Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


September 3, 2013

In His Image: Mentoring program builds character in Christ

JACKSONVILLE — Fourteen-year-old Trinity  Montgomery had a problem.

A big problem.

Someone was bullying her at school and the actions weighed on the teen so heavily she contemplated killing herself.

Luckily, the a friend of the soft-spoken middle-schooler told Trinity's mother, who went straight to the girl to talk about the issue. The help didn't stop there: Trinity's mother got her straight into a new group forming in Cherokee County, In His Image.

The brainchild of Jacksonville resident Regina Brown, In His Image is a mentoring ministry which promotes "self-awareness of who we are in Christ … for adolescent girls to have a safe place to address difficult issues and for them to learn who God says they are as opposed to the world."

Brown was at a birthday party for 13-year-old girls last December when she overheard them using language and having conversations she didn't think were appropriate for young ladies.

"Something had to be done to show them that kind of behavior is not okay," Brown said. "It really weighed on me."

She thought about how to address these issues and went to her cousin, Dewanda Runnels.

"This is what God laid on my heart," she said.

Several days later, during devotional time spent quietly, "God gave me the name for the ministry. And He said, 'The time is now.'

"I called my cousin and we just started making notes."

The first meeting for In His Image was held at Brown's apartment. Seven or eight girls attended that first night, along with a few mentors. There are now 13 girls signed up for the program, which formally begins on Sept. 5, with room for two more participants. Girls should be between 12 and 17 years old.

"Our goal is to provide a safe place to discuss issues that are important to them," Brown said. "It's not a lecture; it's not church."

In fact, the girls themselves came up with the topics for the monthly discussions, which include insecurity, bullying, trust, anger, beauty, overcoming abuse, dealing with peer pressure and improving self-confidence.

Mentors are carefully screened to insure they are "proper role models" for the  young ladies, Brown emphasized.

The group, which will meet once a month at the Jacksonville Public Library, isn't "just about building character; it's about learning your true identity," said Brown.

Trinity is looking forward to the group meeting on a regular basis.

"Whatever I'm going though I can go talk to other people about it and they won't judge me," she said.

A licensed social worker, Brown is looking forward to what the year brings for the group. The girls have officially adopted Twin Oaks nursing home in Jacksonville and will facilitate activities for the residents the third Saturday of each month from 2 - 4 p.m.

"I know God is going to work through us and through these girls," she said.

Text Only
  • churned ice cream.tif I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream

    Good things come to those who wait, especially when homemade ice cream is involved.
    Just ask Carolyn Easter of Wells, who grew up in rural Houston County using a hand-cranked freezer to create the delectable dessert.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gearing up with Jacksonville's Back to School Fair

    A little more than a decade ago, Father Mark Kusmirek learned from a parishioner who worked at JISD that approximately 80 percent of local students were from economically disadvantaged families.

    July 12, 2014

  • WilliePRichardson.tif A friend indeed ... Comedian’s last show honors E.Texas friend

    It certainly makes sense that nationally known comedian Willie P. Richardson’s final gig is a tribute to his friend Pam White.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jacksonville Education Foundation to honor Guinn, Womack

    The Stars at night shine clear and bright, deep in the heart of Jacksonville!  
    Directors and volunteers of the Jacksonville Education Foundation are busy preparing for the third annual “Evening With Our Stars” event set for August 14, 2014.

    June 21, 2014

  • LIV 5-24 swink dancers 2554.tif Dancing their hearts out

    Teams from Swink Studio of Dance have racked up several awards this year as they performed in dance competitions from Tyler to Texarkana, said studio owner Jill Swink.

    May 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • A different route to parenthood provides unexpected blessing

    Love – and motherhood – can come unexpectedly.
    Just ask Jacksonville resident Laura Mullenax, whose foray into the world of adoption with her husband, Tim, began with a challenging start and ended with an unexpected blessing.
    The couple, who are owners of T&L Automotive, are parents to 21-year-old TJ, Tim's son from a previous marriage. However, “we wanted a child between us,” Mullenax said.

    May 10, 2014

  • Mother’s Day a century-old tradition

    This year marks the 100-year anniversary of Mother's Day, when Congress passed a resolution to honor mothers after a multi-year campaign by Anna Jarvis, who wanted to memorialize her mother's lifelong activism, according to the National Women's History Project website.

    May 10, 2014

  • Local reviews ‘Tomato Republic’

    On April 9, I had the privilege and pleasure of seeing the world premiere of The Tomato Republic, a documentary movie about the 2013 Jacksonville, Texas, mayoral election. The film was entered in the Dallas Film Festival within the Texas subjects division.

    April 15, 2014

  • “I am the resurrection and the life”

    For millions of believers throughout the world, Holy Week is considered the high point of the Christian year, because they recall the series of events in Jesus' life that began with a welcome embrace and ended with his death by crucifixion.

    April 12, 2014

  • 'Thespians ‘N Training’ group ready to sign up new talent

    TNT (“Thespians ‘N Training”) theatre arts camp will be offered for the 11th consecutive year by Cherokee Civic Theatre.  TNT 2014 will run July 14-26 at the historic Cherokee Theater.

    April 5, 2014