|The Higher Learning Foundation||
Pastor Leslie G. Christie
Chief Operating Officer
Elder Leslie G. Christie is the Senior Pastor and Co-Founder of Kingdom Church International, affectionately known as KCI, a six-year-old, non-denominational, independent church, and a member of the United Covenant Churches of Christ, where the Presiding Bishop and General Overseer is Bishop Eric D. Garnes. Under her leadership, KCI has grown to be known as a place with an atmosphere of authentic worship, and where healing and deliverance takes place. She is married to “The Maestro” himself, Professor & Executive Pastor Martin D. Christie, who is the absolute love of her life.
At a very young age, Pastor Christie accepted the Lord, Jesus Christ, as her personal Savior. From childhood, she was raised to be a leader, holding numerous leadership roles on the local, regional, and national levels within the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, where she grew up. Her ministry began in the area of music. This led to her involvement with many great and well-known choirs, singers and musicians. The love that Pastor Christie has for God and His music is quite evident. It is because of this love that Pastor Christie insists upon a worship atmosphere that reflects God’s true purpose for the creation of music, instruments, minstrels, psalmists, dancers and worshippers.
Pastor Christie has extensive experience in community development and its many facets. She is the former Deputy Director of the Association of Brooklyn Clergy for Community Development, and the former Ministry Support Center Manager for Prison Fellowship New York. From 2003-2008 she served as Consultant/Liaison for St. Philip’s Christian Church, negotiating and completing a construction deal worth $33,000,000.00, which includes “The Shelton,” an 89-unit luxury cooperative apartment building, and a gymnasium/multi-purpose center, called “The Inner Court”, later renamed “The Brooklyn Sky Dome”. With Kingdom ministry and community development being her focus, Pastor Christie is clear of God’s mandate upon His children, as spoken in Isaiah 61 & Luke 4, to radically and lovingly reclaim and rescue, from the hand of the enemy, God’s people and His cities.
Pastor Christie is one who believes in putting her gifts to work. She is CEO of SRO Entertainment – an events planning and management company; Co-owner and Chief Operating Officer of Higher Learning Empowerment Group – a multi-purpose educational and life-coaching company; and Owner and CEO of Beyond the Break, Inc. – a multi-faceted empowerment ministry for women, men and families. Pastor Christie also currently serves as Assistant to the Secretary General of the United Covenant Churches of Christ.
Pastor Leslie Christie, and her husband, Pastor Martin Christie currently live in Easton, PA. Together, they have three children and one granddaughter.
Jennifer B. Kinard, M.S.
Chief Information Officer
Jennifer was born in Trinidad & Tobago and she lived there for nineteen years before coming to the United States of America. Jennifer is currently a Campus Director for Eagle Academy for Young Men of Newark. She coaches and manage a staff of 10. Prior to beginning this position Jennifer was a mentor trainer Bedford Stuyvesant Early Childhood Development Center Inc. Her education background includes undergraduate studies at The College of New Rochelle, with a B.A. She also received her Master’s of Science from Touro College in Early Childhood/Special Education. She holds several training certificates in education. Jennifer Kinard is a leader that possesses a unique quality for embracing and supporting others. She spends a lot of her time motivating parents and giving them hope in their circumstances. She is sensitive to parents’ needs and shows enormous commitment to helping parents become partners in their children’s education. Her teaching and coaching style is unique and refreshing.
She has provided various trainings for her present and current staff, different childcare centers in Brooklyn New York, as well as Puerto Rico. Jennifer participated in a national research project with National Center for Early Childhood Research, with doing that, she was asked to have her tapes used as exemplars for the "myteachingpartner" website. She also participated with the Early Reading First Project for Four Years. Although she has extensive experience and training, she still sees herself as a learner who is always ready for a new challenge.
Jennifer has been married for twenty-one years and is the mother of three amazing children. Her goal in life is to genuinely serve others by motivating and supporting them in any area of their life. She loves cleaning, cricket (the sport), helping others, track and field, and meeting new people. She is a woman who represents spiritual integrity and maturity. She attributes her success to God, her family, Citizen Schools, Bedford Stuyvesant Early Childhood Development Center Inc., Bishop Sexton Head Start and close friends. Trusty and believing in God in which whom her strengths comes from has allowed her to stay humble and faithful to her calling.
Ms. Kenyah I. Koonce, M.S., S.B.L.
Kenyah I. Koonce was born and raised in New York City. She has attended school in and/or lived in each of the 5 boroughs New York City has to offer. At the tender age of 17, Kenyah entered into ministry, and was licensed as a minister four years later. She has worked in the ministry capacities of youth and worship.
Minister Kenyah has always had a passion for medicine. After being accepted into several medical schools, but not having the funds to afford to go, Kenyah made a promise to herself that money would never hold her back from her dreams again. Kenyah earned a scholarship at the City University of New York's College of Staten Island campus through their teacher academy program. It was through one of her observation experiences, that she was touched to see both medicine and education combined. Kenyah has a half brother who was diagnosed as mildly autistic as at a young age, but grew to be functional. It was this personal connection that pushed her toward making a difference in special-education, even for students who require high-quality medical care. Kenyah has taught in various charter schools and has worked as an assistant teacher years prior. Kenyah has over 10 years of experience in education at all grade levels - from Kindergarten through High School. Kenyah personally believes that every child is a gifted child.
Kenyah holds several degrees - an Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Bard College, a Bachelor of Science degree from the City University of New York's College of Staten Island in Mathematics and Adolescent Education, a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership and a Master of Science degree in School Building Leadership. Kenyah continues to take classes and earns certifications for the state of New York. Kenyah is passionate about seeing the lives of people transform, and empowering them with the resources to make personal change happen.
Kenyah currently resides in Amityville, NY. She is the proud mother of one brilliant 4-year-old.
Faatimah Sharp, B.A.
Chief Development Officer
Chief Marketing Officer