On January 1, 2024 Dr. Christopher Townsend stepped into the role of Executive Director of Carriage Town Ministries, succeeding Dr. Dallas Gatlin who retired after over 14 years. He is only the sixth person to hold the position in the organization’s 74-year history.
Dr. Townsend earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration (2013), M.S. in Psychology (2015) and recently, a Doctor of Management (2023) from the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, AZ.
Before coming to Carriage Town Ministries, he worked several years for the Detroit Rescue Mission as a case manager, program manager and building director. His previous experience also includes nearly three years with the Salvation Army as an Emergency Shelter Program (ESP) Regional Manager, working directly with over 30 shelter providers to deliver quality services to those experiencing homelessness across the State of Michigan. Dr. Townsend has been involved in the community as a student researching homeless programs/solutions and as an advocate for them.
I would tell my younger self that servanthood is the key to fulfilling work and a fulfilled life.
Dr. Townsend believes that accepting Christ and sustaining a relationship with Him has been instrumental in his familial, career and personal successes. He and his wife have been married for 23 years and have two adult children.
But, there’s something you might never guess about Dr. Chris … read on to learn that and more as he graciously accepted MCM’s invitation to answer 7 Questions.
1. What is something people would never guess about you?
I am a poet and spoken-word artist.
2. What is your most prized possession?
My most prized possession is not an item; I would say, my relationship with God is the one thing without which I cannot live. It may sound cliché, but I have found life is much sweeter when I have regular commune with God through prayer and reading the Bible. God’s presence is evident in my life daily; He has provided for me consistently and in ways I could have never imagined.
3. What skill would you most like to learn?
I would like to learn how to paint artistically.
4. What is your favorite family tradition?
My grandparents Henry and Barbera Jenkins started my favorite family tradition: Christmas Brunch. Our extended family would get together to exchange gifts, share stories and joke while eating homemade chicken & waffles, biscuits from scratch, eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns and an assortment of juices.
5. What career advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell him to seek and listen to God regarding any decisions and not to choose seemingly glamorous careers with large salaries simply because others are doing so. Choose to participate in fulfilling work that will add value to society and the people around you. Also, I would tell my younger self that servanthood is the key to fulfilling work and a fulfilled life, and to remember Matthew 23:11 which states, “But he that is the greatest among you shall be your servant.”
6. If you could telepathically say something that all 7.8 billion people on Earth could hear simultaneously, what would it be?
God is closer to you than you think, He has always been with you, He loves you, and is waiting for an invitation into your heart, mind and life. God is waiting with open arms for you to return to your first love, He is love …
7. What are you most excited about in your life right now?
I am most excited about opportunities to pour into the people and community of Flint, to be a part of Flint’s current renaissance, and to find a home in one of Michigan’s hidden gems.