About Willie Peterson

Willie F. Peterson

1776’s partnership with Reverend Willie F. Peterson affirms the Woodson Center’s relationship to America’s heartland. Located in the “forgotten city” of Youngstown, Ohio, Reverend Peterson’s Center for Community Empowerment has helped over 200 former criminal offenders find work through his and Mrs. Peterson’s NewBirth Project. “NewBirth” referenced Mr. and Mrs. Peterson’s church home, the NewBirth Kimmelbrook Baptist Church, where Reverend Peterson has preached since 2006. Reverend Peterson has served in the church for most of his life since 1984, when he was licensed to minister. He became ordained into pastoral ministry in 1990.

Mr. and Mrs. Peterson also host grant-writing workshops. And they provide expert counsel on the ex-offender population to businesses, government, and a network of community and faith-based organizations.

Reverend Peterson is currently a professor at the Youngstown State University’s Social Work Department. He and his wife, Mrs. Ella Peterson, are the parents of five children, 11 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Reverend Peterson’s book, Taxes & Tithes, It's Your Money: A Resource Guide for Faith and Community Organizations, was published in 2004.