Reverend Barbara A. Mitchell is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana. She was born June 23, 1959 to Bob Mitchell and Katie Flounder. She began her Christian journey when only five years old at the Mount Canaan Baptist Church (Shreveport, LA), under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Harry Blake (Vice-President-at-Large, National Baptist Convention). Early on in her life, Baptist elders recognized special gifts God had given this professed Christian. As a result of the elder’s observations, Reverend Mitchell was placed under the watchful eye of appointed female Christian leaders in the church body that help mold and shape her Christ- centered servant attitude, spiritual gifts, and performance in sacred Christian environments.
Reverend Mitchell was given many opportunities to learn and be a part of numerous church ministries that created and enhanced her personal experiential knowledge about the basic auxiliary/program operations in the Baptist Church setting. During her active membership at Mount Canaan Baptist Church (1966- 1987), Reverend Mitchell worked with the following ministries; Youth Programs/Events (City-Wide), Music (Youth/Sanctuary Choir), Sunday School,
Financial Committee, Christian Education Programs, Innovative Church Programs/Grant Writing, Sacred Motivational Speaker (City-Wide), Youth Encampment Program of North Louisiana, Community Evangelism, Wednesday Night Prayer/Worship Meeting, Saturday Bible Study, and any other assignments given by her spiritual father, Dr. Blake.
Reverend Mitchell left Shreveport, Louisiana (1977) to attend college. She completed her studies at Henderson State University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) earning a B.S. (Education) degree with a double concentration in Biology and Communications. While matriculating at this university Reverend Mitchell was an academic scholar (Dean’s List), Full Scholarship-Dual Athlete (3 Sports) and President of the African American Baptist Students Organization.
Shortly after finishing her initial college degree studies, Reverend Mitchell returned to Shreveport, Louisiana to begin a professional career. With a Christian upbringing and a strong desire to serve the Lord, Reverend Mitchell worked with the following programs that provided help and support to those in need throughout her career; Caddo Parish School System, Shreveport Parks & Recreation, Caddo Community Action Agency, Mount Canaan Apartment/Day Care Complex, Volunteers of America, Caddo-Bossier Association for Retarded Citizens, Job Corps, and the Department of Labor (US).
In an effort to redirect, develop, counsel, and support disadvantaged youth across the United States, Reverend Mitchell spent twenty-eight years working in the oldest federally funded education and training program known to American citizens, Job Corps. During those years while working with this program, Reverend Mitchell navigated her career path from a part-time Recreation Assistant to one of the top five Department of Labor Compliance Officers in the United States.
While traveling over the country to provide quality services to thousands of young people and developing leaders to work with youth in the Job Corps population, Reverend Mitchell joined numerous churches under “watch care” and remained a member of Mount Canaan Baptist Church until 2010.
With a constant reminder of her spiritual gifts and the call that was identified early in her life, Reverend Mitchell moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 2008. With a complete
and confirmed commitment, she entered the McAfee School of Theology (Mercer University-ATL). She received her Master of Divinity Degree in May 2012. In 2015, Reverend Mitchell began her Doctorate Degree in Ministry and was awaiting to defend her thesis at the time of her passing.
Reverend Mitchell was also a former member of Liberty Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA and joined under the leadership of the late Dr. J. Sherman Pelt. She was ordained a minister in April 2013 and served faithfully as a member of the ministerial staff and on the church’s Administrative Leadership Team.
Reverend Mitchell was the first member to join Out of Love Ministries in February 2016, under the pastorate of Rev. Kewon Foster. She served faithfully until her hospitalization and subsequent passing on October 23, 2019.
Reverend Mitchell was preceded in death by her parents, sister, and grandparents. She leaves to cherish her memories her great aunt, Gertrude Long, Logansport, LA; her devoted and loving cousin, Ms. Michaelynne Franklin and her children, Abigail and Noah, Shreveport, LA; McAfee extended family and friends; her Louisiana family and friends; and a host of other close friends
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