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J.M.Simmos Scholarship Fund

J.M. Simmons

Scholarship Fund Committee
P.O. Box 8287
Newark, NJ 07103







St. Paul Sounds of Praise Pentecostal Fellowship Ministries

Bishop Timothy Wayne Griffin, II

Senior Pastor


Lady Venus Griffin

First Lady


Elder Joycie Garrett

Pastor of Christian Education




Please visit us at:


587-95 18th Avenue Newark, NJ 07103

Lady Johnnie .Mae. Simmons

(July 15, 1943- June 18, 1992)

About Lady J.M. Simmons

Sister Johnnie Mae Simmons (who preferred to be called Sister J.M. Simmons) was the First Lady at St. Paul for over seventeen years arriving with her husband, the late Bishop Nathaniel Simmons and family in 1975. Although she participated in many of the service auxiliaries including working in the kitchen and giving a helping hand wherever needed, she had a very special love for the youth. She utilized her leadership role as the New Jersey's District Supervisor of the Young People's Institute within the Fire Baptized Holiness Movement to amplify her special interest in the youth.

She was constantly concerned with the young people having an active part in the church. She was known for consistently generating ideas, coordinating activities, and sponsoring trips for youth. Sister Simmons maintained, “The youth can be saved and have a good time as well.” Sister J.M. Simmons was a wonderful “down to earth” example to the women of the church, both married and single alike. In addition, she carried out the Lord’s work while simultaneously supporting her husband’s ministry by constantly assessing the needs of the church and sponsoring projects to edify and beautify the Lord’s house.

Even through her illness, she spearheaded the project to install a lighted cross bearing the church’s name in front of the building. In addition, she further promoted St. Paul’s ministry by being instrumental in the purchase of equipment to initiate a tape ministry. Sister Simmons made an indelible impression on the lives of those who knew her. The scholarship fund is an extension of the blueprints her life has crafted for countless individuals.

Our History

The J.M. Simmons Scholarship Fund, initiated in 2001, memorializes St. Paul’s First Lady Johnnie Mae Simmons and the tremendous contributions and sacrifices that she made to youth. The founding committee members are Elder Joycie Garrett (overseer), Minister Peter Edwards, Sister Michelle Davis (transferred membership), Elder Lisa Woodard (transferred membership), and Sister Patricia Griffin (transferred membership). Elder Joycie Garrett, Christian Education Director, served as chair of the J.M. Simmons Scholarship Fund Committee from 2001 to 2005. With Elder Joycie Garrett’s recommendation, Sister Casandra Y. McKendall was appointed as chair by Elder Cleveland Blash, Jr. in 2006. The Scholarship Committee is comprised of various members of diverse ages, educational backgrounds, and careers. Currently, we function under the auspices of the St. Paul Sounds of Praise Christian Education Ministry. Our overseer and spiritual advisor is Elder Joycie Garrett, Pastor of Christian Education. Various workshops, programs, and/or fundraising events are held throughout the year.  The Committee is now spearheaded by Dr. Joycie Garrett. Past activities and fundraisers have included: 

> Annual Orientation & Planning Meeting

> Monthly Planning Meetings/Conference Calls

> Annual Awards Banquet/Reception

> Hearts for Education

> Dollars For Scholars

> Soda Machine Sales

> Men Who Cook

> Pennies from Heaven

> Fashion Show

> Fun Run/Walk/Wheel

> Knowledge Is Power Seminar

> Praise Fest and Bake Sale

> Talent Explosion

> Ice Cream Social

In 2006, the J.M. Simmons Scholarship Fund Committee received commendations for its work with youth: a proclamation from the Mayor’s Office and resolutions from the Newark City Council.



Proverbs 8:10-11: “Take my instruction and not silver, And knowledge rather than choicest gold. “For wisdom is better than jewels; And all desirable things cannot compare with her. 


To serve as a catalyst for transformational leadership by investing in the educational and career aspirations of our youth, regardless of academic standing or economic background. 

MISSION STATEMENT Investing in the future of our students by providing financial assistance, a support system, preparation, and resources for higher education.


> To raise funds in order to provide scholarships to undergraduate college students

> To serve as a vehicle for support services and educational, cultural, and social activities for college and college bound students

> To provide ongoing encouragement, support, and outreach to scholarship recipients and prospective college students.


“Investing in the future of our students”

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