Changing The Narrative
When Autumn’s grandfather passed away from cancer, she was devastated. Consumed by grief, she quickly realized that she was following in her mother’s footsteps. Once again, she turned to the church for help, but instead of offering mental health advice or grief counseling, her church again used the phrase, “If you pray then everything will be okay.” It still wasn’t enough for Autumn. That day she saw an opportunity to change the narrative of not just her life, but the lives of others like her.
“I wanted to change the story of my family and inspire them through religion. Instead of hoping my church could fix our problems, I knew I had the power to do that,” said Autumn.
Autumn decided to dedicate her life towards a more progressive approach to religion. For years, it was instilled in her that if someone didn’t share the same belief in Jesus as they did, Heaven was not an option. Autumn believed this approach alienated people from one another, rather than bringing them closer together.
After graduating Auburn University, she continued her education at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA where she graduated with a Master’s of Divinity degree with a concentration in Ethics and Theology in 2012.
She quickly established herself as someone that was open-minded and empathetic to her community’s needs. She didn’t shun people for mental health issues or because their views didn’t fit the narrative of the church.
Inspired by her grandfather’s mission and beliefs as a pastor, she accepted her congregation with love.
“I just wanted to be like him, and more so, take on the same characteristics he had and the way he treated people and dealt with opposition. I was inspired by him wholeheartedly,” said Autumn.