- City: Atlanta, Georgia
- House of Worship: Greater Turner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church
- Religion: Christian
- Social media handles: @tlenayebi @GTCAMEChurch
Dr. Toni Ingram aims to unite her church through communication, whether it be by phone or social media. Dr. Ingram sat down with rolling out and gave us a look into her daily life and her experience becoming and acting as a pastor.
When did you know that God was calling you to be a messenger of the gospel?
One Sunday in 2003, while a member of Saint Philip AME Church, a staff minister preached. She introduced her scripture and I heard her say, “Joanna, wife of Chuza, and other women, helped Jesus out of her own means.” I opened the Bible and began looking through the back concordance to find information on Joanna. Then I heard [Him] speak clearly, “There is nothing else about Joanna. You are Joanna. I need you to tell the story.”
I argued with God through the rest of that sermon. I reminded God about all my insecurities and all my inabilities. I rehearsed my history of failures and listed my shortcomings. God convinced me that His desire for my life was to preach and teach. I told God that I needed a sign. The preacher was finished with the invitation and said, “This has never happened to me, but God is sending confirmation to someone to accept the call to preach.”
How important is it to have a personal relationship with God, Jesus Christ or a Higher Power?
We were created to worship and glorify God in the way we live our everyday lives even and especially in difficult and trying circumstances. Understanding our place in God through a genuine relationship enables us to have a better perspective about how to live in and through the power of God.
As a pastor, what is your greatest or proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement is celebrating the 5th year of our #DailyPrayer Call. It has helped to form and foster intergenerational relationships as well as prompted people to pray for one another, the Kingdom of God, the in-breaking of the Holy Spirit and the tearing down of systemic strongholds that plague our communities.
How do you incorporate technology into today’s church?
Our #DailyPrayer Call at 6:45 a.m. allows church family to communicate daily. We use calling post to accommodate seniors. Groupme, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to keep [the] congregation informed about opportunities.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
A young woman I know. She comes to church with her children every time the doors open. They actively participate in the life of the church asking for nothing. I learned she had no house to call hers. She nor her children ever complained. They just lived in the belief that God is indeed [the] provider and they kept trusting God. She and young women like her are my biggest inspiration because they remind me that even in trying and difficult circumstances, God loves and God provides.