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Our Leadership

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We’re immersed in the communities we serve.

Play Gerrel’s Story

We know that real change comes from within a community. People must be inspired and empowered to revitalize their community. Sustainable change is driven by self-determination. Period.

But we can’t inspire them if we aren’t among them.

So we don’t just visit the community — we are immersed in the community. Our Executive Director Gerrel Jones purchased a home in Ensley in 2017 and lives there today. He is demonstrating first hand each and every day what it means to put the neighbor back in the neighborhood.

Gerrel Jones

Executive Director & Board Member

Gerrel Jones

Gerrel Jones was born in Birmingham into the seemingly endless and vicious cycle of generational poverty, drugs, alcohol, and abuse.

Until he was seven years old, he was considered legally blind. At nine, he committed his first strong-armed robbery. At age 13, he ran away from home and was brought back by the police. At age 19, he was addicted to cocaine, an excessive drinker, no stranger to conflicts, and was arrested for drug trafficking. At age 24, he committed a violent homicide, fled the scene, but eventually turned himself in to Officer Dana Marsh. He then started serving his life sentence in a maximum security prison.

Little did he know Officer Marsh would impact his life for many years to come.

While in prison, Gerrel transformed his life by seeking the Holy Sprit and he gave himself to Christ in 1992. From that point forward, he was never in trouble. He counseled other inmates, and was instrumental in helping form faith-based dorms and religious education housing units within the correctional system.

Because of his exemplary conduct and work, and with the advocacy of his friend Officer Dana Marsh, he earned parole after 20 years and was released in 2012.

Drawing on his experience and his passion for his community, Gerrel has dedicated his life to serving the marginalized and underserved areas of Birmingham.

Executive Director & Board Member

Gerrel Jones

Gerrel Jones was born in Birmingham into the seemingly endless and vicious cycle of generational poverty, drugs, alcohol, and abuse.

Until he was seven years old, he was considered legally blind. At nine, he committed his first strong-armed robbery. At age 13, he ran away from home and was brought back by the police. At age 19, he was addicted to cocaine, an excessive drinker, no stranger to conflicts, and was arrested for drug trafficking. At age 24, he committed a violent homicide, fled the scene, but eventually turned himself in to Officer Dana Marsh. He then started serving his life sentence in a maximum security prison.

Little did he know Officer Marsh would impact his life for many years to come.

While in prison, Gerrel transformed his life by seeking the Holy Sprit and he gave himself to Christ in 1992. From that point forward, he was never in trouble. He counseled other inmates, and was instrumental in helping form faith-based dorms and religious education housing units within the correctional system.

Because of his exemplary conduct and work, and with the advocacy of his friend Officer Dana Marsh, he earned parole after 20 years and was released in 2012.

Drawing on his experience and his passion for his community, Gerrel has dedicated his life to serving the marginalized and underserved areas of Birmingham.

Meet Our Team

Richard E. Simmons, III

President

Richard E. Simmons, III

P: (205) 229-7326

E: richard@thecenterbham.org

Janice Hamilton

Board Member

Janice Hamilton

P: (205) 201-4275

E: jhamil1999@aol.com

Mark W. C. Martin

Board Member

Mark W. C. Martin

P: (205) 201-4275

E: mark@buildup.work

Eula Jackson

Board Member

Eula Jackson

P: (205) 201-4275

E: ejackson@trustmark.com

Melinda Furniss-Washington

Case Manager

Melinda Furniss-Washington

P: (205) 201-4275

E: melinda@renewbham.org

Vetrica Hill

Operations Manager

Vetrica Hill

P: (205) 201-4275

E: vee@renewbham.org

TaShundia McGee

Superintendent

TaShundia McGee

P: (205) 201-4275

E: admin@renewbham.org

Sandrea McAlpine

Program Director

Sandrea McAlpine

P: (205) 201-4275

E: sandrea@renewbham.org

Aaron Hawkins

Program Manager

Aaron Hawkins

P: (205) 201-4275

E: aaron@renewbham.org

Tynisha Hall

Media/Marketing Coordinator

Tynisha Hall

P: (205) 201-4275

E: tynisha@renewbham.org