We are happy to announce that In His Steps Ministries has two new board members; Sammy L. Brown and Marti Little!
Sammy L. Brown is a Lawyer at a local law firm, Butler and Snow, and a Canton native. Born and raised right in Canton, Mr. Brown graduated from Canton Highschool in 2012 and went to the University of Mississippi for his undergraduate and law degrees. Now Mr. Brown works as a commercial litigation attorney and is an active member of his community. We are so excited to have Mr. Brown on the board.
Mr. Brown was first introduced to IHS in high school while looking for ways to serve his community. He would come to the IHS campus after school 3 to 4 times a week to tutor at the S.P.A.S.E. program. Through his family instilling their faith and love for Jesus in him at a young age, Mr. Brown understood that serving others was a way to live out an active faith. Service to others is one of the foundational principles of Christianity. “Service to others is what defines you as a person,” Mr. Brown said, “my experience at IHS was my first experience with an organization dedicated to that kind of service. It helped form my view on what it means to be active in your faith.” Mr. Brown expressed that his internship with IHS as a high school student broadened his idea of what it means to serve others in Christ.
As a lawyer, Mr. Brown is dedicated to his clients and serves them through his vocation. To Mr. Brown, he sees service as offering a solution to a problem. “The service element of being a lawyer is what made me fall in love with the profession,” he said. As In His Steps Ministries’ newest board member, Mr. Brown is continuing to serve the Canton community. “Figuring out ways to be a positive impact on the board means a lot to me,” he said, “I think IHS will continue to be an important piece for Canton to grow and develop. I’m honored to be a part of that in any way possible.”
As an African American man and a native of Canton, Mississippi, Mr. Brown understands the nuances of cross-cultural relationships and the need for unity to promote change in Canton. “Change is only going to happen if we all commit to the cause,” he said, “If we all tackle the problems that face our brothers and sisters then we are creating a better life for everyone.” Scripture calls us to put our differences aside and unite as one. Galatians 3:28 states, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Additionally, scripture calls Christians to fight against oppression and injustices committed against marginalized communities. Isaiah 1:17 states, “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” Considering the historical context of Mississippi, it’s important for Christians to address its complex history in order to move forward. “Race is at the center of Mississippi’s story. We are at a crossroads where we get to decide how we want to go forward” said Mr. Brown.
We are excited to have Mr. Brown as part of the team at IHS. He has already contributed through his insight and willingness to serve. Mr. Brown is a positive role model for youth in Canton with much to offer the community. He wants to encourage anyone interested in being a part of IHS to come discover what we’re all about. “There’s a space for everyone in our mission,” he said. At IHS, we aim to walk in Christ’s footsteps keeping him at the center of all we do. “We need a lot of hands to tread this mission,” said Mr. Brown, “so come aboard and help us get to it!”
Marti Little is a staff attorney at the Support Center for Child Advocates in Philadelphia, PA. Ms. Little became acquainted with IHS through her friendship with Jasper Bacon. They were friends at Wheaton College and Ms. Little has seen how IHS has grown from its inception until now. Ms. Little studied law at the Villanova University of Law and practiced corporate law before joining Support Center for Child Advocates. Now, Ms. Little works in advocacy law for at-risk youth in the foster care system. She represents at-risk youth in court.
We are excited to welcome Ms. Little to the board at IHS and we look forward to her contribution and counsel to the team. “I’m really honored to have the opportunity to be on the board,” she said. Not only does Ms. Little have a unique skill set but she also has a heart for service. Ms. Little has a posture of humility and sensitivity when it comes to serving at-risk youth in cross-cultural settings. Ms. Little shared that in order to be effective in ministry, it’s important to hear from the voices of the community that you serve. “It would be helpful to get voices of the neighborhoods we serve in order to advise the board of ways to be creative with what we can offer older teens and young men.” Ms. Little looks forward to using her skillset of working in underserved communities and translating that to what IHS does in Canton.
As a Christian, Ms. Little understands the importance of a heart posture of humility and service when it comes to ministry. When it comes to ministry in cross-cultural settings, it’s important for Christians to, “be more intentional with their interactions and think before they speak. Ms. Little explained the importance of intentionally seeking out people to build cross-cultural and cross-racial relationships. However, it must be done so with an attitude of humility and a willingness to learn from people who are different than us. “We can learn more from observing,” she said. During his ministry, Jesus interacted with a diverse range of people, many of which were considered social outcasts in the context of his society. We can learn from his ministry and meet people where they are, listening to them, and welcoming them to the Lord’s family with open arms. “How we deliver the message matters.” Ms. Little said, “We can’t assume that we know everything.”
At IHS, we always seek to serve our community from a place of love and humility.“I think it’s vital to participate across racial lines humbly and prayerfully,” Ms. Little said. By listening to the needs and experiences of the community we serve, we can more effectively minister to them and provide them with the resources they need. Ms. Little encourages potential and current IHS friends to join our cause in Canton. There are many ways to get involved whether that be through volunteering, supporting, or serving with us. Visit our website or get in touch with us to learn more!