Monday, March 4, 2013

LFCDC Launches Spiritual Outreach Arm!

March 4, 2013

Today, LFCDC launched its spiritual outreach arm, STRAIGHT-UP WORD! MINISTRIES, with the publication of its first commissioned book, Leadership Lessons from New Testament Letters: Romans – Jude.

Leadership Lessons from New Testament Letters is a verse-by-verse explanation of and commentary on the books of Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2 & 3 John and Jude.

“I had three reasons for writing this book,” said author, John Elliott Churchville. “I wanted to set forth in understandable terms the gospel revealed to the apostles by the Lord Jesus. I wanted to provide clear and cogent explanations of the texts that are accessible to all readers; and I wanted to extract the most relevant leadership lessons from the letters that are especially useful to people who want to grow their leadership abilities and maximize their personal spiritual development.”

“This book takes you by the hand,” Churchville said, “leads you through each New Testament letter and draws out the leadership and wisdom lessons found in each. Leadership Lessons from New Testament Letters is my seventh book and it is three books in one. It’s a Bible commentary second to none. It’s a devotional guide that will push you to grow a more intimate relationship with Jesus. And it’s a leadership coaching guide that will help you turn your leadership potential into leader productivity.”

Straight-Up Word! Ministries exists to produce biblically-based leadership training resources (books, CDs, DVDs); to provide leadership training for effective community organizing efforts; and to promote the Thrift Mindset® model of leadership and personal spiritual development.

Leadership Lessons from New Testament Letters: Romans – Jude is available in Kindle eBook format, as well as soft-cover book format from and

Sunday, March 25, 2012



Background and History

Germantown is a racially and ethnically diverse neighborhood in the northwest section of the City of Philadelphia, PA, located roughly 8 miles from the center of the City. With a population of approximately 43,000 people, Germantown stretches about 2 miles along historic Germantown Avenue northwest from Windrim and Roberts Avenues. It was absorbed into the City of Philadelphia in 1854 nearly 200 years after its founding in 1681 by 13 Quaker and Mennonite families from Germany. In 1688, just 7 years after its founding, Germantown became the birthplace of the anti-slavery movement in America. (In the 1800s, The Johnson House, just 4 blocks away from Town Hall at 6306 Germantown Avenue, was a major station in the Underground Railroad.) This backdrop is the basis of Germantown’s rich and proud history.

During the Civil War, Town Hall was used as a hospital in the 1860s. In 1923, architect John Penn Brock Sinkler rebuilt the original Town Hall structure which he modeled after William Strickland’s Greek Revival Merchant’s Exchange Building at 3rd and Walnut Streets in Old City, Philadelphia. The current Town Hall structure was designed by Napoleon LeBrun and Sons, the architect of the Metropolitan Life Insurance skyscraper in New York City. Nationally and locally certified as a historic building, Town Hall is on the Endangered Properties List of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. It had been used for city offices until about 1994, when it was abandoned and left in a continuing state of decay and neglect.

Rationale for Redeveloping Town Hall as Germantown’s “Green Gem”

Philadelphia’s Mayor, Michael J. Nutter, has pledged to make Philadelphia the greenest city in the country at a time when our nation’s leaders understand that the future of American growth and world leadership is in developing innovative scientific and technological breakthroughs that conserve energy, lower our carbon footprint and harness the ingenuity and creativity of our citizens. But our Philadelphia public school students are falling behind in the scientific, mathematical and technological education arena where innovation and creativity will determine the future of sustainable economic development for many years to come. At the same time, our “left behind” students are swelling the ranks of the unemployed and underemployed, as well as disproportionately joining the ranks of those who are incarcerated in our prisons.

Just across the street from Town Hall is Germantown High School, where only approximately 30% of students graduate and where reading and math scores are unacceptably low. The current District Attorney of Philadelphia has suggested that Town Hall be turned into a criminal justice center. Such a center, right across the street from one of Germantown’s high schools is hardly the kind of incentive our young people deserve in order to motivate them to learn and be a constructive part of the 21st century’s growth and development. Rather, redeveloping Town Hall to positively impact students by having a dual focus—the first on college-level science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM subjects), and the second on high school-level “Green Entrepreneur” training that will create a new mindset of self-sufficiency and be the spark that ignites sustainable business growth in Germantown.

TOWN HALL Project Vision Statement

The Town Hall Project seeks to redevelop Town Hall, a City of Philadelphia and nationally certified historic building at 5928 Germantown Avenue in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, using best practices in both historic preservation and energy efficient design. It will be redeveloped to meet certification standards as a LEED-ND (Leadership in Energy-Efficient Design for Neighborhood Development) building. It will be a state-of-the-art geothermal/solar facility, the anticipated anchor tenants of which will provide college-level instruction in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM subjects), as well as high school-level “Green Entrepreneur development training courses. (Green Entrepreneurs create “Green Businesses” that sell consumer products and services that are eco-friendly and directly improve environmental quality.)

The purpose of the STEM and “Green Entrepreneur” educational focus for the building is to position Germantown as a locus of scientific and technological innovation as well as the center of gravity for sustainable neighborhood revitalization, spurred on by 21st century cutting-edge Germantown Business Corridor development. This dual track educational focus will set the stage for a dynamic three-fold economic resurgence for Germantown: 1) it will attract new, cutting edge businesses to the area; 2) it will serve as a magnate to attract the brightest and best STEM-oriented college-level students; and 3) it will ensure that high school-educated unemployed and underemployed residents of Germantown and the surrounding areas are able to access the training and skills that will move them into environmentally appropriate entrepreneurship opportunities that will create living wage, non-exportable jobs with long-term growth potential.

In addition to the high tech and entrepreneurial dual track educational track provided by anticipated anchor tenants, there will be a “Green Business Incubator” that provides training, business space and back office support to entrepreneurs seeking to create “Green Businesses” in Germantown. (A “Green Business” is one that seeks to be energy-efficient, attempts to leave a minimal carbon footprint, produces and/or sells products and services that are environmentally friendly, and offers access to “Green Collar Jobs” for neighborhood residents.)

The Town Hall Project will serve as a national model of best practices in creating energy-efficient, future-facing environmentally sustainable urban economic development anchored by an education model, while still functioning within the context of historic preservation of the Germantown Avenue Business Corridor. It will also function as a tourist attraction, a site generating “Green Collar Jobs for community residents, and a hub of business and cultural innovative activity.

Philadelphia University’s School of Architecture is a major partner in this endeavor. Faculty and students have already committed time and talent to assist us in developing design concepts that meet best practices standards in historic preservation, energy efficient interior design, and ecologically appropriate landscape design.

The Town Hall Project is the “Green Gem” and centerpiece of a larger vision espoused by Liberation Fellowship Community Development Corporation that seeks to promote and facilitate the sustainable community and business corridor development of Germantown, Philadelphia. Included in this larger vision is the creation of a “Green Business District” along the Germantown Avenue Business Corridor contiguous to Town Hall. (A “Green Business District” is a designated urban area that is set aside for the creation, development and cultivation of “Green Businesses” as a component of a larger program to retrofit neighborhood homes with environmentally sustainable designs and energy-efficient products and services to lower the community’s carbon footprint and raise its awareness and ability to sustain itself economically.)

On completion, The Town Hall Project is envisioned to be home to the following:

· Conference Center space (dual use classroom space associated with cultural programs, STEM, and “Green Business” training programs.[Having space for a conference center that is fully equipped and functional, but that also can be dual use space with drama, dance, etc., is more efficient than just having empty space unattached to the educational/cultural uses.]

· Cultural area (Art, music, dance, drama)

· Dual Track Education Center (STEM and “Green Business” training associated with Philadelphia educational institutions and major universities)

· Financial services (Bank branch, investment and insurance brokerage)

· Green Business Incubator

· Full Service (physician, chiropractic, dental) Community Medical Center that has all services with the federal benefits No such full-service Community Medical Center exists in Germantown

· First floor mid-level retail shops (This may include a small farmer’s market that uses local farmers’ produce, and/or outdoor fresh produce vending carts as part of the Philadelphia Health Department’s Healthy Foods Initiative. There is no food market in the area that sells fresh vegetables and meats.)

· Mixed use (top floor residential housing—perhaps a combination of condos and rental units)

· Professional offices (Accounting, legal, insurance, and/or real estate offices)

· WiFi and computer science center

Phase 1: Initial Planning Stage

The first phase of the Town Hall Project will focus on identifying and bringing together a development team that will include real estate owners/developers, a real estate finance packaging professional, architects, representatives from the Germantown Historical Society, representatives from Philadelphia, La Salle, and Drexel Universities and other leading community stakeholders. The first task for the Development Team will be to create a predevelopment plan that will do the following:

· Secure site control of Town Hall. To that end, the Town Hall Project will seek an option to purchase the site from the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation with a two-year period to exercise the option.

· Simultaneously, the Development Team will consider a community assessment that measures residents’ reactions to and suggestions for the intended uses of Town Hall.

· Determine the predevelopment costs and potential resources to fund such costs.

· Do feasibility analysis for attracting a funding source during both the predevelopment and development stage.

· Determine the cost of development that includes an environmental assessment and remediation/removal of asbestos in the building, an assessment of zoning and parking requirements, and the requirements for accessibility by disabled persons.

· Conduct a market study to test the market for proposed economic development venues.

· Identify sources of funding for the full development.

The challenge for the Town Hall Project is to determine ways to redevelop this significant historical building that will not rely solely on grants from public and/or private sources. The challenge also is to develop the building under a cost-effective program that will produce state-of-the-art energy and economic sustainability after lease up, without need for government support. Nevertheless, it is recognized that the significance of Town Hall as a “landmark” for Germantown and for the City of Philadelphia generally cannot be underestimated. Such public value must be considered in determining the various sources that may be available to rescue Town Hall from the abyss of abandonment and neglect.

It is anticipated that the predevelopment planning process will require sufficient time for full collaboration of stakeholders and various institutional entities, together with professionals who understand real estate development, in order to give full and due respect to a creative process. Both the real estate development planning and the program planning will proceed on an interactive and organic plane that allows the ideas for the proposed uses of Town Hall to guide/influence the architectural, historical and structural rehabilitation of the building. Facilitating and driving this planning process will require skill and expertise that the Development Team will seek to acquire either on a pro bono or professional consultative basis.

Initial Development Team Members

John Elliott Churchville, Yvonne Haskins, Michael Spain, Christiana Murray, Claudia Goetz-Phillips, Matt Wysong, Laureen Boles, Stephen Kinsey, Pamela Rich-Wheeler, Laura E. Beardsley, Deborah Gary, Cornelia Swinson and Barbara Hogue

Potential Predevelopment Funders

DEP, EPA, The Knight Foundation, Philadelphia Foundation, Pew Charitable Trust, Eagles, 76ers, Comcast, PNC Bank, The William Penn Foundation, 10,000 Friends of PA, Neighborhoods Partnership Program


On Friday, March 23rd, the Chairman/CEO of Liberation Fellowship CDC sent the following letter to Rep. Ron Waters, Chair, and each member of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus (PLBC) on behalf of Liberation Fellowship Community Development Corporation:

I am writing you because of the urgency of the matter that will be before DPW’s Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee (P & T) on Wednesday, May 23rd. P & T will be meeting to take testimony related to HIV/AIDS and other medications and will be deciding which of these drugs will be put on its approved list. It is absolutely essential that the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus make its voice heard on behalf of poor and working class people in order that HIV/AIDS patients continue to have open access to medications without restrictions of any kind.

The issue of open access to medications for HIV/AIDS patients is an urgent matter that can determine whether there will be quality in their continuum of care or not. Open access to HIV medications allows physicians to prescribe—on a patient-by-patient basis—the most appropriate and efficacious treatment option for each patient. Restrictions and limitations on the choice of medications that physicians may prescribe—including but not limited to more restrictive eligibility requirements, prior authorization and high copayment amounts—become barriers that thwart the goal of the National AIDS Strategy that seeks to improve health outcomes while reducing stigma, discrimination, and health disparities.

Not only is open access to medication essential for effective management of HIV/AIDS, but also a Kaiser Family Foundation policy brief issued in March, 2003, found that restrictions on access to medications were shown to result in nonadherence to treatment, higher rates of drug discontinuance, reductions in appropriate care, and an increase in hospitalization and worsening clinical outcomes.

PA’s legislative discussions on continuing healthcare budget cuts must take into account the increased social costs of limiting open access to HIV/AIDS medications. Allowing open access to medications is the most cost-effective way to treat HIV/AIDS because it has the most potential to minimize other medical costs, reduce patient-to-patient transmission, and provide the lowest overall cost to our public health system.

I urge you to lend your voice and that of PLBC to insist that open access to HIV/AIDS medications not be limited in Pennsylvania.

LFCDC enlists your help in contacting the PLBC and letting your voices be heard on this important issue that directly affects those with and for whom we work. We must speak with one voice on the message that any limitation or further barrier to open access to HIV/AIDS medications is unacceptable. So, we’re asking that you consider 1) writing the PLBC and urging them to speak out at the P & T meeting scheduled for May 23rd; and/or 2) giving testimony (there's a 2-minute limit) at the meeting. The deadline for registering to give testimony is May 9th. Info on the May 23rd P & T meeting and embedded link for testimony registration follows:

Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee

The next meeting of the Pennsylvania DPW P&T Committee is tentatively scheduled for:

May 23, 2012 at 10:00am
Child Welfare Training Center
403 East Winding Hill Road
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

The final agenda will be posted prior to the meeting. More information on the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee is available at this page.

P&T Meeting Public Testimony Request Form

The Public Testimony Registration Form must be submitted to request a time slot for public testimony at the P&T meetings. Please review the Testimony Procedures

Monday, June 27, 2011

LFCDC Sponsors Community Health Fair in Germantown!

Despite the fact that it was a Monday, crowds were drawn to Liberation Fellowship Community Development Corporation's Health Fair today at Vernon Park in Germantown. Free hoagies, bottles of water, face painting and music were provided to neighbors of the Germantown vicinity who stopped by for HIV, STD, Blood Pressure, Hepatitis C, Hearing and Dental testing.

Organizations represented at the fair included: Positive Voices of Philadelphia, Inc., Positive Women's Network, Circle of Care, Drexel University's UJIMA Coalition, The Philadelphia AIDS Consortium, Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, The Office of Doctor A.V. Hankins M.D., FACP and the Hispanic Health Network. Each table offered advice and brochures for passers-by. Hearing screening was provided by Britt Cardwell. LFCDC conducted so many free HIV tests, that we ran out of test forms! Children had their faces painted by resident artist Minika Hull whose colorful flowers made each child walk away smiling! We offer a special thank you to Lynn Fields Harris, Executive Director of Center In The Park whose staff loaned us tables for the fair.

Major kudos go to Health Fair Organizer Dawna Edwards-Watson an AmeriCorps Volunteer LFCDC staff member and founder of Positive Voices of Philadelphia, Inc. whose tireless efforts yielded an extremely successful event.

Friday, April 29, 2011


John Elliott Churchville, Interim President of The Greater Germantown Business Association, Inc. (GGBA) announced today that the GGBA Petition drive in opposition to the placement of Save-A-Lot and Dollar Tree stores at Chelten and Pulaski Avenues has garnered over 1,000 signatures. “With the support of many neighbors and neighborhood block groups, the Petition drive has reached at least 1,000 people in just 8 days,” Churchville said. “I am particularly thankful for the support that our State Representative Rosita Youngblood has given to this community. She was the only public official whom we reached out to who took a stand on behalf of our community against the Pulaski Partners’ Save-A-Lot/Dollar Tree plan,” said Churchville. “When our elected representatives stand with us on issues about which we are very concerned, we need to recognize and applaud them for that stand. We don’t hesitate to laud Representative Youngblood for being a true representative of the will of the people in her legislative district.”

Churchville noted that many individuals, from block captains to whole blocks of people, joined with GGBA in its effort to halt the development of low-end stores in Germantown that actually inhibit mid- to high-end stores’ locating in the Germantown community. “Low-end stores breed more low-end stores. No mid-end or upper-end store will compete with a low-end,” said Churchville.

“GGBA is grateful to all the residents and community groups who have supported its Petition campaign. We look forward to building a continuing, inclusive relationship, so that business owners, residents and community groups can work together to upgrade our beloved Germantown community.”

The mission of GBBA is to build a strong, inclusive, culturally diverse business association that will positively influence the sustainable economic development of the Greater Germantown Business Corridor. Its vision is to create a vibrant, diverse and safe atmosphere that invites consumers and businesses from every ethnic and cultural background to locate, live, work, eat, shop, learn and play in the Greater Germantown community.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Liberation Fellowship Supports The Greater Germantown Business Association's Petition Drive to Stop Sav-A-Lot Placement at Chelten & Pulaski Avenues

Germantown residents, community activists and organizations have expressed outrage at the proposed Sav-A-Lot store that is planned for a mini-mall at Chelten and Pulaski Avenues. In response to our own and the community's concern about what is proposed and how it was proposed without any community or local business input, The Greater Germantown Business Association (GGBA) is initiating a petition drive to collect 1,000 signatures of community residents to duplicate and send to our elected officials.

We take the position that if, as a united community, we do not want this facility in our neighborhood we have the power to stop it. If you agree with our position, please visit GGBA's website at download and print out the Petition in the EVENTS & NEWS page.

Feel free to have your friends, neighbors and colleagues who live in the Germantown area sign it. (Our student interns will also be circulating the petition in the neighborhood.) We believe that with the support of the many residents and community-based organizations in the Germantown area, together we can stop the plans that were made behind our back and without our input. Join us and watch as together our united action will change what was planned without our consent.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

LFCDC Co-Sponsors Training for Front-Line HIV/AIDS Care Workers and Advocates

On Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 9:00, city wide HIV Testers, Care Providers, Case Managers and Social Workers gathered together at Christ Community Baptist Church. The church, located at 1224-30 N. 41st Street between Girard and Parkside Avenues where Reverend Arthur White ( a long time HIV/AIDS prevention and education advocate) presides, hosted our three hour training seminar, the first of 10 scheduled monthly this year. The training was jointly sponsored by the Health Federation of Philadelphia and Liberation Fellowship Community Development Corporation as an effort to empower, encourage and enhance the skills of HIV front-line advocates.

This month’s topic was: HIV medications: How they Work, Common Side Effects and Adherence Issues. Renetta Mosley, Patient and Community Affairs Manager of Brystol-Myers Squibb was the guest speaker. In addition to presenting information about various medications and their side effects, Renetta stressed why it is so necessary to advise clients to ask their physicians questions specific to their reactions to medications, as well as their knowing themselves what it is they are taking. She also emphasized the importance of medication information being understood by staff members in order for them to pass the knowledge along to their clients, with an ultimate goal of replacing the feeling of being overwhelmed to empowered.

Next Meeting
HIV Science Review and Latest Developments
Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.
Christ Community Baptist Church - 1224-30 N. 41st St. Philadelphia, PA 19104
Guest Speaker:
Roberta Laguerre-Frederique, MD – Clinical Director Dorothy Mann Center for Pediatric and Adolescent HIV at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children

Sunday, December 19, 2010

LFCDC Chairman Visits AIDS Laboratory in New York

Philadelphia BTAN IAVI Visit Report

On Thursday, December 16th, my Philadelphia BTAN Co-Chair Danielle M. Parks and I (John Elliott Churchville) visited and toured the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) laboratory in Brooklyn, New York. The visit had been arranged by the Black AIDS Institute (BAI). We were joined by Phill Wilson and A. Cornelius Baker, BAI’s President/CEO and Board President, respectively, as well as BAI national staff members and our BTAN counterpart Co-Chairs from Houston, TX and Jackson, MS.

Our day at IAVI began with a welcome breakfast followed by welcoming remarks and a program overview by IAVI’s President and CEO, Seth Berkley. He passionately described IAVI’s world-wide mission to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world. With offices in Nairobi, Kenya, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, New Delhi, India and Parktown, South Africa, IAVI has not only been able to attract and support some of the world’s brightest and best HIV researchers and scientists, but also to strategically locate them where the results of their work will most directly benefit the people most severely affected by the HIV pandemic. Seth also shared with us his excitement about IAVI’s and partners’ follow-up on their 2009 finding of two new, potent broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV and identifying their binding site on the virus. Even more potent, broadly neutralizing antibodies were found in 2010 and are currently being studied. (Because HIV mutates early and often, a successful HIV vaccine must contain broadly neutralizing antibodies—i.e., rare substances that recognize and attack multiple variants or mutations of HIV.)

Following Seth’s remarks, Phill Wilson gave a brief history of the 10-year birthing process that brought forth the Black AIDS Institute and the strides that BAI has made since its inception. Then he introduced Jeffrey Crowley, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.

Jeffrey Crowley shared President Obama’s conviction that despite fiscal limitations, there was bipartisan support for the work of his office, and that he did not anticipate any change in direction stemming from the recent mid-term election results. He encouraged all of us to be familiar with the National HIV Strategy and the National Implementation Plan as starting places for our advocacy work.

A panel discussion followed which was moderated by Lisa Beyer, IAVI’s Senior Vice President for Public Affairs. The panelists featured all the above-named speakers with the addition of Tokes Osubu, CEO of Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD). Immediately after the related Q & A session, we were led on a tour of the facility by Rick King, IAVI’s Laboratory Vice President.

After putting on our laboratory coats, gloves and goggles, we were led into the lab of IAVI’s Principal Scientist, Sanjay Phogat, who, with his world-wide team of colleagues, had discovered the two powerful broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV, and had identified a target on the virus to which these antibodies bind. I cannot adequately describe the personal impact that meeting this very brilliant, humble, committed and passionate HIV superhero had on me. It is one thing to understand the passion of those of us who are fighting the HIV/AIDS battle in the trenches of counseling, testing and linking persons to care, but it is quite another to experience first-hand the passion exhibited by scientists committed to finding an HIV vaccine that will work anywhere and everywhere in the world to halt all future HIV infections. And Dr. Phogat was not the only passionate and committed scientist that we met at IAVI: every single lab that we visited was headed and staffed by people who were fixated on either: 1) designing and developing vaccine candidates to prevent HIV infection; 2) designing and developing vaccine candidates to control HIV infection; or 3) accelerating vaccine candidates to clinical trials and advancing the most promising to efficacy trials.

The day at IAVI so impacted me that I felt obligated to share its highlights with all of my known co-workers in the HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment arena of struggle. Although our struggle must continue in earnest, there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel…and it is not a freight train headed in our direction. Rather, it is a light of hope and encouragement that everything we do matters. We must believe that our unswerving persistence in this work will eventuate in the successful eradication of HIV as a debilitating disease within our very own lifetime. A luta continua!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

BTAN Philadelphia To Offer Focused State-of-the-Art Trainings for HIV Medical Case Managers, Activists and Care Providers in 2011

Co-chairs of BTAN Philadelphia, Danielle M. Parks, Program Director of the Women’s Anonymous Test Site and John Elliott Churchville, Chairman and CEO of Liberation Fellowship CDC, announced today the launching of BTAN Philadelphia’s Information and Advocacy Project set to begin operation in February, 2011.

“Over the past year, Philadelphia’s HIV/AIDS service organizations, spurred on by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), have transitioned from a social service type case management model to a medical case management model,” said Danielle Parks. “So there’s an increasing need to ensure that medical case managers, care outreach specialists and prevention counseling and testing specialists are well versed in the science behind HIV medical care, treatment and adherence, so that they can be more proactive in assisting their patients to get into treatment earlier and stay in treatment.” Parks went on to explain that Philadelphia BTAN proposes to convene a ten-month medical treatment and care training program for case managers, care outreach specialists, prevention counseling and testing specialists, AIDS Service Providers and community stakeholders. The sessions will be three hours long and are scheduled once-per-month over a 10-month period from February through November, 2011, on the second Thursday of each month.

John Churchville added that the trainings will culminate in an HIV/AIDS symposium to be held in December, 2011, where participants will share with the HIV treatment and advocacy community what they have learned from the training. “This Project contributes to the overarching vision of BTAN by improving the quality of HIV/AIDS treatment and care for Black Americans by providing medical case managers and care outreach specialists with the tools they need to empower patients to begin treatment earlier, better manage and monitor their own care, and adhere to their treatment regimen,” Churchville said. He indicated that the Project goal is to train, motivate and support medical case managers and care outreach specialists in deepening their knowledge of the science of HIV and AIDS. This includes the various medications that are effective in their treatment, and the ways to communicate that knowledge to patients that build the patients’ health literacy and confidence in communicating with health professionals involved in their treatment.

The first training scheduled for Thursday, February 10th will cover HIV Medications: How they work, Common Side Effects, and Adherence Issues. Early registration for the series of 10 free trainings will open on Wednesday, December 15th. To pre-register, contact Danielle M. Parks at, or John Elliott Churchville at

BTAN Philadelphia, is the local affiliate of The Black Treatment Advocates Network (BTAN), a dynamic national network laying the foundation for a new era in Black American HIV/AIDS advocacy. BTAN addresses the disproportionate impact HIV/AIDS has on the Black community by focusing on training, mobilizing and networking to improve HIV/AIDS treatment and care for Black Americans. BTAN, the only collaboration of its kind, links Black Americans with HIV into care and treatment, strengthens local and national leadership, connects influential peers, raises HIV science and treatment literacy in Black communities, and advocates for policy change and research priorities.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

LFCDC To Host HIV Awareness Open House

On Wednesday, OCTOBER 27, 2010, Liberation Fellowship CDC will host an HIV Awareness Open House at the VERNON HOUSE (5800 Germantown Avenue) in Vernon Park. The event will run from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and will include a continental breakfast for all who attend.

A presentation including updated information and statistics about HIV in Philadelphia will be provided as well as an open discussion forum about what can be done within the Germantown community to help educate and assist in the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Come Join us!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

LFCDC's Call To Link HIV/AIDS Work To The Environmental Justice Movement

Environmental Justice is that state of affairs in which the last, least and lost of us are able to 1) live in safe, eco-friendly living spaces that promote health and a sense of well-being while having access to the same quality of health care that affluent people enjoy; 2) work in life-affirming pursuits that contribute to the building of social networks that behave like caring extended families while promoting a sustainable green economy; and 3) produce products and services that preserve out planet and add value, meaning and purpose to their own as well as their community’s life. There is no country on the face of the earth that has not been plagued by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. However, in each country the demographic that is hardest hit is the last, least and lost of us—the marginalized poor and oppressed. In the United States of America, that demographic includes African Americans at an alarming rate, as well as Hispanic and Latino populations.

Since the U.S. epidemic began in 1981, more than 560,000 people have died of AIDS. More than one million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, with roughly one quarter of these persons unaware that they are infected. According to epidemiological data gathered for 2006, approximately 56,300 people became infected with HIV. Across America, African Americans made up the highest proportion of new HIV infections with an estimated 24,900 new infections in 2006. For the same year, more infections occurred among young people 13-29 than any other age group, with 19,200 new infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone in the United States is infected with HIV every 9½ minutes. Although African Americans make up approximately 12% of the U.S. population, we account for nearly 50% of all new HIV diagnoses. In Philadelphia, epidemiological data for 2007 indicate that African Americans made up 61.3% of all new HIV cases reported.

Since it has been shown that race and poverty are predictors of HIV incidence (the number of new HIV/AIDS cases reported during a given time period) and HIV prevalence (the total number of people living with HIV and AIDS) confirms these findings, it seems clear to me that a successful frontal assault on HIV/AIDS in the African American and Latino communities must of necessity be also a frontal assault on poverty and oppression in these communities.

The same demographic that suffers the most from HIV/AIDS is also the demographic that has the highest rates of crime, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, hepatitis C and sexually transmitted diseases. My concern to link the HIV/AIDS struggle with the larger Environmental Justice Movement is motivated by two facts. First, our work in the HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and linkage to care arena has been placed in a box that virtually limits our conversations to HIV/AIDS activists alone. Second, environmental groups are rather white and insular and lack the vision to see the connection between greening the planet and ending poverty and the diseases and social degradation that accompany it. By enlarging the HIV/AIDS struggle and linking it to the Environmental Justice Movement, we succeed in creating a much larger and expanded network of activists that is inclusive of the last, least and lost of us.

Therefore, the National Brownfields Conference that is coming to Philadelphia from April 3–5, 2011 is the perfect strategic opportunity for us to think outside the box and link our HIV/AIDS education, prevention and treatment movement with the Environmental Justice Movement. The Conference will bring approximately 8,000 people from all over the country to Philadelphia. We have an unprecedented opportunity to frame the HIV/AIDS work that we do in Environmental Justice terms, and to share that work with environmental activists from across the country. For more information on how your organization can participate in the Conference, please contact me, John Elliott Churchville, ASAP at or (215) 848-8511.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer Release of LFCDC Chairman's Latest Book

John Elliott Churchville announced the release of his latest book, Leadership Lessons from Jesus. The book focuses on the teachings of Jesus in the four Gospels, and relates them to the current community struggles around issues of fairness and justice. The purpose of Leadership Lessons from Jesus is to showcase the revolutionary nature and content of Jesus’ teachings about the kingdom of God and to present him and his claims outside the traditional framework of religious dogma. The book is published by Infinity Publishing and is available directly online at It is also available from and Barnes and Noble.

Liberation Fellowship CDC Named Official AmeriCorps ACTS HIV Site

Liberation Fellowship Community Development Corporation (LFCDC) has been named an official AmeriCorps Access to Care Through Service (ACTS) HIV education, outreach, counseling and testing site by The Philadelphia AIDS Consortium (TPAC), creator of the AmeriCorps ACTS national program that serves Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and California.
Beginning on September 1st, AmeriCorps volunteers will be stationed at LFCDC’s HIV/AIDS counseling and testing site located in historic Vernon House in Germantown’s Vernon Park. They will be engaged in HIV/AIDS awareness through community outreach and education activities.
Created by The Philadelphia AIDS Consortium (TPAC) in 2000, the ACTS program is the first AmeriCorps National Direct volunteer program geared to self-empower individuals who are living with, affected by or wanting to serve as community educators about HIV/AIDS in our communities. Following the format of self-empowering groups facilitated by other organizations across the country, the ACTS program develops an atmosphere of service learning opportunities and various educational programs that enhance volunteers’ lives while having a deep impact on the communities AmeriCorps members serve.
Educational programs offered to volunteers include basic Case Management Skills, Living with HIV/AIDS, Medical Treatments and Oral Health, Cultural Diversity, Managed Care, HIV and Immigration, Sex Education, Self-Esteem, Decision Making, Values Clarification and Developing Job Skills.
LFCDC was founded in 2006 by members of Liberation Fellowship Church of Jesus as a separate stand-alone outreach and community development expression of the church’s commitment to positive and progressive personal and social change. Liberation Fellowship CDC is a federally tax-exempt charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Its purpose is to engage in charitable projects and educational activities that develop community leadership skills, encourage low income housing and economic development, provide free HIV counseling and testing services and support green job creation in the Germantown area of Philadelphia. The ultimate goal of the organization is to develop positive, value-laden, replicable program models that are readily adaptable to other urban areas of the country.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New!! "Leadership Lessons From Genesis"

John Elliott Churchville, Ph.D., J.D., Chairman/CEO of Liberation Fellowship CDC announced today the release of his new book, Leadership Lessons from Genesis, a Leadership Development Bible Commentary on the first book of the Bible. “The purpose of the book is to extract kingdom leadership lessons and principles that will encourage, support, and sustain kingdom social activists as they engage in God’s struggle for liberation of the oppressed and social justice for the poor,” Churchville said.

Leadership Lessons from Genesis is the third book that Churchville has published with Infinity Publishing. The other books are Sermons for Subversives and Leadership Lessons from Exodus. Visit our website to learn more.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Liberation Fellowship Church of Jesus' "STRAIGHT UP WORD!" Has A New Home!

Straight Up Word! is a thought provoking Bible study presented by Pastor John Elliott Churchville, Ph.D, J.D.

Each week, Pastor Churchville examines the Bible to gain biblical and spiritual understanding of the leadership lessons that believers can apply in their everyday living.

The program was launched in 2008, and Liberation Fellowship Church of Jesus,has been broadcasting Sunday's at 9:30 a.m. on WNWR 1540 AM. Since then, we gained loyal listeners who have expressed their desire to access the relevant teachings that this program has to offer at any given time as opposed to a certain time frame.

We are pleased to announce that you can now listen to the weekly lessons on our website at

To our faithful listeners, this is our way of thanking you!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

LFCDC's "New HIV Intitiative" for the New Year!

Liberation Fellowship Community Development Corporation (LFCDC) will be adding free HIV counseling and testing services to its ongoing HIV training and community outreach activities in 2010. Thanks to technical and training assistance from the Philadelphia AIDS Consortium and the generosity of the Central Germantown Council, testing supplies and space have been provided to LFCDC for its HIV counseling and testing activities in the Northwest section of Philadelphia.

Beginning Wednesday, January 20,2010, LFCDC will be providing HIV counseling and testing services on Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Saturday mornings from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., and Monday evenings from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00p.m., at Vernon House, located at 5800 Germantown Avenue in Vernon Park, Germantown and Chelten Avenues.

State certified HIV counselors will provide confidential counseling and testing, as well as health related resource referrals on a walk-in or appointment basis. LFCDC's weekly outreach to schools and community organizations in the Germantown/Mt.Airy area, as well as its special HIV education programs will continue throughout 2010.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mt. Airy's Local Art Exhibit to Feature Paintings and Sculptures by Nancy-Ellen

"A juried art exhibition in the many shops, cafe and public spaces of Mt. Airy" is the invitation to all by the Mount Airy Business Association who is hosting their MT AIRY'S FOCUS ON LOCAL ART EXHIBIT November 6th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and November 7th from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Featured will be local artists who will have their work displayed on and along the Mt. Airy Business corridor which runs from the 6300 to the 7000 block of Germantown Avenue. Shops and businesses that run into the avenue within that designated area are participating as well.

Two of the artists featured will be our very own Nancy-Ellen, who recently published her first novel "Nana's Wicker Back". Her sculptures and paintings will be at North by Northwest and Blackbone Gallery, both located in the 7000 and 7100 blocks of Germantown Avenue. In addition, Nancy's son Lamont Wilson will be showcasing his portraits and landscape photographs.

This is a wonderful opportunity to get out, enjoy the autumn season with a casual stroll through scenic Mt. Airy and check out the great works of art created by Philadelphia's artists See you there!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Canvas Soup Beauty Lounge Hosts local author Nancy-Ellen's Book Signing!

On Saturday September 26th at 6:00pm Canvas Soup Beauty Lounge (located at 6143 Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia, PA) opened it's doors to host their first book signing.

Local community activist and artist Nancy-Ellen Churchville, President and COO of Liberation Fellowship Community Development Corporation featured, read an excerpt and signed purchased copies of her first novel "Nana's Wicker Back", a story of a lost woman who was commissioned by her ancestors to settle a matter that had been haunting their family for generations.

The atmosphere was charged with energy and excitement as friends, family, customers and business affiliates poured through the doors of Canvas Soup Beauty Lounge seeking to purchase or receive a signature of Nancy-Ellen's novel, as Ms. Bridget-Word Cunningham, proprietor of the facility graciously received guests and facilitated the event with the utmost of grace and ease.

Canvas Soup Beauty Lounge is a state-of-the-arts, and cutting edge beauty lounge. It is ahead of it's time, as the owner and staff members rejuvenate and educate their clients to incorporate beauty and health into a life-long regimen amidst a backdrop and atmosphere of total serenity. Canvas Soup Beauty Lounge was inspired to elevate the consciousness of well-being by embracing the art of grooming while combining it with total relaxation.

Liberation Fellowship Community Development Corporation wants to thank all who came out to support Nancy-Ellen at that most memorable event and especially thank Bridget-Word Cunningham and her excellent staff for hosting the affair!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

GGBA Explores Creation of "Green Business District" in Germantown

John Elliott Churchville, Chairman/CEO of Liberation Fellowship Community Development Corporation and Interim President of The Greater Germantown Business Association, Inc. (GGBA) announced today that the GGBA has engaged in a process to join with other small historic communities (The Germantown Avenue Business Corridor is a National Historic Landmark) around the state to form the Network of Urban Ecology Communities (NUEC). “Our strategic partners in this endeavor are the School of Architecture of Philadelphia University, along with Lafayette College, and Easton University in Easton, PA,” Churchville said

Churchville noted that “These academic institutions are in the early stages of developing an Institute for the Network that will coordinate the in-depth studies of Network communities to provide the baseline data necessary for planning and carrying out forward-looking ecological projects that will serve as national models of urban ecological community development.”

Initial participants in the Network will include Germantown (through the GGBA), East Falls, the West Ward Urban Ecology Project of Easton, PA, the five Upper Schuylkill Historic Main Street towns, Ridgeway, and the Uptown section of Harrisburg, PA. “The objectives of the Network are to join efforts in creating ‘green collar jobs,’ unique Green Businesses as models for economic development, and the development of urban housing rehabilitation and weatherization projects that integrate Green building and historic rehabilitation standards that are both practical and affordable to low and moderate income homeowners within the ambit of the Network,” Churchville noted.

Indicating a strategic shift in the GGBA’s focus, Churchville added: “The GGBA’s specific focus for the immediate future will be on investigating the feasibility and creation of a ‘Green Business District’ along Germantown Avenue near the Town Hall Project. This will involve visiting selected national Green business chains and encouraging them to locate stores in Germantown, recruiting Philadelphia area Green businesses to relocate to Germantown, and helping existing Germantown businesses to take the necessary steps to ‘Go Green’ in incremental, affordable steps in order to benefit from the growing national economic trend that is shifting to Green products and services.”

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Book Release and Signing!

Philadelphia native painter and sculptor Nancy-Ellen has now ventured into a new form of self-expression!

On July 24, 2009 she released her first novel "Nana's Wicker Back" and is enjoying the positive feedback and results of her endeavor. "Nana's Wicker Back" is a provocative tale about a lost woman who is commissioned by her ancestors to settle a matter that has haunted their family for generations.

On September 26,2009 at 6:00pm, Canvas Soup Beauty Lounge (6143 Germantown Avenue, Phila., PA) will host and showcase Nancy-Ellen for her 1st book signing. All are invited to come out and celebrate her latest accomplishment.

Canvas Soup Beauty Lounge was inspired to elevate the consciousness of well-being by embracing the art of grooming combined with relaxation. Their desires have always been to educate and interact with their guests through teaching some of the very basic and the not so basic skills of beauty. Their beauty lounge houses their very own cosmetic line along with retail and educational platforms to train and assist guests in their desires to learn more.

Canvas Soup Beauty Lounge is located close to the corners of Germantown Avenue and Tulpehocken Street in the Germantown section of Philadelphia.

For more details about the book signing event, contact Nancy-Ellen at (215) 848-8511 or Bridget-Word Cunningham at (215) 991-6009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Leading in Difficult Times

A series of Two Leadership Training Seminars Designed for Re-Thinking and Re-Tooling for Today’s Issues, Problems and Opportunities

Facilitated by: John Elliott Churchville, Ph.D., J.D.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Liberation Fellowship Community Development Corporation

Each 1 ½-hour interactive leadership training seminar provides specific insights for developing enhanced leadership skills that are required for successful navigation of movements, institutions, organizations, families, and one’s self through hard times.

Session 1: Leading from the Bottom: Making My Change in Changing Times Wednesday, September 9, 2009
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
440 North Broad Street, Room 1169

Session 2: Leading from the Margin: Changing My Behavior
Thursday, September 10, 2009
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
440 North Broad Street, Room 1169

Leading from the Bottom: Making My Change in Changing Times

In this first leadership training seminar, participants will focus on personal identity and purpose issues (Who am I? What is my mission in life?) These issues will be presented in the context of the present global economic crisis. Participants will explore fundamental leadership concepts and learn the basic steps necessary to recreate, reposition and redeploy themselves for optimum service to family, community and society.

Leading from the Margin: Changing My Behavior

In this second leadership training seminar, participants will focus on developing positive behaviors that will move them from where they are to where they wish to be in order to maximize their full human potential. Participants will also learn the basic steps to forming positive leadership habits and will explore their contagious nature. In addition, they will learn how to use their own growth and development as the catalyst for encouraging people around them to do the same.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Book Releases by Liberation Fellowship CDC Principals

Nana’s Wicker Back by Nancy-Ellen
ISBN: 0-7414-5517-X

NANCY-ELLEN is President and COO of Liberation Fellowship Community Development Corporation and co-producer/co-host of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, a weekly radio journal that focuses on sustainable economic development, HIV/AIDS education, environmental justice issues and the arts and culture. She is a writer, painter, sculptor, teacher and entrepreneur who is a native of Philadelphia, PA. Her new novel has just been released by Infinity Publishing. Entitled Nana’s Wicker Back, the book is a provocative tale of one lost woman who is commissioned by her ancestors to settle a serious matter that has haunted their family for generations.

The book is immediately available by accessing the following link:

It will also be available through and Barnes & Noble.

Leadership Lessons from Exodus by John Elliott Churchville, Ph.D.
ISBN: 0-7414-5490-4

JOHN ELLIOTT CHURCHVILLE, Ph.D. is Chairman and CEO of Liberation Fellowship Community Development Corporation and co-producer/co-host of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, a weekly radio journal that focuses on sustainable economic development, HIV/AIDS education, environmental justice issues and the arts and culture. He maintains a law practice and a leadership training and organizational development consulting firm in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Churchville’s new book, entitled Leadership Lessons from Exodus has just been released by Infinity Publishing. Leadership Lessons from Exodus is a Leadership Development Bible Commentary that discovers practical leadership lessons from the first 14 chapters of Exodus that can be applied to the everyday work of community outreach organizers and social activists.

The book is immediately available by accessing the following link:

It will also be available through and Barnes & Noble.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


In regcognition of HIV/AIDS Awareness Month and because of the successful turnout of our HIV/AIDS screening in April, LIBERATION FELLOWSHIP COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION is conducting another seminar and screening event TUESDAY evening, JUNE 3o, 2009 at the First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, 35 W. Chelten Avenue from 6:00 to 7:00pm.

We are offering a $20.00 GIFT CARD from the FRESH GROCER to the first 30 people who show up for testing! In addition to the test, participants will learn more about this dreaded disease through a presentation called "HIV...The Thief". Certified testers will be available to answer questions and provide guidance and literature to all who attend.

For more information, contact Nancy at (215) 848-8511 (please leave a message).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Leadership Training Seminars Designed for Re-Thinking and Re-Tooling for Today's Challenges as well as Opportunities

"Leading from the Bottom": Making My Change in Changing Times
is the first seminar of a five part series being held at Episcopal Church of the Advocate 18th and Fr. Paul Washington Avenew (formally Diamond Street) beginning Monday, June 22, 2009 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM.

In this first seminar facilitated by John Elliott Churchville, Ph.D., participants will focus on personal identity and purpose issues (Who am I, and what is my purpose?). These issues will be presented in the context of the present global economic crisis. Participants will learn the basic steps necessary to recreate, reposition and redeploy themselves for optimum service to family, community and society.

Each 2-hour interactive leadership training seminar will provide specific insights for developing enhanced leadership skills that are required for successful navigation of movements, institutions, organizations and families through hard times.

Future topics (dates to be announced) will be:
Leading from the Margin: Changing My Behavior
Leading from the Center: Changing the Way I Think
Leading from the Outside: Creating Strategic Partnerships
Leading from the Top: Leveraging the Present to Create the Future

Thursday, May 7, 2009

FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2009


Liberation Fellowship CDC is offering its Male Student Mentoring Initiative pilot mentoring program to 8th and 11th grade male youths who qualify for its 6 week course. The program will provide stipends to the students and their school as well as a stipend to their parent or guardian.

The project seeks to provide leadership training and mentoring infused with HIV/AIDS and STI awareness training to separate groups of 10 middle and 10 senior high school males.

Personal responsibility and accountability for being progressive leaders and positive role models in the schools and larger community will be stressed.

STD and HIV/AIDS education strategies will be explored as a part of the students work product which will require them to produce an education event for their parents and peers at the end of the course. The Pilot runs from May 1, 2009 to June 18, 2009.

Read more about this fabulous opportunity by visiting our website at: (you'll find our MSMI Pilot Program brochure under "Packages").
To apply or recieve more information, please contact: John or Nancy before April 30th at (215) 848-8511 (please leave a message).


Were doing it again! Liberation Fellowship is conducting a free HIV screening and education service for our Germantown residents. The last time we did it (in February) it was a real success.

The screening will be held Thursday evening, April 30, 2009 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm at the FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN GERMANTOWN 35 W. Chelten Avenue (corner of Germantown & Chelten Aves.)

The first 17 people to test will receive a free $20.00 gift card to the Fresh Grocer.

Come as one, come as a family * and receive 2 gift cards! If youcome early, you'll leave informed, tested and paid!

*(proof of same address is enough)


Liberation Fellowship Is On The AIR!

Liberation Fellowship CDC is proud to announce its broadcast of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, a radio journal that focuses on our community's health, environment, sustainable economic development, and the arts and culture.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is sponsored by Circle of Care, the primary publicly funded HIV care system for families in Philadelphia.

Listen to our broadcast on Wednesdays, at 2:00 pm on WNWR 1540 AM. You can access the program through streaming aduio at You can also go there to listen to our latest archived broadcast.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is a production of Liberation Felowship CDC where we are targeting community development one block at a time!