootsie roll because this is different. For the most part, I hope this at least encouraging to the future Emerging Leaders of Downline Ministries as they navigate this awkwardness that is “The Dating Policy.” I love the EL dating policy […]

A Sovereign Surprise

All of us inclined our ears to hear what this old man had to say. Despite his circumstances, he radiated joy and contentment. The old man spoke and paused for the translator to interpret. The translator contorted his brow to think and said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” I lost it. Tears […]

Small World, Big God

When I first applied to go on a trip with Downline, East Asia was not at the top of my list. Let’s be honest, it wasn’t on the list at all. Since I’ve been to Asia before I figured “I’ve had this experience, let’s try something new and totally different”. Originally, my team was planning […]

Reflections of an Emerging Leader

As a fresh college graduate, I came to the Emerging Leader program in hopes that the Downline Institute would mend the wounds from a less-than-stellar last semester of college. And I wanted easier transition to the real world because what 22 year old knows exactly what they want to do with their life? I would […]

We Ain’t Seen Nothing Like Jesus Yet

Lukan Parables – Ch. 10 & 13 As I journey in the life of active discipleship, I’ve run into some trials while explaining the Scriptures to a new believer or an intrigued hopeful. Acknowledging that I am developing in my studies, going through the Lukan Parables helped me see “the gospel in story”. The foundation […]

My Year As An Emerging Leader

For the 2013-2014 Downline Institute year, I decided to come and be a part of the Emerging Leader program because I wanted to develop and mature in my faith as a believer. I had heard much praise about the program for about two years and greatly anticipated experiencing it for myself. I knew that another […]

Emerging Leaders: Changing Lives at Cornerstone Prep

The Emerging Leader Program is much more than simply “taking a year to learn your Bible”. They are placed in situations where they can give back and be salt and light to a world that needs them.   For Trey Willis, the decision where to serve was easy. As he began to partner with Cornerstone […]

Emerging Leaders: Serving with Kingsbury Soccer

Part of the Emerging Leader experience requires 4 volunteer hours per week with a church, non-profit, or in the urban context. Leanna Baldner choose to spend her volunteer hours with the girls on the Kingsbury Soccer team. However, this wasn’t her initial choice. Read how God is using her volunteer time: As an Emerging Leader, […]

Emerging Leaders: Serving with Campus Outreach

Denny Catalano is the director of Campus Outreach at the University of Memphis. His view of campus ministry was changed dramatically after going through the Downline Emerging Leaders program. You can hear his story here:

Emerging Leaders: Life as a Newlywed

Imagine being a newlywed, living in a new city where you know almost no one, all while going through an intense discipleship training program. This is exactly what Josh and Jordan Johnson signed on for when they decided to go through the Emerging Leader Program. You can hear their story here:

Emerging Leaders: Missionaries to the Dominican Republic

Brad Chester, a guy from small town Elk City Oklahoma, and I, Parker Watkins from Fayetteville Arkansas, got an amazing opportunity last year to experience God in Memphis Tennessee as we attended the Emerging Leaders program with Downline Ministires. Little did we know that this year would not only impact our hearts the way it […]

Emerging Leaders: God’s Love Despite Performance

Being involved with sports throughout college, there was always pressure to perform. I had pressure from coaches, peers, family, and the media. Under this pressure, I thrived. I thrived because I learned to perform. But, I also felt pressure from people in religion. This was the pressure that almost destroyed my view of and relationship […]

Emerging Leaders: Serving Outside of Our Context

I’ve been serving with Memphis Athletic Ministries for around four weeks now.  Officially, my role is to help kids become more successful in school through homework help and tutoring.  But as a middle-class white person serving impoverished urban kids, there are a number of challenges that come with the territory which aren’t part of my […]

Emerging Leaders and Law School: Jacob Harvey

Why would someone choose to postpone a promising law career to move to Memphis and take part in the Emerging Leader program? Hear from Jacob Harvey as he shares why he decided to do just that and why he feels he made the right decision.

Emerging Leaders and Hip-Hop: Terence “June” Gray

The Emerging Leader program gives young leaders the tools they need to excel in various types of ministry.   Terence “June” Gray shares his story and how the Emerging Leader Program better equipped him to lead people in worship through hip-hop.

15 Nuggets of Wisdom

Jamie Trussell, Director the Emerging Leaders program, shares his advice for this year’s graduates. Though the original audience for this material was our graduating students, there is surely encouraging and challenging application to be found here by all.   Here are the final 15 thoughts I shared with the Emerging Leader graduates of 2012. This […]

Emerging Leaders: Launching Out Missionaries

  The Emerging Leader Program not only equips those who plan on going into education, business, medicine, and vocational ministry. From this year’s Emerging Leader class alone we are sending out 5 missionaries to 4 different countries!   Will you join us in praying for them? Will you write each of their names in your […]

Emerging Leaders: A Heart for the Nations by Shana Boyd

Being a part of the Emerging Leaders program this year has broadened my worldview and brought about an increased awareness and heart for all nations. Prior to the lessons each week, we take a few moments, altogether as a class, to spotlight a certain country and pray for their specific needs. During this time Downline […]

Emerging Leaders: Making A Difference At MAM

Our Emerging Leaders are asked to volunteer 4-6 hours each week with a church or non-profit during their time in the program. A recent graduate of the EL program has been highlighted by Memphis Athletic Ministries for making such a huge impact through their mentor program. The boy he’s been mentoring this year, Javion, wrote […]

Renew Memphis 2012 Video Recap

We had a great time at our Renew Memphis Fun Run on Saturday May 5th. It was a fundraiser to help bring the next group of Emerging Leaders. Participants were able to gain “per mile” sponsorships to help out the ministry. Here are some video highlights for those of you who weren’t able to be […]

Graduation 2012

Despite the rainy weather which forced the festivities indoors, last night’s Downline graduation for the class of 2012 was a huge success!  A big Downline THANK YOU to Christ United Methodist Church for letting us use their facilities.  It’s hard to believe another year is already in the books. With the completion of the 2011-2012 […]

Emerging Leaders and Medical Field: Kenny Kennedy

Kenny Kennedy was born in Clarksville, TN and stayed in his hometown to attend Austin Peay University. He pursued and received a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and Leadership Studies in 2011 knowing that he wanted to pursue a career in medicine. Kenny knew that he didn’t want to jump right into […]

Emerging Leaders and Athletic Ministry: Randy Odom

Do you have a passion for urban or athletic ministry? Hear from Randy Odom as he describes the impact Emerging Leaders have had by serving with Memphis Athletic Ministries and how he looks forward to hiring from the Emerging Leader Program every year.    

Emerging Leaders and Community by Ashley Henderson

The community within the EL program has been encouraging, challenging, and ultimately transformational in my life. From a young age I struggled with trusting those physically close to me, believing that loneliness was better than betrayal. Specifically the past 5 years I’d been building a wall around my heart from all (even God), pained again […]

Emerging Leaders and Seminary: Brandon Woodard

By Jeff Howard Brandon Woodard came to Memphis from Cincinnati, Ohio after earning a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science at Ohio State University.  Brandon was very active during his college years. He took part in several outreach programs, was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi national honors society and even found time to run […]

Emerging Leaders and Education: Andrew Mastriano

By Jeff Howard Andrew Mastriano grew up in Rio Rancho, New Mexico just outside of Albuquerque. For college he traveled to West Texas A&M where he was a wide receiver for the Herdsman football team.   Andrew heard about the Emerging Leader program from a friend who completed it while Andrew was in his senior […]