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Our Leadership

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Pastor Willie B. O’Neal

Pastor O’Neal is a man after God’s heart. He not only possesses a love and passion for God, but also for his family and the congregation he has been blessed to shepherd for over 35 years.

Pastor O’Neal was born to Ms. Eddie Mae Henderson and the late Preston O’Neal; reared in Brighton, Alabama. Always having a heart sensitive to the voice of God, Pastor O’Neal served as Superintendent of Sunday school at Friendship Baptist Church at the age of 19.

In 1973, God visited Pastor O’Neal in a dream. The dream would be the blue-print to his ministry, as well as, the game changer to his life. In the dream he saw a city on fire with young people screaming and running for their lives. He heard a voice in the dream say, “I told you to tell them!” He began to cry and say, “God, if you give me another chance, I will tell them.”

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Pastor Patricia O’Neal

Sister Patricia O’Neal is a woman of virtue and Godly wisdom. She honors God and her family though her life. Sister O’Neal has served as Co-Pastor alongside her husband, Pastor Willie B. O’Neal for over 35 years.

Sister O’Neal was born to the late Jacob and Mary Bodley, raised in the Westfield community and later moved to Bessemer, Alabama. Due to the death of her mother, she was thrusted into the mother role for her siblings; which would define her ministry and personify her character. Having a holiness background, she was familiar with the move and promptings of God. Having left the church as a young adult, God united her back to Him through the union with her husband.

In 1980, Sister O’Neal rededicated her life back to Christ, receiving the precious Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues and allowing Him to edify her knowledge and understanding of His word.

Ministry Leaders

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Elder Edna “Peaches” Brown

Executive Director / Christian Education Ministry

Elder Edna “Peaches” Brown came to Mt Canaan Full Gospel Church in 2005 after serving 30 plus years in collegiate, corporate and non-profit arenas. She presently serves as the Executive Director of Christian Education, where her passion is “equipping the Body of Christ to do the work of the ministry”. Her love for teaching, training, building and empowering the Body of Christ was ignited as a teen when her, then, Sunday School teacher challenged her to be her assistant. That single act lit a fire in her spirit that led to years of service, including ministry to leaders, women, singles, teens and executives both locally and nationally. Though she had functioned in these areas for some time, it was in 1992, during her relocation to Birmingham that she received a specific word from God to prepare for full-time ministry and to focus on the areas of Administration and Christian Education.

As Executive Director of the Department of Christian Education, she oversees three director groups which include: Member Services, Curriculum Studies and Specialty Training.

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Minister James and Elder Angela Brazzill

Executive Directors / Missions and Ministries

Minister James and Elder Angela Brazzill were appointed as Directors of the Missions Ministry in 2003, and later appointed to Executive Directors of Missions and Ministries.

Minister James Brazzill received a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Talladega College and a Masters in Engineering from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Elder Angela Brazzill studied Computer Science at Birmingham Southern, Secretarial Science at the Herzing Institute, and Criminal Justice at Jefferson State. She is currently a business owner where she ministers to the financial needs of God’s people.

The Brazzill’s continue to aim toward and produce excellence in all of their ministry opportunities. One of their life scriptures is Psalm 27:4, “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after.”

Minister James and Elder Angela Brazzill have been members of Mt. Canaan since 2000.

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Kenneth and Abijah Cunningham

Executive Directors / Operations Ministry

Kenneth and Abijah Cunningham were appointed to Executive Directors of Operations in September 2015. Combined, they have been members of Mt. Canaan for over 30 years. They lead various ministries under the Operations Ministry: Ushers, Greeters, Kitchen Staff, Parking, Pastor’s Aide, Security, Transportation, Wedding and Hospitality.

Kenneth and Abijah both received Bachelor’s degrees from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Kenneth’s degree is in Business Marketing and Abijah’s degree is in History and Psychology.

They feel it is a great honor to serve in the position of Executive Directors of Operations and to collaborate with such wonderful people.

Kenneth and Abijah are the proud parents of two wonderful children.

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Minister Cynthia Ward

Executive Director / Student Services Ministry

Cynthia Ward currently serves as Mt. Canaan’s Executive Director of the Student Services Ministry. She has served in this position for four years but has served in numerous leadership and lay member areas throughout the ministry for over 28 years. In her position, she is afforded the awesome opportunity to serve the Mt. Canaan families and leaders through collaboratively developing, planning, and implementing activities and events that promote biblical literacy and living.

Cynthia is the second born of 12 children parented by Mr. and Mrs. Albert and Ethel Ward. She loves her tight-knit family and appreciates the love, support and foundational principles imparted in her life. She is an active member of a local community group, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Metropolitan Birmingham Chapter. For over 30 years, she has served in a variety of capacities: teacher, assistant principal, principal, principal coach and mentor, and Interim Director of Schools.

Her life’s mission is to influence the destinies of all she meets through exhortation of the Word of God. Most importantly, she is born again and truly loves the One who gave His life so that she could have LIFE. Her high-energy, witty approach to life rests in her belief that “Greater is He that is in me, than He that is in the world”!

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Dedrick and Kenya O’Neal

Executive Directors / Arts, Marketing, Media and Music

Dedrick was anointed at birth with a keen ear for music. God would later perfect the gift, without formal education, and catapult it to a level beyond natural comprehension. As the Executive Director of Music, he oversees the Praise and Worship Teams, Choir, Spiritual Dancers and the Theatrical Departments. Under his leadership, these departments not only grew in number but also in spiritual depth and heights. Derrick is an accomplished musician sought after around the world. He has traveled throughout the United States playing in numerous congregations.

He also oversees the Media Department in conjunction with the Music Department and has been able to bring the Media ministry into the 21st century through the installment and implementation of various products and systems. Dedrick possesses a spirit of excellency which is exemplified within the ministries he leads at Mt. Canaan.

Dedrick is the son of Pastors Willie B. and Patricia O’Neal. He is happily married to Kenya, who is also dedicated to God and the Mt. Canaan ministry. Kenya is an active singer within the ministry. They share their love and life with eight beautiful children.

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Anita Carlisle

Executive Director / Character Development Ministry

Anita Carlisle is the Executive Director of the Character Development Ministry which oversees the Brotherhood, Sisterhood, Couples, Singles, Counseling and Pastoral Advisory Board of Mt. Canaan. For over 38 years, she has been the Executive Assistant to the Pastor and an active member of the church.

She wears many hats as she sits on the Board of Directors for Mt. Canaan, Board of Directors of Canaanland’s Child Development Center and works with the Human Resources and Finance departments.

Anita has three adult children, two grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She studied Business Administration at Lawson State Community College and Miles College.

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Carolyn Robertson

Executive Director / Church Administration

Carolyn Robertson is the Executive Director of Church Administration. Carolyn has been an active member of Mt. Canaan for over 22 years. She is responsible for day to day management of the office staff. This involves overseeing personnel management, office management, database management, building and facilities management, space planning management, 501c3 research and grants management. She serves as a resource person regarding some legal and property acquisitions matters of the church.

Carolyn has served on various organizations. Some are Lawson State Community College, The Academy of Fine Arts, Inc., Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce’s Minority Business Council, The Kiwanis Club of Pratt-Ensley, Birmingham Area Private Industry Council (PIC), Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.

She received a degree in Economic and Business Management with a minor in Urban Planning from The University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Masters in Counseling from Alabama State University. She has a certificate in Lay Counseling from Mt. Canaan Full Gospel Church Counseling Ministry in conjunction with The Birmingham Theological Seminary. She is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Christian Counseling.

Carolyn believes all of her previous business training, secular and Christian experiences were merely preparation for being a part of God’s plan at Mt. Canaan.