About Us


Who We Are

WorkFaith Birmingham is a collection of passionate, dedicated, and faith-driven individuals. Our focus is on providing the vulnerable in our community with ways to find work, build their skills, and discover meaningful careers that set them on the right path for the rest of their lives.

Why Workfaith Birmingham

At WorkFaith Birmingham, we’re enthusiastic about the work we do. Everything we do helps the people who need us the most, and our services are designed to have a lasting impact. We don’t believe in quick fixes when it comes to the problems that really need our help and attention – like getting people into work.

WorkFaith Birmingham is addressing three primary problems in the city of Birmingham:


There are thousands of adults every year leaving transitional ministries, jails, and prisons in the Birmingham area. Many of them lack the support they need to obtain and retain employment. As a result, they often return to negative relationships, a life of crime, a life of self-medication, or a life of dependency on the government and others in order to survive.


Many adults living in low-income and public housing communities of our city also lack the job search skills, ethics, values, and support they need to become gainfully employed with a sustainable income. Many dropped out of school or full-time employment at some point due to a life situation or challenge and now desire to move into employment, but they lack a clear path forward to reach their destination. They face many hurdles to become employed and often give up their job search feeling that it is a hopeless ambition for them.


    There are several organizations in the city that provide short-term workforce preparation for developing basic job search skills. They generally focus on resume development, basic interviewing principles, and potential job leads. There are longer programs like AIDT’s Ready To Work program that have several days of classes, certification programs, and skill development in order to increase job search success. These programs work well with self-motivated and educated adults, but many urban adults lack the necessary soft skills and educational skills that are required to succeed with them.

      The Solution

      WorkFaith Birmingham seeks to help address the complicated life issues of adults in transition by empowering them with the skills, support, values, avenues, and life perspectives they need to gain and maintain employment, and become productive contributors to their families, churches, and communities.

      Our two-week workshop teaches 12 Core Competencies in the Creative Job Search approach that has been used successfully with over 3,000 adults in Houston and Birmingham. Every participant learns how to correctly fill out applications, create a resume based on their work history and their skills and abilities, tell their story in 30 seconds, speak honestly and ethically about their past, develop a network of support for their job search, identify potential employers, research potential employers, and much more. Every participant participates in mock interviews and observes other mock interviews so they can be prepared with confidence when they go to job interviews.

      At our workshop, we also seek to equip participants with the ethics and values they will need to retain employment and obtain careers. We incorporate 25 Core Values into our curriculum that includes things like punctuality, workplace safety, honesty, respect, forgiveness, teamwork, problem-solving, and personal responsibility so our graduates will be prepared to face the many challenges associated with work.

      Since WorkFaith Birmingham is a Christian ministry, we also teach a Biblical worldview about life, work, ethics and values, and how work fits into God’s overall good design and purpose for our lives. We do not coerce anyone to become a Christian and you do not have to be a Christian to participate in our program, but we do believe individuals with Christian ethics and values will become employees that any employer would desire to hire. We do present the gospel clearly to each class.

      We also seek to provide a volunteer "Encourager" to graduates as needed from the Christian community across the city. Encouragers are friends who meet with a graduate twice a month to encourage them through their job search and work-related issues, provide godly counsel as they work through life’s problems, provide prayer support for them as they move forward to fulfill God’s good design and purposes for them, and encourage local church participation.

      After graduation, our jobs coach meets with and coaches our graduates throughout their job search flooding them with job leads so they can work the creative job search process that they have learned in our workshop.


      By God’s Grace, over 80 percent of our graduates have obtained employment and continue employment after one year. Also, even though over 50 percent of our graduates have criminal convictions in their backgrounds, we have less than two percent recidivism rate of any of them returning to prison.

      Meet The Team


      Andy Blake

      Executive Director
      Andy spent 15 years working in the construction industry in both management and sales before relocating his family to serve as cross-cultural church planters in the metro New York City area. Andy served as Jobs Coach at WorkFaith Birmingham beginning in October 2017 before transitioning to Executive Director on September 1, 2018. Andy and his wife Lisa are blessed with 4 children.

      Crystal Parker

      Program Director
      Crystal completed a two-year Ministry Leadership Program at Highlands College and served at nearly every event her church sponsored in and around the city. She spent two years as a volunteer Mock Interviewer with WorkFaith Birmingham before becoming Program Director. Crystal and her husband, Phillip, have 2 children and attend Church of The Highlands, where Crystal serves in the Children's Ministry.

      Pamela Hodges

      Success Manager
      After retiring from her Information Technology career in the telecommunications industry, Pamela has been teaching a Job Readiness workshop which she developed for The Lovelady Center. That experience eventually led her to WorkFaith Birmingham in 2014 where she has served various roles in support of our workshop and our database. Pamela and her husband, Larry, are active members at The Church at Brook Hills.
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      Lena Kappen

      Social Services Director
      Lena is a licensed Social Worker with over 10 years of experience working with workforce development ministries. Her desire is to compassionately serve others and equip them to know Christ and use the strengths He has given them to their greatest ability. Lena and her husband, William, enjoy spending time outdoors hiking and exploring God’s beautiful creation. 

      Board of Directors

      Blake Pic- Workfaith

      Blake Edwards

      Chief Financial Officer, Blue Lake Anesthesia Solutions

      McGavock Dunbar

      Principal, Director of Research, Vulcan Value Partners

      Bill Kreis

      Co-owner JOHNSONKREIS Construction Company

      Stephen "Strick" Strickland

      Pastor of Ministries and Media Director, New Rising Star Church
      Shelly Bridges FCrop

      Shelly Bridges

      Director of Communications, Vulcan Value Partners
      Picture of Judge Fortune 2

      Judge Maria Fortune

      District Criminal Court Judge, Presiding Judge of Drug Court, Birmingham Division

      Mike Flink

      Wealth Advisor, Ronald Blue Trust
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      Barry Harvill

      Vice President, CBRE-Valuation & Advisory Services

      Trip Umbach

      Attorney, Starnes Davis Florie LLP

      Our Supporters

      Our partnerships help to ensure WorkFaith Birmingham has the funding and support needed to continue doing our important work. WorkFaith Birmingham is thankful for the many individuals, churches, organizations, and foundations that partner with us, support us, and refer clients to our program.

      Want to donate to WorkFaith Birmingham? All donations we receive go towards our participants' betterment and the improvement of the service we offer. However much you’d like to donate, or if you’d like to discuss a fundraiser or campaign, get in touch with us today. We greatly appreciate all donations we receive.