Our Shepherds

Pastor Willie F. Peterson is the Pastor of the NewBirth Kimmelbrook Baptist Church in Youngstown, OH and the Executive Director of The Center for Community Empowerment (CCE), a faith-based social service agency which he established in 1999. Born and raised in Youngstown, where he graduated from Youngstown's East High School Rev. Peterson has been serving in the church FOR most of his life. In 1984 he was licensed in ministry and ordained in 1990 into the pastoral ministry and has served in that capacity since that time.


Rev. Peterson also has a history of community organizing and involvement. For the last 15 years, in his work at the Center, Rev. Peterson has helped over 250 ex-offenders receive and maintain employment through their NewBirth Project. He and his wife Ella has served over 1000 children at CCE’s Child Enrichment Program. Rev. Peterson facilitates grant-writing workshops, consults businesses, government, community, and faith-based organizations as an expert on the ex-offender population and cultural diversity. Currently, among his many duties, Rev. Peterson is offering and providing Cultural Diversity training to faith and community organization. He is also a Certified Life Coach and Leadership Trainer.


Rev. Peterson serves in many state and national faith-related leadership capacities in addition to being a professor at Youngstown State University in the Social Work Department. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work, and a Master of Arts in Management and Leadership.
He and his wife Ella are the parents of five BIRTH AND TWO ADOPTIVE CHILDREN, 13 grandchildren and 8 great-grands. Rev. Peterson’s book “Taxes and Tithes, It’s YOUR Money” was released in 2006.


Ella M. Peterson, In 2005 while testing for a new Nursing position at a local hospital, I was told that I had contracted Hepatitis C. After researching, I learned that I had contracted it from a blood transfusion I received while a patient over 30 years ago. Shortly after being told I had Hep C as it is sometimes called, I became very sick. I was diagnosed with liver disease and was told I needed to be placed on the Liver Transplant List. But God saw me through that time of need. I got better and went on with my life, but in August of 2008 the week of my 56th birthday, I was told that I had Liver cancer and would be placed on the transplant list again. On November 26, the day before Thanksgiving, at 10:00 AM I received a call from The Cleveland Clinic telling me they found a match. I arrived at the hospital that evening and the next day, Thanksgiving Day 2008, I received my transplant. During that time I knew that the Lord was present with me. I put my will in his. Since that time, he has propelled me toward my purpose of making family and children my ministry and to teach others of the need for “organ donations” within the faith community. I have a renewed mind that God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all I could ever ask or think. Amen.