March Member Spotlight
BARBARA DENISE DOUGLAS
Introducing Ms. Barbara D. Douglas! Barbara is a certified “Grady Baby”, born June 10, 1964 at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, GA. She is the mother of 3 sons: Don (37 y/o), Jeff (34 y/o), and Tim (30 y/o); and 2 daughters: Temp (27 y/o) and Moonk (26 y/o). Barbara also shares her love with 7 grandchildren (5 boys, 2 girls).
Barbara attended Sylvan High School and later transferred to J.E. Brown High School, where she graduated. Her employment background has been Clerical Support and Customer Service. Ever seeking personal development and professional advancement, Barbara has been a student at Atlanta Area Tech, taking courses in the Licensed Practical Nurse program and Early Childhood Development program. Currently, she is enrolled in the Cosmetology program, fine tuning her natural talent as a hair stylist. She is on track to graduate in May 2018 as a licensed Cosmetologist! With earned credentials and a strong clientele base, her end goal is to become her own boss as Owner/Operator of “Amazing Touch Beauty and Nail Salon”!
There is one career choice that Barbara wants to pursue that is more of a labor of love than a business venture. It’s her dream to start a transitional home for young women, “because life is hard and the streets are tough.” She wants to create a safe place for younger women to take refuge from abuse at the hands of others, and themselves. This dream is inspired by her own astonishing life experiences. The synopsis of Barbara’s life is the dichotomous “tragedy to triumph” story…where only the strong survive by the power of God.
Barbara was raised in the church. From childhood she was taught to love the Lord, love your family, and live for God. However, the messages of love she heard at church were a far cry from the lack of love in her home. Her home life was tumultuous. Both of her parents lacked the cognitive tools to nurture, love, and positively affirm her. Her mother was the neighborhood bootlegger. She also manufactured and sold drugs in the home. Her father was physically abusive and an alcoholic. Though drugs and violence in the home was common place, Barbara remained focused on her studies and tried to avoid the triggers of her parents. Soon, violence outside of the home would visit her in school when she was raped at age 15 by a fellow classmate. She held this secret, telling no one, bearing this traumatic experience alone.
By her early 20s, Barbara began to experiment with drugs which were easily accessible to her at home. By her late 20s/early 30s she was a full blown addict, subjecting herself to crack binges, alcohol abuse, and prostitution. She and her children’s father began to manufacture and sell drugs. She would suffer severe beatings from their father, himself an addict, who forced her into criminal activity. Barbara’s children were her main focus for survival. However, after multiple incarcerations, and nearly 10 stints in rehab facilities, she ultimately lost custody of her children when they were signed over to their paternal grandmother. While this was the best situation for them, it was a devastating blow to Barbara and sent her further in a downward spiral of addiction. During the lowest points of her life she was raped by a police officer, pistol whipped, sexual exploited, and suffered numerous physical assaults.
In 2004, Barbara was shot and nearly died. The bullet caused life threatening damage to her large intestine. She was comatose for 1 ½ months and required 23 surgeries. Barbara had to learn to walk, talk, write, and feed herself again…everything that most take for granted had to be reintroduced to her and relearned. Thirteen years later, Barbara is a physically strong, high-spirited grandmother with the only tell-tale sign of this tragedy being that her right arm is shorter than her left. Inexplicably, she lost the ability to fully extend her right arm, which was in no way affected by the shooting. For Barbara, it makes for a great conversation piece. Whenever she is asked about it, it’s her opportunity to tell her testimony of survival!
Barbara joined Redeeming Word Church in the summer of 2011. She lived across the street from the church and often sat and watched all the “nicely dressed, good looking people” come and go. She had been attending another church in the neighborhood, but felt her spirit gravitating toward RWC though to this point she’d still never visited. One weekend, RWC was having a Summer Festival in the church parking lot. By the time Barbara decided to walk over, the festival was closing down and most of the saints and visitors were gone. However, she struck up conversation with 1st Lady Randle and Sis. Natalie Ramsey. They fixed her a plate, prayed with her, and invited her to visit for worship service. With that invitation she visited again, and joined the ministry…plus it helped that the church next door relocated!
Even after becoming a member of RWC, Barbara was still entangled with the yoke of addiction and abuse. Her presence was missed as she began to hit n’ miss in church attendance. To this day, she and Pastor Randle laugh about the Saturday when he and a couple saints drove up on her in the neighborhood. They found her sitting on the porch swinging her legs, with her Wild Irish Rose wine and Earthquake beer…totally caught off guard by the Pastor’s “drive by”! Having a shepherd’s heart filled with compassion, void of judgment and condemnation, Pastor Randle talked with her a little while. He then left and shortly returned with dinner from Popeye’s and an encouraging word to "get back in the safety of the Lord’s house." Barbara’s excuse was that she had nothing to wear…to that, Pastor retorted, “I got you.”
On that Sunday morning, Barbara was terribly ill. Years of substance abuse had taken its toll and she felt literally at the point of death. In her words she described that morning as “I could not breathe…I couldn’t get out of bed…I was just there…in a bad place…I felt myself dying that morning.” One of the saints, Dr. Blanche Bello, came by her home with a dress for her to wear to church. Though her physical body was weak and battered, her spirit-man was fighting to survive. Barbara says, “I got myself together, put on that dress and my matted wig, and walked across the street and went to church.” That weekend marked a pivotal point that forever changed the narrative of her story. God sent Pastor Randle and the RWC saints to rescue Barbara from certain death. This year Barbara D. Douglas is entering her 5th year of being CLEAN AND SOBER since September 9, 2012!! Living a life free of bondage is the reason behind her exuberant praise! “This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” –Psalm 118:23
Barbara says, “For so long I wasn’t strong enough to fight on my own, but I had a WILL to live, and that will gave God something to work with. His strength was made perfect in my weakness. When faith was all I had, it was ultimately all that I needed. I knew my Daddy (Father God) would come to rescue me, and today I don’t look like what I’ve been through!" Barbara knows God spared her life so that she can share the story of redemption with other young women. She is drawn to minister to ladies who are dealing with adverse situations as the result of poor decisions, and to those who don’t have a strong support system. She says, “I share with them my testimony that God can and WILL deliver you from the worst case scenarios of life if you TRUST Him and cast ever care upon Him, because the Lord cares for you.” Barbara’s favorite passages of scripture are Psalms 51 & 121. She loves the Word of God and appreciates the sound, practical teaching ministry of Pastor Randle. Barbara adores her RWC family! It was the love of Pastor, 1st Lady, and the RWC saints that nurtured her to a place of personal healing. She says the love in our ministry is like a magnet…you’re drawn to it and it sticks to you!
Barbara stays busy enjoying life and fully embracing every experience! She loves cookouts and family gatherings. She is so grateful that God is steadily rebuilding her relationships with her children. Every moment she can spend with them and her grands is a cherished one. Her prayer is that God will continue to groom her as a mother and grandmother, and that her life remains a witness to them of God’s power to heal, deliver, and set free. Barbara also enjoys redecorating her home, crafting, crocheting and knitting. She loves to travel and hopes to soon visit one of her good girlfriends in Jacksonville, FL.
Barbara says there are two women who are most influential and inspirational to her life. One is her Aunt Sharon (her mother’s sister). Like Barbara, Aunt Sharon survived years of substance abuse, and today lives a Godly life. The other is the critically acclaimed actress, Angela Bassett. She admires her grace and sophistication; and how she portrays roles where women are strong, smart survivors!
Did you know?…Barbara has a green thumb! Whether pruning, planting, or re-potting she has a knack for making flowers flourish! She loves to keep flowers in and around the home. Her favorite is the Colocasia plant (aka ”the Elephant Ear”).
February Member Spotlight
KAYLA & KAMRAN BOWE
Meet siblings Kayla Danielle “Kayla-Bear” and Kamran Deron “Kam”! This dynamic duo is the charming daughter and precocious son of Tawanda Dukes-Bowe and K.D. Bowe. Kayla is 13 y/o and Kamran is 12 y/o. They share the same birth month of July. These children of promise (aka “Prophet Buchanan’s Babies”) were literally spoken into existence!
The testimony is…for 10 years Kayla and Kamran’s parents tried, unsuccessfully, to conceive. There was no medical diagnosis or known reason that prevented pregnancy. While attending a church service where Prophet Charles Buchanan was guest speaker, their mom received a prophetic word where the man of God simply said, “I see a baby!” Two months later, to mom and dad’s joyful surprise, they discovered they were pregnant! The Lord didn’t stop there…He gave them double for their trouble! Four months after the birth of their first, they were pregnant AGAIN! While the enemy can never stop the will of God, he’ll certainly try to complicate it. Kayla and Kamran were both born premature. Both were delivered at 7-months gestation, weighing a delicate 1lb 14oz and 2lbs 3oz, respectively. Today, Kayla and Kamran are thriving, healthy, brilliant young people who love the Lord and fully understand that God’s hand has always been upon them.
Kayla and Kamran are in 8th grade and 7th grade. They attend Sandtown Middle School, home of the Jaguars! Both have earned repeat appearances on the A/B Honor Roll! Kayla’s favorite subject is English, and Kamran’s is Math. Kayla is an avid reader who likes age-appropriate young adult stories. Kamran is a 2nd-year band student, blowing the trombone! Now that they’re in middle school, these two are starting to think about “What do I wanna be when I grown up?” They’ve decided their best career choices would be to capitalize on what they do best right now…talking and gaming!
Kayla is the mini-Oprah of her time, so it’s quite fitting that she aspires to be a Talk Show Host! She’s is a social butterfly who enjoys talking to and interacting with people. Amongst her cousins and friends, she’s THE go-to-girl for advice, support, comfort, and a little sassy commentary! She’s a great communicator who confidently expresses herself, sharing her insight on life from the perspective of a teen. She’s no doubt developed great communication skills from her dad - a prominent radio announcer and voice-over artist. Kayla plans to attend college to major in Journalism, with minor studies in Dance.
Kamran is a video-game enthusiast! Though he LOVES to play, his artistic interest is piqued by the engineering and technical aspects of how video games are created. Kamran wants to attend college to learn Video Game Design. He aspires to one day create a gaming platform that will be sold in stores! Kamran has tons of video games, but his favorite is Madden NFL 17! He is a huge Atlanta Falcons fan and his favorite player is Devonta Freeman (Falcons Running Back).
Aside from the joys of pre-teen/teen life, Kayla and Kamran are “church kids” who have been raised to love the Lord. They both enjoy going to church and participating in ministry. Kayla serves on the Praise Team and Dance Ministry. She says she will always use her voice to sing for the Lord. Kamran is a Junior Usher and a Junior Deacon-In-Training. He also believes he will be a preacher when he grows up. Kamran definitely has a great example to follow in ministry, as he looks up to Pastor Randle as a role model. Both Pastor and 1st Lady Randle keep a watchful eye over Kayla and Kamran, loving and guiding them as an aunt and uncle. Kayla and Kamran have a tight bond with The Randle Kids, they all hang out like cousins. They’ve even started a business together called "Us 5 Body Products"! Click here to place an order!
Kayla and Kamran are very family oriented. They always look forward to spending quality time with all their cousins, aunts/uncles, and extended family members. Kayla LOVES her family is very protective and sensitive about them. Kamran has the unique distinction of being the only grandson and only male cousin on his mother’s side (his maternal grandmother had 4 daughters, and his 3 aunts only have daughters)! Kayla and Kamran’s most memorable family time was a 4-day, 3-night cruise to the Bahamas in December 2015. These two love to travel and have high hopes to one day visit Paris, France!
Kayla and Kamran credit their parents as their greatest inspirations in life. Both mom and dad are very successful in business and ministry, and are providing them the necessary tools to be successful in their own right. Kayla enjoys having Spa Days with mom. It’s a full day of pampering...”hair, tips, and toes” and lots of shopping! Kamran and dad share important bonding moments just hanging out doing guy stuff like sports and haircuts. He says his dad gives him good advice that helps him make right decisions as he matures as a young man. Kamran also says he inherited his dad’s sense of “swag and style”!
Did you know?...Kayla is a huge fan of hip-hop dance! Her favorite dancers are brothers Ayleo and Mateo Bowles (aka “Ayo & Teo”), a trailblazing hip-hop dance team from Michigan! Kamran is a bonafide neat freak! He never has to be told to pick up after himself, as everything is already in its place!
January Member Spotlight
SISTER LETITIA B. BESTEDA
Introducing Ms. Letitia “Titia” Bonita
Allen-Besteda. Letitia was born on May 21st in Spanish Fort, Alabama. She is a
divorced mother of three: daughter Rayven Allen (a 20 y/o sophomore at Clark
Atlanta University), daughter Ashtine’ Besteda (a 17 y/o freshman at Georgia
State University), and son Gregory Besteda (a 15 y/o home-schooled 9th grader
at Georgia Connections Academy). She and her children moved to Atlanta in
December 2014 so that Rayven could attend college. For about three years prior,
Letitia contemplated relocating here, but then became disabled and out of work.
Once Rayven was accepted into Clark, it was the perfect opportunity to move,
and in fact, God-ordained.
Letitia currently works part-time as a substitute-teacher for Gwinnett County Public Schools, teaching elementary through high school. Her career field is Finance. She’s held positions as a General Manager at TitleMax (5 years employed), and as a Mortgage Loan Officer at Mid-Town Mortgage (6 years employed). In May 2010, Letitia earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Faulkner University, a Christian school in Montgomery, AL. She has plans to enroll at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta to pursue a Masters degree in Christian Education.
Letitia joined Redeeming Word Church on February 21, 2016. She was introduced to the ministry through Sis. Maria Armstrong (RWC member and family friend from Alabama). They had met up at a Christmas event in December 2015 and Maria was wearing a t-shirt that said “I Love My Church”. Letitia inquired about her church, began attending services, and within weeks she and her family officially joined. She says not only did her spirit connect with the ministry, but her children enjoyed the services and the family-oriented environment. Letitia says, “What I love foremost about Redeeming Word Church is the leadership we have in Pastor & 1st Lady Randle. They present the gospel in a way that fosters your relationship with Jesus, rather than only coming from the perspective of condemnation for sin. They encourage your spiritual growth through a personal, intentional worship experience with God." Additionally, she says their transparency about life experiences helps her learn how to handle “life stuff”. Letitia also observes how her children have bonded with the 1st Family, and that they are growing in their own relationships with God.
Letitia grew up in church, raised in the admonition
of the Lord. Her home church was Right Spirit Ministries (Bishop Dupree Cook) a
non-denominational church in Spanish Fort. At the age of 16 y/o, she received
salvation AND the baptism of the Holy Ghost – in the same night – at a church
revival! She was at the altar tarrying in old school fashion, calling on the
name of “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” when she was filled with the Holy Ghost, with
the evidence of speaking in tongues! As a young adult, Letitia was a member of
the praise team group “Doo Wop”, 5-member ensemble who traveled locally with
Pastor Dupree Cook, setting the atmosphere of praise before the word came
As an RWC member, Letitia serves in ministry as a Greeter/Usher and Sunday School Teacher. As a Greeter/Usher, she understands she is the first representation of our ministry that both visitors and members encounter when they enter the door. She greets everyone with a warm hug and smile to prepare them for an awesome worship experience. As a Sunday School Teacher, she says this position is such a gift to her because it compels her to consistently study and meditate on the Word. She says, “It’s a humbling experience to be permitted to share the word of God from a teaching format. I take my time to read, study, and understand the Word myself. It’s a work I take very seriously.” When asked about her favorite scripture(s) Letitia replied with strong conviction, “All of it! The bible as a whole speaks to and guides my life, so every scripture is my favorite!” It was through reading and professing God’s word that Letitia experienced a notable miracle in her life…
In September 2010, Letitia began to experience severe physical ailments. She went from a working business professional to disabled and unemployed due to debilitating pain. She was being seen my multiple specialists and doctors, yet no one could definitively diagnose her condition. Over time she had been prescribed nearly 30 medications. For five years Letitia’s condition went unspecified and all that was provided was more medications. Upon moving to Atlanta in 2014, she was assigned a new doctor who began a fresh work-up of her physical state, and thus began the divine process of her healing. Her new doctor diagnosed her with Fibromyalgia, Lupus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Now that she knew specifically what her condition was, she could effectively war against it in prayer! Letitia shared with Pastor & 1st Lady the complexity of her diagnosis and they set themselves in agreement with her for total healing. In wisdom, she continued to take her medications as prescribed; however, in faith with each dosage she claimed healing according to Isaiah 53:5! In June 2016, at a night of corporate prayer, Letitia laid all of her medications on the altar as an expression of being free from infirmities. At a July 2016 doctor’s appointment, she was told her condition was in remission! This news was comforting, but she knew this was NOT the end result. In October 2016, tests showed there were no traces of Fibromyalgia, Lupus, or Rheumatoid Arthritis in her body and she could cease taking all prescribed medications! Letitia testifies that God has proven Himself as Jehovah-Rapha…the Lord who heals me!
Letitia loves to read Christian literature, Self-Help material, and Biographies…books that encourage and inspire her. She naturally has the gift of gab which she effectively uses to edify others. She’s a foodie with a palate that loves Italian and Mexican dishes! She also enjoys traveling and quiet personal time. Now that her children are older she values relating to them as young adults and learning from their perspective how they see the world. She and the kids enjoy family time playing board games and cooking together. They are all excited about a family road trip to New York later this month!
Letitia’s personal motto is “You can have whatsoever you say!”…one of the faith confessions of RWC (Mark 11:23). Her greatest inspirations are her maternal grandparents Arlee and Evelyn Carmichael (both deceased), affectionately called “Mama & Daddy”. She says they gave her the foundational tools needed to grow with Christ.
Did you know?...In October 2015 while vacationing in Los Angeles, Letitia happened upon a production set filming the TV program “Rosewood”. She finagled her way on set, hopped over a barricade, and convinced the show’s star, MORRIS CHESTNUT (her celebrity crush), to take a few pictures with her!