In Defense of the Innocent: Bakari Beckwith's Mission

            Beneath even the nicest home's exterior, there can sometimes be dark issues lying under the surface. Various kinds of abuse and spousal or familial conflict can wreak havoc on a family, sometimes to the point of breaking it. This is where counseling by a third-party needs to step in and jump-start the healing process. Mr. Bakari Beckwith, the senior pastor at Victory Temple Church of Greater Winnsboro, has seen this need and, in response, created the Noble Promise Christian Counseling Center.

            Noble Promise focuses on counseling primarily for the victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, but also provides services for those seeking marital counseling and family therapy. However, unlike most counseling centers, Mr. Beckwith advocates an additional focus on mentoring and rehabilitation of those that require it. This includes fathering classes, ex-offender re-entry programs, literacy programs, and support groups. Despite all of their other successful programs, Mr. Beckwith's heart still lies especially with the victims of sexual assault. "Silence or ignoring what happened to you doesn't help you heal," Mr. Beckwith stated. "Breaking the silence and finding someone to tell who can help walk you through the process of recover and healing can help you deal with the issues that may result from being assaulted."

            As a part of his passion to raise awareness for those who have faced sexual assault, Mr. Beckwith released his book, In Defense of Bathsheba: Breaking the Silence, in 2015. In it, he explores the story of the biblical David and Bathsheba through the context of sexual assault and what it can do to its victims. "[The book] discusses the paths to complete healing, restoration, finding peace and solace, and forgiveness," Mr. Beckwith stated. In addition to his book, Mr. Beckwith has served on councils such as LAFASA, the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault, and LPHI, the Louisiana Public Health Institution, and the Ouachita Parish Adolescent Health Coalition which focuses on adolescent healthcare.

            With a heart and a passion for those suffering from assault, Mr. Bakari Beckwith continues to spread a message of hope and restoration everywhere he goes through keynote speaking. He only hopes to be able to help more people in the future and looks for every opportunity to do so.

Written by Jonathan Jenkins, CVA Intern at Wingate University, edited.