In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Carol traveled to New Orleans on a local missions trip. Spending time there helped Carol discover that the Lord had given her a love for the inner city and its people. Coming back home, a desire was birthed in Carol to reach out to folks in the Birmingham inner city. More than that, she wanted to serve through a local body of believers and not a parachurch organization. There wasn’t opportunity for Carol to serve in the city with her local body at that time. However, through a variety of circumstances, it seemed that God was calling her family to link arms with another local congregation. They took this opportunity to visit The Church at Brook Hills. After visiting for a few months, Carol and her husband attended a small group.

At the first small group meeting that Carol attended, the group discussed Marks Village and the work there. Carol was ecstatic. This project was with a local church in the inner city of Birmingham — exactly what she felt God calling her to do. So, Carol and her family quickly joined efforts in Marks Village via the Homework Lab. It became apparent that God was leading Carol and her family to start a group for children on Wednesday nights. After coordinating with the local church leadership and Brook Hills staff, Carol passed out flyers and came prepped with her husband and two of her children, excited, but not sure of what God would do. The first night was a hit. Thirty children came, and forty kids came the second week. Carol realized if the group continued to grow, she would need more help. She reached out to the local missions team at Brook Hills, and the Lord provided eighteen volunteers. The Lord was also faithful to provide more children. The next week, sixty children showed up. Connections were being made in the community, children were being taught, but struggles were also evident. Space was often an issue, and sometimes logistics were dicey. Carol still longed to build community among the children and she hoped to be able to reach into homes, to connect with parents, and even entire families. These were things that the Lord alone could make happen.

As the holiday season rolled around, the Wednesday night group took a break. And then, through a series of events, the Lord closed the door and removed the opportunity to hold the Wednesday night group. A little confused, the team continued to trust that God was in control. Several months passed and one day Carol was invited to a meeting. A group of believers around and in the community met together to discuss the possibility of beginning another, similar work among children in Marks Village. It seems that God was striking similar chords in hearts throughout the community and giving them the same vision - a beautiful joint vision and ownership of ministry.

These churches banded together, along with folks from Brook Hills, to start a new ministry, led by a prominent woman in the community and co-led by Carol. When doors closed on the first ministry effort, Carol was a bit bewildered, but now, she sees that “God orchestrated the whole thing.” With new leadership and community involvement, things that Carol only dreamed and prayed would happen are coming to be. By God’s grace, the hearts of children are being changed and there has been more of an avenue to meet families, pray with them, and point them to the Lord. They have also found opportunities for discipleship among adults as the older are training up the younger to transition into leadership positions.

Carol says that the Lord has really used this last year to change her too. With a smile, Carol says, “He’s up to His stuff” – a good reminder that God is never still, but always working to make His name great and His ways known in all of the earth.



Carol and her husband, Mike, have been active members of Brook Hills since 2012. To be a part of what’s happening in Marks Village or for more information on other local missions opportunities, visit