The City of Praise Featured Story
Bishop Donnell D. Cunningham
Q: What influences has been instrumental in your life and ministry?
A: First, I must say that my family (grandmother and sister) has been very instrumental in my life and ministry. In the deaths of both of my parents has taught me how to trust and have faith in God and my children has been a great influence because I can see how the impact of my walk has been an influence on them. In addition to my family and children, being able to have loyal friends who encourages and impart into my life and the work that God has commissioned. Outside of my family and the loyalty of my friends, I would have to include my spiritual parents the late Dr. Ernestine Addison & Bishop Robert L. Bussey, Sr.
Q: As a Pastor and Presiding Prelate, what are some challenges have you faced but you overcame?
A: As a leader, you must have thick skin and allow the trinity of who God is to operate effectively in your life. Pastoral-ship comes with many challenges that’s why this is not a calling or assignment that one should take lightly, when you are now responsible for a body of people and ensuring that they are being fed properly in every stage of their Christian walk you must be ready to face and defeat the challenges of the people. As a Presiding Prelate, building ministries is an essential part of this assignment, some other Prelates may face or have faced the challenges of having individuals just wanting to be apart of the affirmation without structure and discipline, so to overcome that challenge you must walk in the authority that has been given.
Q: If you had not been called to ministry what might you be doing?
A: Well that is easy, living in California, in a beautiful beach front property. I’d be a world traveler visiting different areas of the globe constantly never stopping. But I heard the call of God and I said, “Lord here I am.” If it weren’t for grandmother introducing me to Christ I wouldn’t be. If not for her driving me to church when I had no interest in going and teaching me the word who knows what would have been. It was through that I found a new respect for worshipping God and serving Him.
Q: In ministry, stress sometimes follows how do you handle the stress?
A: Prayer! Pastoring is a fulltime job and one must pray, and you must have a balance life. Spending time with family and friends is important to overall health of a leader. This is our time of refreshing. If you don’t know how to have balance as a leader then stress will overtake you quickly. Also, you should have at least one scripture that you can draw strength from, and mines is, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18.
Q: What makes your ministry stand out from all the others?
A: Diversity. God has blessed me with a diverse group of people who gifted on multiple level in addition to being spiritually gifted. Because of their gifts it allows the ministry to reach various cultures and meet social needs within the community. These gifts coincide with the vision that God has given me.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: My newest venture is that I am a published author, my new book is entitled: Am I Ready Now? 7 Principles to identifying that you are ready to walk into the fulfillment of your life.