Today we would like to introduce you to a woman dedicated to shifting the way Black and Brown Children around the world view learning about Jesus.
Mrs. Latrece Williams McKnight is a dynamic business coach, children’s and youth ministry speaker, leadership consultant, and leader. To many churches and organizations around the world, she is known as the “Children’s Ministry Guru”. She inspires and provides tools for youth leaders and volunteers to achieve great success in their lives and reach children for change.
She has been recognized throughout organizations for her ability to motivate, connect with and energize her audience into action. Mark 16:15 says, “ And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. Latrece’s passion to connect with students and their leaders, is a mirror of the bible verse found in Mark 16:15. Latrece has traveled throughout Africa, South America, Asia, Europe, and North America teaching youth and youth leaders the gospel of Jesus Christ. Her most recent trips to Uganda, allowed Latrece the honor to minister too and teach over 5,000 children and youth and to train over 200 pastors and youth ministry workers.
Latrece is the creator of Gospelology ™, the First and Only Biblical Scientific Children’s Sunday School Curriculum Designed for Black and Brown Children, Teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ with a scientific twist. This program incorporates all the components of STEM, teaching the students to apply science, technology, engineering, math, AND the Principles of JESUS CHRIST to their EVERYDAY LIFE. Her alter ego, Professor McKnight better known as “Pro Mac”, makes learning science and the love of Jesus Christ, the best GOD FUN ever!
As the Student and Family Pastor at Calvary Revival Church, Norfolk, Virginia under the leadership of Bishop B. Courtney McBath, “Ms. Latrece” oversees more than 200 volunteers and over 1200 children and youth and all teams that minister to children, students and families from cradle to college.
Mrs. Williams McKnight is the President/CEO of Mcknight Williams & Associates, LLC, a leadership development, and management strategy-consulting firm building the 21st Century Workforce across industries around the world. She is also the Founder and President of Real Success University, an online coaching and leadership training school focused on developing and transforming college counselors into student coaches. Her business secured more than 1.2 million dollars in government and private sector contracts during the Pandemic and lead over 30 small women owed business to higher heights by helping them PIVOT during a Crisis.
Latrece is an Inaugural Princeton Fellow of The Black Theology and Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary. During her matriculation Latrece graduated Summa Cum Laude from Tidewater Community College, Chesapeake Virginia, and Old Dominion University, Norfolk Virginia, where she studied Education. She earned her master’s degree in Christian Education studies at Andersonville Theological Seminary, where she is currently studying to complete her Doctor of Ministry in Christian Education. She is a graduate of the Princeton Theological Seminary’s Institute of Youth Ministry, Princeton New Jersey where she completed studies in Theology and Youth Ministry.
She is a member of the sisterhood of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. and an Inductee of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.
Latrece’s Greatest Blessing is to be called MIMI by 5 beautiful grandchildren, Kynneth Latrell, Janell Latrece, Christian Isaiah, Kyan Lynn, & Jamie Lynell DAUGHTER of Rev. James & the late Rev. Lynice Williams, MOMMY to Lynn Jr. and Lynice and WIFE of 36 years to her high school sweetheart Lynn Sr.
Favorite scripture: “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
Who is Latrece outside of all the titles and hats you wear?
I am More Hats and More Titles. LOL. I am a woman of GOD dedicated to what I know HIS purpose for me is. At this moment I am doing all that I am called to do to lead children to JESUS CHRIST, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) its relevance to the word of GOD and the contributions of Black and Brown people in the creation of STEM.
At what moment did you discover your purpose?
There are two important days in one’s life, the day you are born and the day you find out WHY you were Born. I knew why I was born at an early age, probably around 6 or 7. I always knew I was supposed to help children. As a little girl, I always wanted to be a pediatrician or a veterinarian. I had baby dolls lined up in my home always “taking care” of them. I felt like my “Babies” needed nurturing and protection. I was the neighborhood Babysitter, booked every weekend. Once at college as a Pre-med major, I discovered that I had Trypanophobia, the fear of injections, and hypodermic needles. After praying I changed my major to Education. I then knew that GOD was calling me to heal children spiritually not physically.
You are known as the “Youth Ministry Guru”, take us back to the church from your childhood?
Yes, I was a Pastor’s KID (A PK)! Therefore, Church was all I Knew. You Remember? Church Service on Sunday from 9 am-6 pm, Tuesday Prayer meeting, Wednesday Night Service, Thursday Church Leaders Meetings, and ALL-NIGHT PRAYER ON FRIDAY!
My experience in church as a child reminded me of the story in the book of Acts, where Paul was giving a talk to the disciples in Troʹas. He knew that he would not see them again for a long time because he had to leave on a boat the next day. So he kept talking until midnight.
Well, this boy named Euʹty·chus was sitting at the window, and he fell asleep. He fell over, and right out the window, three stories to the ground below! He died! Yes, Paul laid on him and performed a miracle and brought him back to life, but then he went upstairs and kept talking till daylight. I felt like Euʹty·chus. There was preaching and teaching going on all around me but no relevance to me or my generation. I fell asleep. No, I didn’t fall out a window and die physically but spiritually I needed an awakening. I never felt a connection with the word. I always thought that church was for adults. So, I asked if I could teach Sunday School to the smaller kids. The answer was YES. I started teaching Sunday school at 12 and made it relevant to us kids. I have been teaching and perfecting my calling with new and innovative methods to connect children to the word of God from that point on.
Fast forward to today, what do you feel like most churches are missing when it comes to engaging youth?
I believe we are missing the connection factor. We cannot connect with people we don’t know. We must understand the Know, Like, and Trust Factor. We must get to know them sincerely. Once we know them and they us, the like factor kicks in. Once they like you, they will trust you. It’s like marketing in business. If we have a Niche, we want to know where they hang out, their language, what they eat, what they watch on tv, and what music they listen to, and so forth, all to connect with them. Just do as JESUS did. He connected with his disciples before he asked them to follow him. He went fishing, climbed trees, went to parties, turned water into wine, and then said COME FOLLOW ME. How connected are we to our Youth in the church?
A five-year project headed by the Barna Group explored the opportunities and challenges of faith development among teens and young adults within a rapidly shifting culture.
One of the reasons young people feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science. The most common of the perceptions in this arena is “Christians are too confident they know all the answers” (35%). Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in” (29%). Furthermore, the research shows that many science-minded young Christians are struggling to find ways of staying faithful to their beliefs and to their professional calling in science-related industries.
THANK GOD FOR GOSPELOLOGY!..
You created the first and only Biblical Scientific Children’s Sunday School curriculum for Black and Brown Children, why does every church need this curriculum implemented?
Black and brown children have been historically underrepresented or totally excluded from the Sunday School curriculums and bible teachings of GOD. Our own predominately black churches still hand out coloring sheets of Bible characters that do not look like us or have paper fans and stained-glass windows with the blonde-haired blue-eyed messiah. For years the bible has been taught to exclude people who look like us. We as a people have been told the lie that we had little to no impact or responsibility for the creation of science technology engineering and math. All of this is a disgrace that must be rectified so that the truth of the Greatest Story ever told is given to little Black and Brown kings and queens so they can truly understand why we matter. Until we gain respect for ourselves and love ourselves, we cannot love others. Mark 12:31 says, “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Education is the key to understanding. This Curriculum will educate ALL children of the importance of Black and Brown people and the love that JESUS has for ALL people. With this understanding and respect, I pray comes, love.
What message do you hope children take away from your curriculum?
The message that I wish to convey to our young Kings and Queens is that they are powerful beyond measure, creative and blessed with GOD’S Love and the knowledge of STEM. I also hope and pray to reach children and leaders across the world with the message that JESUS and SCIENCE are one and to broaden their minds to this realization.
If you could collaborate with anyone in the world who would it be?
Tyler Perry. LOL. I am positive Madea and Pro Mac would be good friends
Favorite Bible Verse:
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
Favorite Gospel Song:
Gospelology Theme Song
Favorite Christian Podcast:
The Gospelology Podcast
Favorite Book you’re reading right now:
Just A Sister Away, By Renita J. Weems
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
Your Hustle is work that you are most passionate about. Your Passion tends to shine through you and make you glow and look good. It means the woman’s attitude is shown through her hustle. You can always tell a woman who is about her Hustle because she always looks good. Whether in sweats or furs, red bottoms, or sneakers, she is GLOWING and GROWING, cause she is about her passion.
Connect with Latrece
@Latrece McKnight Twitter
@Latrece Williams McKnight FB
@Professor McKnight IG
@Gospelology We STEM From HIM FB