Meet the Bloggers

Rev. Dr. Denise Donnell began her new role as Director of Programs at Just Communities of Arkansas (JCA) June 19, 2017. At JCA Donnell is responsible for the innovative design, powerful execution, candid evaluation and intentional reimagining of programs, laying the foundation for deliberate conversations about the social and moral issues that hinder our progress toward collective liberation.

Donnell was educated in the Jackson Public School District in Mississippi. She received an undergraduate degree in English from Jackson State University (1990), a Master of Arts in Secondary Education from the University of Mississippi (1996), a Masters in Divinity from Southern Methodist University (2003) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership from Jackson State University (2008).

Prior to JCA, Donnell served as Senior Faith Organizer for the Human Rights Campaign and pastor of Mississippi United Methodist Church in Gulfport.

In her spare time, Denise plays the piano, practices American Sign Language, sketches, reads and cooks.

Recent Posts

Oct 26, 2017

She’s not a regular.

I’d been meeting there weekly for almost two months, and I'd never seen her before. It must have been her first time. I was sure I knew all of the unsheltered people.

She asked if I had $2. I didn’t. I still don’t. I choose not to carry cash.

I walked off. Honestly, I always walk off, unless I feel it…the nudging, the prodding, the incessant tapping. 

There it was.

Jun 01, 2017

I want my face back!

May 09, 2017

"Do not get weary little children. God is not done with us, yet. So keep praying, stay focused and keep the main thing the main thing."

These words were written by Rev. James E. Swanson, Bishop of the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church, in response to the Judicial Council's recent ruling to rescind the ordination of Rev. Karen Oliveto as a Bishop because she is a "self-avowed practicing homosexual."

Oct 23, 2014

We were sitting in Arby’s when it happened—a song played through the speakers that deeply touched my mother.

She dropped her fork, closed her eyes, and began to sway back and forth.

I had never before seen her behave this way. I dropped my fork and stared. At some point, still rocking in meditation, my mother confessed that she loved this song. I paid closer attention to it.

Sep 10, 2014

I am Denise Donnell. I am an ordained elder in the Mississippi Conference in the United Methodist Church. I have been a member of the clergy for the last eight years of my life.

I wish I could tell you that I have always been a friend of the LGBT community, but that is not my truth.

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