Rev. Patricia Saunders Photo By Ed Lasicell
Twenty-seven years ago, Rev. Patricia Saunders started her ministry by reaching out to families in her community. Although she has never officially pastored a church, her outreach consists of everything a pastor would do â€“ challenge, correct, encourage, and comfort.
Being a preacherâ€™s kid, she grew up seeing the trials, tribulations, and joy one could experience in ministry. Undaunted by what she saw, Rev. Saunders accepted her calling and begin ministry â€œoutsideâ€ the walls of the church in 1987.
â€œFor me ministry is not behind the walls but in the streets,â€ she said.
Saundersâ€™ love for children led her to volunteer at the Childrenâ€™s Receiving Home for 10 years.
â€œChildren are my heart,â€ she said. â€œI feel they are not getting proper parenting and are victimized. I want to do all I can to save our children.â€
Saunders now heads Survivors of Homicide, a non-profit organization based in Northeast that assists families who have been affected by homicide. She was selected to head the organization in December when the D.C. Homicide Coalition grant ended.
Now Survivors of Homicide, which consists of volunteers, is restructuring the organization and applying for a new 501(c)3.
â€œWe are reorganizing, changing the name, and really attempting to get established because homicide families need help,â€ Saunders said. â€œWhen the grant ended, there were a number of us who cared enough about homicide families that we wanted to continue the work.