Our Leaders

President: Bishop James E. McKnight, Jr.

This program was developed by Bishop James E. McKnight, Jr. who has served as the senior pastor of Starke Church of God by Faith (COGBF) for over 25 years. He believed that the BCFCC could be a comprehensive tool that would assist in providing necessary referrals, resources and services to the Bradford community. The goal was to establish a variety of long and short-term programs that would provide assistance to residents seeking to  enhance the quality of their lives.


Executive Director: Iana Patterson

Iana Patterson is a native of Bradford County and veteran of the US Air Force. After military service, she went on to work in Florida Corrections. She retired after becoming a Director of Facilities for Bridges of America, where she provided oversight to programs that provided drug treatment, counseling, job training and re-entry soft skills to incarcerated individuals. Iana is an active volunteer in the community and in her church. She is a wife, mother and grandmother.


Treasurer: Charles McWhite, Sr.

Charles McWhite is a native of Jacksonville and has served as principal of Tiger Academy, a YMCA public charter school located in Jacksonville, FL for the past 11-years. Charles holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, a Masters of Education degree in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida, and is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida. In addition to his professional career, Charles also serves as a volunteer on several boards and committees.

Executive Administrative Asst: Sharon Sams

Sharon Sams is a native of Bradford County. After (35) dedicated years of service, she retired from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Sharon is a faithful member of Starke Church of God By Faith and serves in the choir, a member of First Impressions and as a member of the church’s financial team. She is the mother of two(2) daughters and grandmother to five.

Secretary: Winefred Major

Winefred Major affectionately known as Sis. Winnie has served on the BCFCC board since the organization’s inception. Winnie is an RN (retired) with 32 years of service. She has coordinated the Food Pantry outreach for over 10 years. When she is not serving at the church or in the community, she enjoys gardening and reading.

Member: Elaine Slocum

Inaugural Executive Director for BCFCC is currently employed at North Florida Technical College as the lead Faculty in the Practical Nursing Program. Elaine also serves as Director of Connect Ministry at SCOGBF. She is the mother of 3 adult children

Member: Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith is the current sheriff in Bradford County and has served in that capacity since 2008. He is a founding board member of BCFCC. Sheriff Smith served on various boards and organizations.


Member: Janice Mortimer

Janice Mortimer is a native of Bradford County and a veteran of the US Army. She currently serves her community as elected Vice-Mayor and Starke City Commissioner. She is a very active volunteer in the community and her church, serving on several different boards and committees. Janice is a wife and mother to one son and two grandchildren.

House of Hope Program Manager: Cynthia Ross

Cynthia Sherman Ross is a believer in Jesus Christ, grandmother, and retired educator. She enjoys music, exploring outdoors, and supporting others that are seeking positive life change.




Food Outreach Program Manager: Denise Young

Denise was born and raised in New York City. She earned a degree from Polyclinic School of X-ray Technology. She then served in the Marines and retired after a 35-year tenure with the U.S. Postal Service. She is currently employed as a certified pharmacy technician at CVS. Denise became a member of Starke COGBF in early 2000 and uses her God-given talents to acquire resources for the community and her church family. She faithfully serves as a choir director, food ministry volunteer and the Food Outreach Program Manager.

12 G’s Mentoring Program Manager: Edrick Hamilton

Edrick Hamilton is a fourth-grade teacher at Southside Elementary School. He was recently accepted into the Leadership Florida’s Education Class Program and will attend various forums throughout the year and give him opportunities to network with other teachers, principals, superintendents and other educational professionals. Edrick is an active volunteer in his church and community.