WHO WE ARE. WHAT WE DO.

1 Voice Prayer Movement, Inc. (1VPM) began as a prayer ministry which was founded and led by Cheri L. Mills in 2009. As a prayer ministry, 1VPM, Inc. met at a different host church in Louisville, KY to pray for the city, state, nation, and world. In 2016, the prayer focus centered on racial justice for the American Descendants of Slavery in the United States; as well as justice for the poor and oppressed in the U.S. and other nations.

Influenced by the philosophy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the work of 1VPM, Inc. broadened in 2023. Dr. King contended in his book, Strength to Love, on page 138, that “we must pray with unceasing passion for racial justice, but we must also use our minds to develop a program, organize ourselves into mass nonviolent action, and employ every resource of our bodies and souls to bring an end to racial injusticeWe must pray unrelentingly for economic justice, but we must also work diligently to bring into being those social changes that make for a better distribution of wealth within our nation and in the undeveloped countries of the world.” In 2023, the ministry of 1VPM, Inc. became a 501C3 non-profit organization with this mission: Empowering leaders through prayer, education, and social justice.

Cheri L. Mills - Founder / President

For approximately 30 years, Cheri L. Mills has served in full-time ministry at St. Stephen Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. Cheri served as the leader and coordinator of the prayer and litany for The Angela Project, a three-year racial justice initiative, which was presented by Simmons College of KY (Louisville’s only HBCU). She serves on the Executive Board of World Day of Prayer, USA. Cheri has published prayer & justice resources used by international faith organizations for racial justice work. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Western Kentucky University and is pursuing a Master of Divinity Degree at the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky.

Dr. Kevin W. Cosby – Board Member

For more than 40 years, Dr. Kevin W. Cosby has served as the pastor of St. Stephen Baptist Church, the largest African American Church, and the largest private employer of African Americans in the state of Kentucky. In 2005, Dr. Cosby was inaugurated as the 13th President of Simmons College of Kentucky, Louisville’s only Historically Black College & University. Dr. Cosby has an earned Doctor of Ministry degree and is pursuing his second doctorate – a PhD at Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, OH.  He has a recently released book which is a Biblical commentary on the American Descendants of Slavery entitled: “Getting to the Promised Land: Black America and the Unfinished Work of the Civil Rights Movement”, published by Westminster John Knox Press.

Rev. Marcia Cole-Morton – Board Member

Pastor Marcia J. Cole-Morton is the current pastor of Stoner Memorial A M E Zion Church in Louisville, KY.  She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Western Kentucky University.

Pastor Cole-Morton has also earned a master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Louisville, a bachelor’s degree in theology from Simmons, and a Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Seminary.

In November 2009, Pastor Morton was inducted into the Metro Area Athletic Director’s Hall of Fame. Additionally, in March 2017, she was inducted into the Kentucky High School Athletic Associations’ Hall of Fame as well as into the Louisville Male High School Hall of Fame.

 

Dr. Frank Smith, Jr. – Board Member

Dr. Smith is the founder and senior pastor of Christ’s Church for Our Community in Louisville, KY since 2000. He also serves as the senior vice-president and chief operating officer at Simmons College of Kentucky, Louisville’s only HBCU, since 2007.  Dr. Smith serves as an advocate for others through his representation on boards such as: Commissioner and Vice-Chair, Kentucky Human Rights Commission; and Board Member and former President of the Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition. Dr. Smith holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a Doctor of Divinity, Simmons College of Kentucky.

05

JULY 2024

First Friday Prayer 6PM

Host Church:
Hughlett Temple AME Zion Church
2115 W. Jefferson Street
Louisville, KY  40212

Rev. Dr. Valerie Washington, Host Pastor
Rev. Jeff Johnson & the Rivers of Living Water Band will lead in praise & worship

Educational Resources for Racial Justice

Lent of Liberation: Confronting the Legacy of American Slavery (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2021) by Cheri L. Mills

The Angela Project Presents The 400th Year Commemoration Ceremony 1619-2019: Commemorating 400 Years of Institutionalized Slavery in Colonized America (Louisville: Simmons College, 2019); by Cheri L. Mills

The Angela Project Presents 40 Days of Prayer for the Liberation of American Descendants of Slavery (Louisville: Simmons College, 2019); by Cheri L. Mills

To purchase contact Simmons College of Kentucky at [email protected] or click on the book to purchase on amazon.

The starting point for social justice is empathy – allowing yourself to really listen to oppressed and marginalized people groups so that you can get a different perspective.  Social justice deals with issues of fairness. For instance, why are there so many racial disparities — economically, academically/educationally, mass incarceration, and wealth? Why does the 100 wealthiest white families have more wealth than all Black America?

1VPM, Inc. imagines a different future – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s beloved community which seeks to dismantle the three evils of society: racism, materialism (the hording of wealth), and militarism (violence). It should be noted that the first two evils produce the third.

Suggestions on involvement in social justice: Network with Simmons College of Kentucky’s West Louisville Forum and book reads; continued political education; writing letters and lobbying to those in political power  to make a difference on behalf of the oppressed and marginalized people; pen op-eds ; and create partnership with like-minded groups.

If we may assist you with envisioning ways that your church or organization can take the first step in participating in the cause for social justice, please contact us at:

© 2023 1VPM.ORG