Who We Are

Board of Directors and Staff

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  • Sacred Conversations 2016

Our staff and board members have a strong commitment to serving the many constituents of our organization. But first and foremost, they focus their energies on those people affected by racism and poverty to provide training for them to have a voice in the decisions which affect their families and community.

Our board represents a cross-section of our community and has a passion for our organization and for bringing about a more just society. The members work hard to ensure long-term sustainability of the organization and oversee that the funds raised are of benefit to the community.

Board Officers

  • Rev. Silas Johnson - President

    Rev. Silas Johnson - President

    Rev. Johnson is the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, located on the east side of Springfield. Pastor Johnson serves as full time pastor, after recently retiring as an electrician. Pastor Johnson's service to Calvary Baptist Church, the Springfield religious community and community-at-large is extensive. In the community Pastor Johnson served on the Educational Task force, as a member of the NAACP, treasurer for the Neighborhood Block 31 Homeowners' Association, Vice-President and Program Chair of the Springfield and vicinity Ministerial Alliance, treasurer of the Baptist Pastors' Fellowship and treasurer for 14 years of the Wood River Baptist District Association. Currently, Pastor Johnson is President and CEO of the Nehemiah Expansion Project, co-chair of the Eastside Community Foundation, member of the Mayor's Homeless Task force and member of the Safety Committee for CWLP.
    Pastor Johnson attended Gamaliel week long leadership training in 2010. Calvary was among the first congregations to participate in the “Sacred Conversations on Race (+Action)" program. Calvary provides FCCG with in kind office space, phone, internet service, and use of a copy machine.


  • Roy Williams, Jr. - Vice President

    Education Task Force Chair


  •  Michelle Pulce - Secretary

    Michelle Pulce - Secretary

    Michelle works at the IL Association of Community Action Agencies and represents this organization on the FCCG Board. She is a single young woman and is very involved in community improvement initiatives. Michelle is a monthly sustaining donor of FCCG and attended Gamaliel weeklong leadership training in 2015.


  • Treasurer – (Currently vacant due to critical illness)


Board Members

  • John Crisp

    Garvey Tubman Center

  • Rev. Dion Crites

    Word and Spirit Congregation


  • Sharmin Doering

    Sharmin Doering

    Sharmin is executive director of Sangamon County Community Resources and represents that agency on our board.


  • Ida Jackson

    Ida represents the Ministerial Alliance of Springfield and Vicinity on the FCCG Board. Ida has lived on Springfield’s east side all of her life. She is African American. Ida is raising her grandchildren and retired as a substitute teacher. She is approximately 70 years old and has been committed to improving the east side black community her entire life. Ida attended Gamaliel weeklong leadership training in 2010 and NTOSAKE in 2011.


  • Rev. Trajan McGill

    Westminster Presbyterian


  • Nick Mettemeyer

    Painter’s Local #90 and #2007


  • Aaron Pinkston

    Restorative Justice Task Force Chair


  • Don Todd

    AFSCME Retirees subchapter


  • Irma Wallace

    Irma Wallace

    Jobs Task Force Chair.

    I became involved with FCCG about 9 years ago in the infancy stage of the Springfield High Speed Rail Project. I was new to the area, had not played in the political field and did not realize my power in influencing the decision-makers on behalf of the community.

    I could relate when the Faith Coalition’s Rail Community Benefits Agreement said people from the community should get the jobs on the rail project! OUR people needed those jobs!!! I had attended Gamaliel “Week Long Training” and realized that it was in my self-interest to be on the JOBS Task force, because at the time, I was not working.

    I have attended numerous Gamaliel Leadership Trainings including the women’s training called NTOSAKE. NTOSAKE means “she who walks with lions and carries her own things.” The trainings helped me paint the whole vision of what we need to do locally and helped me learn how to build a team and move them to action!

    I believe destiny took its course over these past years. I am more aware of who I am. I have a voice! What I say matters! I have discovered my passion and self- interest and I am now a POWERFUL leader.


  • Joanna Webb-Gauvin

    Joanna Webb-Gauvin

    Joanna works for AFSCME Council 31 and brings to FCCG her extensive knowledge about the state legislature and the law-making process.


  • Rev. Martin Woulfe

    Rev. Martin Woulfe

    Rev. Woulfe was raised in the south suburbs of Chicago and joined the First Unitarian Society of Chicago in 1987. While in seminary, Martin worked at Maryville, an emergency service shelter for abused and neglected youth. After graduating from seminary, he and his wife, Angela, were in charge of a group home for troubled teens; Martin likes to call that his "finishing school" for ministry.
    Martin served for two years as the Interim Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Park Forest, IL, where the members ordained him in March, 2003. Afterwards, he accepted a call from the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Springfield, IL, where he has served for more than twelve years. His wife, Angela, is from Spain and works as a pharmacist. They have one daughter, Celeste.



  • Shelly Heideman - Executive Director/Lead Organizer

    Shelly Heideman - Executive Director/Lead Organizer

    Shelly was born and raised in rural Nebraska, the eldest of ten children. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Benedictine College, Atchison, Kansas. She and her husband, Wayne, have been married for 37 years and are the parents of four children and grandparents of eight grandchildren. They have lived in Pleasant Plains, IL for 33 years, where Shelly served as mayor from 1993-2001. She was the executive director of the Elizabeth Ann Seton Program, a small nonprofit social service agency, for 8 years.

    Shelly is currently the Executive Director and Lead Organizer of Faith Coalition for the Common Good, a faith based nonprofit organization which addresses social justice issues and trains people affected by racism and poverty to have a voice in the decisions which affect their families and community.

    In addition, Shelly Heideman is now splitting her time between the Faith Coalition and serving as the new State Director of Gamaliel of Illinois and Iowa (GOII).

  • Tyshianna Bankhead - Full-Time Organizer

    In August, FCCG welcomed Tyshianna Bankhead as a full-time Organizer. Tyshianna has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from University of Illinois, Springfield (UIS).

  • Maria Sorto - Intern from UIS

    Maria Sorto will be completing her Bachelor‘s Degree in Business Administration this Fall 2020.

  • R’Lee Jones - Intern from UIS

    R’Lee Jones is completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration and Business Administration.

  • Elijah Jones - Intern from UIS

    Elijah Jones will be completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Communications this Fall 2020.

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