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Black History Month Community Spotlight - Pastor Laurel Woodstock

Laurel Woodstock is a Walsall resident and Pastor at the New Testament Church of God Faith Temple.

The celebration of Black history reminds me of three things:

  1. The past which moulded me (retrospection).

  2. The present which inspires me (introspection).

  3. The future which gives me hope (aspiration).

I believe that it is not the colour of my skin that defines me, but the content of my mind (intellect, will and emotions). As a result of this, I am able to think positively, choose wisely, act and react rationally in society.

As a Black woman, I consider myself to be unique. I am Black British through naturalisation. I immigrated to the United Kingdom in the late 90s to fulfil my career. Within the multi-cultural setting of the UK, I have advanced in many ways, especially academically and professionally. Therefore, I have great satisfaction to be able to contribute positively to society as a nurse and as a minister of the gospel.

In general, I am inspired by people who fear the Lord as that is the beginning of wisdom. I am inspired by the ‘Windrush Generation’ who came to the UK and paved the way for me and others to achieve as we have done. I am also inspired by Dr Martin Luther King Jr. The short excerpt below speaks of justice, courage and the power of leading transformation.

'I have a dream, the dreams of freedom and equality, rising from a land of slavery and hatred’.

Martin Luther King Jr, August 28th, 1963.

I hope that the name ‘United Kingdom’ will be a reflection in name and in nature, supporting the phrase ‘all lives matter’. I am hoping for unity regardless of colour, creed or nationality. I aspire to contribute to be a part of the great move of: ‘diversity becoming the core element of unity’.

I think that Walsall will improve via a six-stage strategy using the acronym ‘UNITED’.

  1. Understand its diverse community needs

  2. Network with key leaders

  3. Involve diverse groups to implement needs for specific community projects

  4. Train and develop strategies around diversity and inclusion

  5. Embrace our differences that will allow trajectory and position in Walsall to change for the better

  6. Demonstrate positive community spirit to lead transformation where ‘all lives matter’.


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