Apostle James Leonard Ford
The Reverend James Leonard Ford is the founder and Pastor of Morningside Missionary Church in Mount Holly, North Carolina. From childhood until graduation from Western Carolina University, he attended True Light Baptist Church in Mount Holly, N.C. He then became a Mayfield Memorial Baptist Church member in Charlotte, N.C., where he was very active and served as a Boy Scout Leader.
He was licensed and ordained as a Minister of the Gospel at Gethsemane Church in Clover, South Carolina, where he also served as a Deacon. Being led by the Spirit to return to his home church, Reverend Ford acquired the facility that formerly housed True Light Baptist Church in Mount Holly, NC.
Reverend Ford is a positive and inspiring force within the community. His presence and wisdom are often sought out by community leaders, business owners, and citizens when making important decisions that affect the Mount Holly community. Reverend Ford worked bi-vocationally and retired after 30 years of service with the Mecklenburg County government.
He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. In 1999, Reverend Ford was invited to become the first African Americana member of the Mount Holly Rotary Club, chartered in 1944. He is the first African American Paul Harris Fellow in the Mt. Holly Rotary Club. He is often called upon to participate in municipal building dedications and sit on city official selection committees.
In 2005, he received a Black Achievement Award from the Gaston County Organization for Community Concerns. Reverend Ford was inducted into the Mount Holly Sports Hall of Fame in the class of 2017.
In 2023, Reverend James Ford became the first Afro-American selected to perform the Baccalaureate Address for Gaston Christian School. Also, in 2023, Reverend James Ford was selected to serve on the Mount Holly Police Department Board of Directors.
Reverend Ford has been married to his wife Elaine Lowery Ford for 20+ years, and they have one daughter, Abigail.
Pastor Elaine L. Ford
Lady Elaine is a graduate of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in social work. She has dual state social work credentials; certified in N.C. and Licensed in South Carolina. She has been employed by Atrium Healthcare for the past 27 years where she has functioned as a social worker, case manager, trainer, consultant, mentor and social work field instructor to multiple Colleges and Universities in North Carolina and South Carolina. She recently completed the Administrator In Training program through the NCBENHA (North Carolina Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators) and she currently serves as an Assistant Nursing Home Administrator supporting Atrium Continuing Care facilities in Mecklenburg, Union, Cleveland and Stanly County. She also provides supervision for Social Services at these locations.
Lady Elaine is a Licensed and Ordained minister of the Gospel and serves as Pastor and Partner in Ministry with her husband Apostle James L. Ford who is the founder and Senior Pastor of Morningside Missionary Church. She holds fast to the biblical foundation of the five-fold ministry and the belief as stated in Ephesians 4:11-12 K.J.V. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”
Lady Elaine serves as the director of Christian Education at Morningside Missionary Church. She also provides leadership to the Women’s Ministry, the health and wellness ministry, oversees tutoring services for school-aged youth in the local community, The CARE (Christians Actively Reaching Everyone) ministry, which facilitates partnerships with a local elementary school for students in need, the YMCA, and a local women’s shelter. In January of 2022 she was inspired to birth Life & Wife Lessons (a bi-weekly virtual zoom class attended by women in multiple states) She also oversees a partnership between the Morningside Missionary Church youth Dept. and Woodlawn Haven Rest Home in Mount Holly as well as various auxiliary services and ministries provided at Morningside Missionary Church.
In June of 2013, at the annual end of year Mount Holly Rotary banquet, she was awarded the honor of being named a Paul Harris Fellow. She is the first African American woman to receive this award through the Mount Holly Rotary chapter.
In her recreational time, Lady Elaine enjoys most of all spending quality time with her husband of 28 years, Apostle J. Leonard Ford, and their daughter, Abigail. She also enjoys shopping, reading and is an avid music fan. Lady Elaine has a genuine appreciation for the role of the Christian Church in equipping saints to excel in their natural and spiritual lives and teaching individuals to live every day with purpose.