Archive for the ‘nashville’ Tag

Julie Brinker, Doing What She Loves in Service to the Community of Nashville, Tennessee

Scientologist Julie Forney Brinker has been making a difference in people’s lives through community service for most of her life.

Julie Brinker, née Forney, is carrying forward a family tradition of service. And she is having the time of her life.

Now 21, Julie was only 4 when she first insisted that her mother, Ellen Maher-Forney, President of the Church of Scientology of St. Louis, Missouri, swear her in as a Drug-Free Marshal. That way, she could help other kids pledge to live drug-free lives.

By the time she was 16, Julie had clocked enough volunteer hours in service to the community to be honored, along with her mother, with a Presidential Volunteer Service Award by President George W. Bush.

Always precocious, at 19 Julie embarked on a career of her own, coordinating community affairs for the new Church of Scientology & Celebrity Centre of Nashville, Tennessee, which was dedicated and opened April 25, 2009.

But being in the public eye was not always easy for Julie.

“I loved doing community work but my whole life I had trouble communicating to others—I was timid, reserved, wouldn’t speak up. And I didn’t like having to talk in front of a group,” she says.

All that changed when Julie enrolled on a Scientology communication course at age 16.

“Suddenly, I didn’t get nervous around people,” she says. “I no longer had a problem saying what I wanted to say.”

Once in Nashville, Julie energetically took on her new responsibilities. In May 2010, when the Cumberland River overflowed its banks, engulfing downtown Nashville and flooding thousands of residents from their homes and tourists from their hotels, Julie mobilized the Church’s Scientology Volunteer Ministers Corps. They staffed shelters and helped the city reunite evacuated hotel guests with their luggage and find flights home. And when the floodwater receded, Julie personally led the Church’s cleanup brigade, helping flood victims salvage their possessions and begin putting their homes back together.

In 2010, Julie moved on from disaster relief to establish the “Foundation for a Drug-Free Tennessee,” a grassroots drug education initiative. In its first year, volunteers have taken its “truth about drugs” message to 15,000 students in 12 counties across Tennessee.

Nashville is also special to Julie for another reason. The day she arrived, she met Jesse Brinker, and they married in March 2011.

“The moment I saw him, I knew I was looking at my future husband,” she says.

Looking forward to many more years of service, Julie is cheerful, energetic and focused. She describes it this way:

“Here I am now, doing a job I adore in a city I love and married to an amazing man.”

To learn more about what Scientologists are doing to create a better world, watch “Meet a Scientologist” videos at www.Scientology.org.

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The popular “Meet a Scientologist” profiles on the Church of Scientology International Video Channel at Scientology.org now total more than 200 broadcast-quality documentary videos featuring Scientologists from diverse locations and walks of life. The personal stories are told by Scientologists who are educators, teenagers, skydivers, a golf instructor, a hip-hop dancer, IT manager, stunt pilot, mothers, fathers, dentists, photographers, actors, musicians, fashion designers, engineers, students, business owners and more.

A digital pioneer and leader in the online religious community, in April 2008 the Church of Scientology became the first major religion to launch its own official YouTube Video Channel, which has now been viewed by millions of visitors.

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Church of Scientology & Celebrity Centre of Nashville Mobilizes Scientology Volunteer Ministers to Cope with Floods

photo by Jett Loe

NASHVILLE—The Church of Scientology & Celebrity Centre Nashville mobilized Volunteer Ministers to staff shelters at Lipscomb University and McGavock High School over the weekend when the Cumberland River overflowed its banks and flooded downtown Nashville, causing thousands of residents and visitors to evacuate homes and hotels.

Flooding began in low areas and valleys on Saturday, May 1, and by Sunday the Cumberland River overflowed into downtown. Vehicles were swept away, homes were engulfed and authorities were rescuing stranded residents by boat.

Muddy water cascaded into The Grand Ole Opry House and Country Music Hall of Fame and forced the evacuation of 1,500 guests and 500 staff from the Opryland Hotel.

The Scientology Volunteer Ministers worked with the Red Cross and other community groups to aid evacuees in shelters at Lipscomb University and McGavock High School, including providing food services. They helped evacuated hotel guests find their luggage and make their way to the airport and home.

Scientologists also volunteered at a shelter set up at the Jewish Community Center for stranded residents of Belle Meade and Bellevue and helped evacuate tenants of an apartment complex that was about to be engulfed.

With waters now receded, the volunteers are helping residents with the daunting task of cleaning up flood damage.  “We started with our parishioners whose homes were badly damaged.  Now we are going through neighborhoods checking at each home to see if they need help,” said Julie Forney, Public Affairs Director for the Nashville Church of Scientology.

The Volunteer Ministers program is an integral part of the community outreach of the Church of Scientology & Celebrity Centre of Nashville, which opened its doors at 1130 8th Avenue South, in April 2009.  At the grand opening celebration, Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, acknowledged the Nashville Scientology Volunteer Ministers for their dedication and effective aid to hundreds of families after the 2008 Lafayette tornado.

The Volunteer Ministers program was created by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard in 1976.  He wrote: “A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well.”

For more information on the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program, visit their web site at www.volunteerministers.org.