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Bio for Ronnie Laney, MD, MPH, FAAFP


I grew up in Durham, North Carolina. I always wanted to become a doctor.
Medicine combines two things that I love: people and science. I am board-
certified in family medicine and have been practicing urgent care medicine
since 2011. I even served as medical director for a local urgent care center for
five years. Trained as a primary care physician, I love the broad scope of
urgent care medicine, along with the chance to perform procedures. I also
love the challenge and variety of acute care needs and diagnoses. While
medicine is challenging and patients are in need, I do try to connect with my
patients and address their needs, but make them feel special at the same
time. I am also active within my specialty outside of the clinic, serving on
several committees and boards. In my free time, I enjoy time with my friends,
exercising, and playing music as a hobby musician (guitar, bass, and drums).

Rev. Dr.  Rodney Coles Sr was born in New York City. As a youth growing up in New York, Pastor Coles served in various ministries in his home church St. Matthews Baptist Church; He received his call to Christian Ministry in 1987 and he graduated from NYC Theological Seminary School in June, of that year.


Pastor Coles began his post educational career to further equip him for his ministry. He attended St Luke Baptist Church Disciple Class under the teaching of Rev. Dr. J.G.McCann Sr (A.A, B.A, M DIV, and S.T.M. D.MIN)


He relocated to Greenville, North Carolina in 2006 and God called him to begin his own Ministry.  In January 2007 he founded The Children of God in Christ Church located in Greenville, NC. Pastor Coles is focused on building God's kingdom, God's community, and God's people.


In the fall of 2007 he had vision to share with the people of God. The vision of Churches Outreach Network was born.  It is focused on the people in the community, especially those who were not part of the body of Christ, and those who were not attending a church. We provide a network of community referrals, resources, assistance and help to those in need. In our opinion many people who were in the Church building were either already saved or on their way to being saved, and that left out the people who did not know Jesus, or how to find out about him. Churches Outreach Network outreaches in the community through a network of community leaders that are Pastors, Ministers, Organizational leaders, or businesses. We network together as one ministering the word of God, or fellowshipping together at events. We are a public nonprofit 501 © 3 organization. Through Churches Outreach Network several ministries were birthed including The Inter-Faith Clergy based on Pastors, Ministers and Community leaders meeting and coming together once per month to address the needs of the community and the Community Action committee by working with law enforcement and faith based organizations.   

Pastor Rodney Coles  Sr has been blessed with his help mate whom he has known for 37 years and God has given her to him to help meet the responsibilities that have been placed on his life. After their God ordained union she became Debra L Coles.  

Pastor Rodney Coles Sr. has confessed that there is, and there could never be a greater blessing in his life than that of the angels that the Almighty God has given him, his wife, his children, and his grandchildren.


Pastor Rodney Coles  Sr would like to remind and encourage all of God's people, to believe in working together in love, and that “Team work makes the Dream work”

Robert Williams is President and Founder of Williams' Marketing. His interest in Family Financial Planning started at an early age, when he experienced firsthand the impact of improper insurance planning. It was this experience that drove him to personally learn about the various financial investments and started him on his mission of educating as many as he encountered on various financial products. His lifelong motto is “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day but teach him how to fish and feed him for a lifetime.” Robert’s passion is not only financial education but also access to Healthcare. He truly believes that everyone should have access to affordable healthcare and have been fighting toward this and Medicaid expansion since 2008.



Robert earned a BA in Sociology with a minor in Social Work from North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC and a MS in Administration from Central Michigan University in Mt Pleasant Michigan. Robert is also a high-performance coach.  He previously obtained and held his series 6, 7 and series 65 which allowed him to work as a securities broker and advisor for many years. He also obtained his state insurance license allowing him to provide both Life and Health Insurance products and services to his clients.


Robert is also managing partner in Comprehensive Training Solutions. A partnership providing customized training solutions to private and non-profit entities. The focus is both Leadership, team and culture change training. We truly believe that the most importance resource in any business is the “Human” resource.


In his spare time, he engages in community projects, traveling and reading. When he is not traveling or working, he can be found spending time with his wife, Debbie, and their three adult children and 5 grandchildren where he currently resides in Winterville, North Carolina. 

Valarie Gatlin is an experienced and fully qualified registered nurse who is efficient, thorough, and
passionate about delivering patients the best levels of care. Valarie possesses extensive healthcare
experience in a wide range of required nursing fields. She has the required physical, mental, and
emotional strength to stand up to the rigors of this demanding profession. She can work autonomously
and has a vast knowledge of using the latest state-of-the-art medical equipment to treat, observe and
record the condition of patients. As a driven individual who wants to progress, she is now looking for
suitable nursing positions with reputable, exciting, and modern healthcare providers. Valarie has
exceptional skills in teaching nursing courses, managing hospitals, improving patient satisfaction, and
managing scheduling systems. Her leadership abilities have been utilized as she served as president of
professional and community-based organizations and on community boards. Valarie retired from Vidant
Health and has received her certification as a health coach. Her goal in life is to combine her nursing
skills with her health coach certification to teach people how to take care of themselves before
becoming so ill they must be hospitalized.


Transforming Christian Ministries Board member (Vice Chairman), 2021-present
Healthy Lives, Health Choices, (Director), 2021-present
Homeless Shelter Clinic Board, 1999 -2020
Delta Sigma Theta (National Public Service) Sorority, 1984 – present
Jackie Robinson Baseball League Board
Philippi Missionary Baptist Church (Trustee)
President for Thompson-Galloway-Dixon Family Reunion, 1993 – 2009

Wendy  Bridgers
Wendy Bridgers

Wendy C. Bridgers—Wendy has over 35 years of experience working in the field of nursing and in a variety of leadership and clinical roles as an educator.  She is a retired nurse from Vidant Medical Center, now ECU Health Medical Center.  After retirement, she joined the faculty of East Carolina University College of Nursing in 2015.  As an educator, she made a palpable difference in the College of Nursing climate for faculty, staff, and students.  As a scholarship recipient for continued education, Wendy added new strategies to complement student learning in her specialty area of medical/surgical nursing.  She increased awareness of the contributions of African Americans in the College of Nursing, by establishing the first annual Black History Month celebration. For this work, she was inducted into the ECU College of Nursing Hall of Fame.  Mrs. Bridgers retired from the College of Nursing in December of 2022.  Since retirement, she has remained active with the College of Nursing and serves as a mentor for new nursing graduates.

Wendy acquired an Associate Degree in Nursing from Wake Technical College and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from North Carolina Central University.  After years of working as an RN, Wendy went back to school and received her Masters of Science Degree with a concentration in Nursing Education from East Carolina University.  She is also a Certified Dementia Practitioner and obtained the NIH Stroke Scale Certification.

Wendy has received many accolades for the work she has done over the years.  She was named among the Great 100 Nurses in NC, received the ECU Servire Society Award, the Daisy Award, and the Health Science Author Recognition Award. She is also a member of Sigma Theta Tau, Nursing Honor Society.

Wendy’s passion has always been about empowering communities by raising awareness around health, offering services to families, and hosting sessions regarding health education.  She serves in her church and in the community.  Wendy is the wife of Pastor, Dr. Michael Bridgers at Grace Fellowship Church Inc. C.O.G.I.C. and she serves faithfully in the ministry as the President of the Women’s Ministry, the Health and Wellness Ministry, and as a trusted guide for church members and their health needs. In her own time, Wendy is the Host of her own Radio Show “Family Health Matters” on Awesome Radio 106.9FM. Her show can also be seen on the Awesome Radio Facebook page, YouTube page, and Cable channel.  Through her radio show, she is able to provide a platform for members of the health care community to share their expertise with the community about ways to embrace and maintain healthy lifestyles.  Wendy also serves as a presenter on “Health-Related Topics”.

Wendy Bridgers believes “You are Stronger Than You Think”. She looks forward to continued growth and service in the field of health education.

Cheryl Emanuel, was a senior public health/community engagement leader working at the forefront of policy, advocacy, and equity in Public Health. Mrs. Emanuel joined the Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) in 2000. She brings broad-based expertise to public health as an inspiring, hands-on leader.

With extensive experience in developing programs and policies that foster an inclusive environment, Mrs. Emanuel works effectively with persons from diverse cultural backgrounds toward achieving team goals, helping families develop the building blocks for lifelong health. 


Mrs. Emanuel has provided strategic leadership in developing Public Health’s approach to diversity, equity, inclusion and collaboration for healthcare. As she puts it: “Everyone deserves healthcare, access and resources regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender and economical status.”

She is visionary and founder of Village HeartBEAT, the 2019 Grand Prize Winner of Aetna Foundation’s Healthiest Cities Counties Challenge Award. Village HeartBEAT was designed as a collaborative program organized with a multi-level framework that involves Faith-Based Organizations as a core stakeholder in addressing chronic disease prevention in various communities.

Peggy Tatum Bio



Peggy Tatum is CEO of The Connection Place (TCP), publisher of TCP Magazine; a gospel publication with a focus on music, ministry and faith-based businesses.  Peggy’s passion is helping people accomplish their visions and dreams by connecting them with the right resources and encouraging them to reach their God-given potential. Through TCP Magazine, over the past 19 years Peggy has touched the national landscape of the gospel industry promoting and advancing the careers of countless gospel artists, clergy members and other industry professionals. 


Under her leadership, over 100 Hometown Heroes in various cities across North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Florida have been recognized and honored for the unselfish acts of humanity for their communities. In addition, 63 Women of Triumph have been honored and their stories told in TCP Magazine at the Anniversary Celebrations.  She is Visionary of TCP’s Female Pastors Fellowship composed of female pastors, ministry founders and clergy who need mentoring. Other initiatives include TCP Mass Choir, Faces, 27610 Events and The GUT Patrol.


The GUT Patrol is an initiative which started in 2021 in partnership with The Connection Place, the NC Society of Gastroenterology and Duke Cancer Institute to educate the African American Community on Colorectal Cancer Awareness and healthy eating. Through this project, a successful Health Fair was held during Colon Cancer Awareness Month with more to follow. The GUT Patrol continues to educate the community through speaking engagements, partnerships, training and online influencers.


Peggy has accomplished incredible professional goals and received numerous awards including Print Media of the Year on both the regional and national level. She was included in the 2015 Class of Who’s Who in Raleigh and Durham and was a 2017 finalist for the Cathy Hughes Business Lamplighter Award. In 2018 Peggy was honored as a Living Legend at the BBU Awards and in 2019, TCP was recognized as a Partner with the City of Raleigh Police Department for contributions to their Girls Leadership Camp. In 2021 she was honored as a Living Legend by ACHI Magazine and 2022 recognized as a Hidden Figure by three separate entities during Women’s History Month. Her most recent recognition in December 2023 was the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award.


Peggy and her husband Ted attend New Providence Missionary Baptist Church, Fuquay-Varina under the leadership of Dr. Nathaniel J. Wood where both are in the music ministry.  Peggy stands on the scripture “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”  Proverbs 16:3 NIV 


Peggy Carr Tatum

The Connection Place, Inc.

181-104 Wind Chime Court

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 796-4724

The GUT Patrol

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