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Gilford Harris

Gilford (Gil) was born in Columbia, Tennessee. He graduated from Carver-Smith high school in Columbia, Tennessee and received a B. S. degree in political science from Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a Lucent Technologies retiree who works as a Cobb County school bus driver and owns a carpet cleaning service (A1 Janitorial Service). While employed for Lucent, he acquired leadership and management skills and received several awards for safety and quality. His day-to-day responsibilities included managing a satellite warehouse for many years in Louisville, Kentucky and Atlanta. 


He became a member of Newburg Road Church of Christ in Louisville, Kentucky in 1982. He later moved to Atlanta in 1985 and began to worship with the Simpson Street family. He became a deacon in 1990 and was ordained as an elder in 1997. 


Assisted by one of the deacons, he serves as the Ministry Leader for the In-Reach Ministry. He is married to Roxie (a sixth grade Bible School teacher) and they have two lovely daughters, Leslie and Callie. They have been blessed with one son-in-law, Larry O’Hanlen and one remarkable grandson, Elijah. 


Bro. Harris enjoys working-out and trying to keep his body a healthy temple for the Lord. He plans to retire completely in a few years and spend more quality time with Elijah. As a leader, he enjoys most the love and honesty displayed by the members.

Charlie Simmons

Bro. Simmons was born in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. He obtained a degree in Business Administration from the Georgia Institute of Real Estate. He is currently the President and CEO of Achievers Cleaning Service, Inc. Through his education and work experience (Tykote Certified Floor Specialist), he has obtained management, accounting, sales, and interpersonal skills. Throughout his career he has received numerous awards and commendations. For example, he was listed in 1979 among the Outstanding Young Men of America; Who’s Who in Black Corporate America in 1981; International Who’s Who of Entrepreneurs in 2000; and is currently a member of the Building and Trade Association for 2005-2006. He plans to sell his business, retire in 2006, and enjoy life more. He will then have more time to enjoy his favorite pastimes of football, baseball, tennis and traveling. 


He was baptized in 1962 at the Simpson Street Church of Christ here in Atlanta. Since becoming a member of the church, he has served on the Building Committee, served as Treasurer, Assistant Transportation Director, bus driver, Baptismal Committee member, and a Bible School teacher. He was ordained as a deacon on December 30, 1990. He and Bro. Gilford Harris make a dynamic duo of a team in serving as Ministry Leaders for the In-Reach Ministry. 


He has been married to Minnie for more than 34 years. They are the proud parents of three children, and they have been blessed with three amazing grandchildren. 


Bro. Simmons believes in “service.” He not only demonstrates service daily in his life, but he began his early adulthood by serving his country. He is a Vietnam War Veteran who received an honorable discharge in 1968. He emphasizes that what he enjoys most about being a leader is “serving others”, visiting the sick and shut-in and spending time with senior members.

Walter Woods

Bro. Woods is an Atlanta, Georgia native and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. He later attended Clark College which prepared him for his occupation of business and salesmanship. He advises in the areas of automobile, life, and health insurance and wealth management. He was awarded the “Rookie Leader” in his first year of business, and he has twice received the President’s Trophy for the volume of sales that he consistently generated.


He obeyed the gospel in 1965. He is the son of one of the congregation’s faithful charter members (Sis. Helen Woods), and has attended Simpson Street all of his life. Prior to becoming a deacon on December 31, 1990, he taught Bible classes for the senior high school class. During his time of service he has chaired the Family life Ministry, and helped to develop the Church newsletter. He currently serves as one of the Ministry Leaders of the Music & Drama Ministry. 


He has been married to Mildred for 37 years, and they have been blessed with three children, Reggie, Vicki, and Tiffany. They have three adorable grandsons, Joseph, Michael, and Andrew. Although he is now operating his own business, he hopes to use his negotiating, leadership, and people skills when he achieves his future plans of creating and running a ranch for troubled children. Bro. Woods enjoys tennis, reading, traveling, and sharing a delicious meal with good friends.

Kenneth Rucker

Bro. Rucker was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Northside High School in June 1979. Shortly after graduation he attended Brenau University and received his BS degree in Business Administration. He later matriculated at Georgia State University and received his Master of Public Administration degree (graduated with high honors). He attended the United States Navy Supply Corps School and completed training in logistics, supply management, retail operations and disbursing management. In June 1999 he completed coursework towards his Doctor of Public Administration degree at the University of Georgia. 


He is currently the Chief of Police for the Fulton County Board of Education. As Chief of Police he is the Chief Executive Officer for what is currently the largest school police department in the State of Georgia. He has responsibility for operations, training, Guideline origination and implementation, school and building safety and budget execution. Ken has served his country stateside and abroad in various military operations. He has a wealth of professional and law enforcement experience. Much of his professional experience has been gained from positions as a Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Police Officer, Fulton County Board of Education School Resource Officer, Field Facilitator, various commands in the United States Naval Reserves, Chief of Police, and as a School Safety Consultant for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. From 1985-2000 he received law enforcement certifications ranging from Basic to Executive. 


He was baptized in 1989 at the Simpson Street Church of Christ. He has remained a faithful member and works in different capacities including Bible School Teacher, student, supporter, deacon, and one of the Ministry Leaders for the Youth Ministry. He is married to the former Kerri Lynn Hairston, and they are the proud parents of two studious children, Kenneth Lamar, II and Kerbi Lynn. Kerri is a Bible School teacher for primary students (early elementary), and their children are faithful members of the Bible School department. 


Although Ken has received honors too numerous to mention, he is very proud of his Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal--Gold Star (in lieu of third award), Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist role, Expert Pistol Shot Medal, National Defense Service Medal-- Bronze Star, Navy Battle “E” (Excellence) Award, and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. He is active on the Fulton County Public Safety Training Center Board of Advisors and a Volunteer Reader for Fulton County Schools. He also maintains membership on a number of professional organizations, e.g., National Forum of Black Public Administrators, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion, etc. 

Ken’s experiences, skills and abilities add a different dimension to the leadership team at Simpson Street. As a leader, he particularly enjoys the challenge of motivating people to be all they can be for Christ.

Tyree Bernard  

Tyree was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He received his Masters in Human Resource Development from Webster University. He is currently an Instructional Systems Specialist with the United States Army in Fort Benning, Georgia and frequently uses his leadership /management skills, interpersonal skills, organization skills, teaching ability, and his knowledge of computer software. 


He served in the United States Air Force for 23 years prior to retiring. His tours of duty included Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, as well as some of the more exotic locations such as Tokyo, Japan and the Republic of Korea. 


Tyree was baptized into Christ December 15, 1974 at the Dellcrest (formerly Coliseum Park) Church of Christ in San Antonio, Texas. Due to his extensive military travels, he worshiped at congregations where ever he was stationed, including Thomas Street Church of Christ in Altus, Oklahoma, Randolph Church of Christ in Universal City, Texas, Park East Church of Christ in Denver, Colorado, Welch Street Church of Christ in Wichita Falls, Texas, and the Simpson Street Church of Christ in Atlanta, Georgia. While serving as Deacon from 1988-1990 at the Park East Church of Christ, he also taught Bible School, and has continued to teach in some capacity to the present. In 2001 he was ordained as an Elder at the Simpson Street Church of Christ. His wife Linda, along with their two children, Christina and Michael, and Michael’s wife, Stephanie, are active members of the Simpson Street family. 


Willie Hollingsworth

Bro. Hollingsworth was born in Glen Allen, Alabama. He graduated Fayette County high school in 1960 and was voted best all around student by the student body. He was a member of the Fayette County high school choir, President of the Football Club, and alternate Team Captain. He was trained in Business Management and automobile repair at the Atlanta Area Technical School. He received specialized training in automobile electronics at General Motors Training Center, Atlanta, Georgia. He is employed as a Purchasing Officer for the City of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management. He formerly owned, managed and operated and automotive store and repair shop. He has acquired skills in supervision and management, light accounting, bid evaluation, and automotive repair (e.g., engine, brakes, auto body repair and general maintenance). 


He was baptized and added to the church at the early age of twelve by Bro. John Harris at Piney Grove Church of Christ in Glen Allen, Alabama. Upon his relocation to Atlanta in August of 1960, he attended the Simpson Street Church of Christ on the day of his arrival. He has been a faithful member since, serving as a Trustee in the late 1970’s and a Deacon in the 1990’s. He is currently serving as the Ministry Leader for the Church and Family Life Ministry. 


He married Joe Ann Martin in November 1964 and they have been blessed with two children, Charna and Willie, Jr. Charna is married to James Malone. They are the parents of Erin, the Hollingsworths’ sole adorable grandchild. Willie Jr. is married to Raye John. When Willie retires from full time employment, he plans to become more involved in art and writing. The next time you visit his home, take a look at some of his handiwork! He is quite talented. 


When he is not drawing or writing, he will be somewhere fishing. Willie states that what he enjoys most about being a leader is “reaching goals and seeing a job done well.”

Roosevelt Stripling

Bro. Stripling was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Walker High School in Dekalb County. Following high school he attended Georgia State University and received his BA in economics. In 1995 he received his Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University. He is currently employed as a Manager of Station Services at the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). He has work experience in customer service, relationship management, business administration, financial management, facilities and project/process management. He has worked as a Senior Account Executive for Countrywide Home Loans, a Home Mortgage Consultant for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Chief Operations Administrator for MARTA, and has held other key management positions. 


He was baptized in 1987 at the Simpson Street Church and has served the church in various capacities since being added to the body. For example, he has been a member of the Board of Trustees, Youth Ministry Director, Building Program Project team member, Founding Board Member for the Georgia State Youth Conference Committee (1997-2000), ordained as Deacon in 1997, one of the Ministry Leaders for the Youth Ministry, and Bible School Teacher. He and his wife Karen have been married for 18 years and are active participants in the Church and Family Life Ministry. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Alexandria and Kayla who are active participants in the life of the Simpson Street Bible School department.


He is committed to service with our youth as is evidenced by his years of volunteerism with such groups as the American Public Transit Administration, Benefactors of Education (board member), and Teen F.O.R.C.E Academy (founding board member). Roosevelt adds to the leadership team a broad spectrum of church related and management experience. Certainly in the years ahead, his contributions will prove invaluable. When not working he enjoys spending time with his family going to the movies or traveling. As a leader, he particularly finds rewards in working with the youth of the church and watching them grow into responsible adults.

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