Todd Jenkins is heading-up the clean-up response after a tornado swept through the area of Pearl, Mississippi, in April 2014.

Unity is oneness, not sameness. The Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. is made up of nearly 14,000 members nationwide from diverse backgrounds and professions – doctors, lawyers, teachers and politicians. For the members of a relatively small denomination, the pursuit of excellence has been a significant cornerstone in building sustainable communities for generations.

In this series, will highlight members who faithfully serve their local churches as public faces of COCHUSA – while acting as mouthpieces for our respective communities.

Alderman Todd Jenkins serves on the Pearl City Council and has served as a trustee at Sweet Rest Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. for more than 10 years.

He recently accepted the position as deacon. Jenkins has been a member of COCHUSA all of his life, following the tradition of his great-grandfather Mack Jenkins who was the first in his family to embrace the “Holiness” teachings of Bishop Charles Price Jones. The family-oriented community he grew up in has not only impacted his personal life, but also his political career.

“As I got older, having those strong roots helped me not to get too far out and do things that I wasn’t supposed to do. This community environment taught me to be accountable for the things I do and to live more like Christ. It also helped me be a better parent, husband, and person in general,” says Jenkins.

As an alderman, serving a population of 26,262 (2013), he ensures that legislative decisions and new businesses are benefiting the community. The foundation of the church gave him the necessary backbone for tough, political decision-making.

“I don’t want to put anybody’s life in jeopardy. I always keep in mind that I could be in that position, so I’m trying to imagine how it would be if I was the person affected by my decision,” he said.

As a deacon of Sweet Rest Church he continues his service to the community by assisting his pastor, Elder Joseph Pridgen, with hospital and family visits.

“We just recently paid the mortgage on our church after 13 years. I’m excited about having a new family life center soon, which will bring us together as a people. I feel like we can do anything together,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins’ career in the public spotlight has taught him to be open and transparent to the community. Pastor Pridgen describes him as honest, consistent, faithful and hard working, which makes him a trustworthy leader in the community. Jenkins has three kids with his wife Sonya.

“He has been a faithful member of the church since I became pastor at Sweet Rest Church almost 19 years ago. I have confidence in him and appreciate his spiritual maturity,” said Pridgen.

Being an open book is crucial in gaining trust as a leader, according to Jenkins. “My aunt taught me how to carry myself as a leader at a young age. I learned how to conduct business and how to speak to people,” he said.

– written by Franziska Pirkl (