Communities of Transformation Invites You to the Cost of Poverty Experience August 2!


Ready for a life-changing experience? Communities of Transformation invites you to join us for this free event at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Montgomery on August 2 from 6:00 pm until 8:15 pm. Registration is required. Watch a short video about the Cost of Poverty Experience by clicking here.

The Cost of Poverty Experience is an event that offers participants a glimpse into the lives of low-income individuals and families living in our community. It is a look into the obstacles that are faced, the decisions that are made, and the consequences that impact these families every day.

The CareSource Foundation has partnered with Think Tank to develop COPE, which was co-designed with low-income individuals who have shared their story so that participants could gain greater understanding. Many organizations and communities across the nation use COPE to work more effectively with low-income families to understand and address the issues of poverty more comprehensively. Space is limited--registration is required. Please register now at


Pastors play a crucial role in developing  Communities of Transformation sites

Rev. Gene Nelson, pastor of Union Springs United Methodist Church, with COT site coordinator for Union Springs Darlene McGaw

When Communities of Transformation Coordinator Laurel Blackwell wanted to find the right person to develop a new site in Union Springs, she asked the Rev. Gene Nelson, pastor of Union Springs United Methodist Church, for a recommendation. He responded by naming Darlene McGaw, a woman he had gotten to know when the two served on a civic committee together. Now Rev. Nelson will be helping Darlene establish the network of leaders she needs to bring COT to Union Springs, Ala.

Similarly, Anita Watson, site coordinator for Brewton, relies on the support of the pastors both at the current Brewton site and the new Evergreen site. The Rev. Bill Messer, pastor at Evergreen United Methodist Church, will play a vital role in developing Communities of Transformation in Evergreen, Ala. Pastor Bill said, "The idea behind Communities of Transformation for involving all facets of a community in relationships for ministry to that community may be the best thing that’s happened in church ministry in decades.”


Volunteers at the Communities of Transformation site in Brewton

The Rev. Tony McCullough, pastor of Brewton First United Methodist Church said, "'Count it all joy' is our feeling at Brewton First Methodist about hosting COT over the last two years. We have experienced first-hand the transformation of lives in our midst through the building of intentional relationships across socioeconomic, cultural, and racial lines. Through the excellent leadership of Deborah Marriott, COT in Brewton has been a beacon of light in our community having built and now sustained an effective and collaborative ministry involving multiple denominations and agencies throughout the community. Within FUMC, we have experienced the reshaping of our missional goals, in part through COT, to take a more intentional and relational path toward making disciples of Jesus Christ in our local community. We are excited about the new leadership of Anita Watson and the many gifts and graces for ministry she will bring to the Communities of Transformation efforts to build relationships based on genuine, mutually transforming love of neighbor throughout the Brewton area. The next few months of COT in Brewton will bring exciting new opportunities to reach our community, increase ways to get involved and seek out new people who are hurting in their present circumstances and need to hear and discover the message of hope for a brighter future. "


Mobile Communities of Transformation welcomes interns...

Participants, volunteers and interns work on job readiness in Mobile

Mobile COT recently partnered with QuadW Missional Internship, which is an eight week internship where college students experience and serve at different ministries throughout the city. "The interns provided childcare and took part in our programs," said site coordinator Katy Wrona. 

One program the interns worked with was a four week program on job readiness. Katy said, "We partnered with the Mobile County Extension Office. The program focused on resume building, interview skills, and job search."

Intern Zavian Cannon, speaking about what he has learned from COT this summer, said, "Communities of Transformation helped me see the need for community and the importance of job readiness training for those who want to own their own home one day."


 ...and says farewell to Mo

Marcharkelti, center, eats dinner with participants and volunteers at Mobile COT

Marcharkelti (Mo) McKenzie, who was a Global Mission Fellow of the United Methodist Church, has been serving with Communities of Transformation in Mobile since the beginning as the site's youth coordinator. Her time of service has finished and she is going to her new job in Georgia.

Mo said, "Being a part of a ministry that teaches everyone, no matter their economic status, about poverty, gave me joy and motivation to work harder to walk with others through life."

"Marcharkelti's guidance and love has touched the life of every child who is a part of our community. Her friendship and leadership will be missed by everyone at Communities of Transformation," Katy said.



August Events

All times Central unless otherwise noted. Please check the website Events page for locations.


August 2 5:30-8:00 Meeting: How to Live Debt Free 

August 9 5:30-8:00 Meeting: Home buying versus renting

August 16 5:30-8:00 Meeting: Records and identity theft

August 23 5:30-8:00 Meeting: Resumes and job applications

August 30 5:30-8:00 Meeting: Interview preparation


August 2 5:30-8:00 Meeting 

August 9 5:30-8:00 Meeting

August 16 5:30-8:00 Meeting

August 23 5:30-8:00 Meeting

August 30 5:30-8:00 Meeting



August 8 5:30-8:00 Participant Taste and See

August 15 5:30-8:00 Meeting

August 22 5:30-8:00 Meeting

August 29 5:30-8:00 Meeting


August 4 5:30-8:00 Summer break
August 11 5:30-8:00 Summer break
August 18 5:30-8:00 Taste & See 
August 25 5:30-8:00 Start of community book study of When Helping Hurts

Phenix City (all times Eastern)

August 2 5:30-8:00 Meeting 

August 9 5:30-8:00 Meeting

August 16 5:30-8:00 Meeting

August 23 5:30-8:00 Meeting

August 30 5:30-8:00 Meeting


August 1 5:30-8:00 Taste and See

August 8 5:30-8:00 Meeting and new participant training begins

August 15 5:30-8:00 Meeting

August 22 5:30-8:00 Meeting and new volunteer training begins

August 29 5:30-8:00 Meeting











Want more?

Contact us

Laurel Akin
Communications Coordinator
Phone: 334.300.2098
Email Us

Laurel and Fred Blackwell
COT Coordinators
Phone: 334.524.3652
Email Us

Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.