GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Johnathan Holland is in his element when he’s in the kitchen preparing a meal for people who likely wouldn’t have anywhere else to turn.

He’s held different jobs over the years but says the work he’s doing now is more than a job.

He’s the kitchen manager and assistant director of housekeeping for First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro.

His responsibilities include managing the program that helps people who are hungry and homeless.

“We have so many cases where people who were coming here to eat…they were homeless at one point, now they have apartments and jobs and they’re thanking us for giving them a meal. The meal and the fellowship just pushed them through,” he said.

Holland was able to get the position through his connections at StepUp Greensboro.

StepUp offers free job readiness and life-skills training.

Holland says it was the support he needed after losing a job and his car.

He walked three miles to attend class when he was in the program.

“Confidence to believe in myself even more — knowing that the vision that I had for myself and the impact that I wanted to have in the community– that it was possible,” he said.

“The job may come first. You might have to get a job because we know you need to pay those bills, but you should be working toward a career… finding you a company/ an organization that you can grow with,” Executive Director Anthony Bass said.

Angel Baptist says StepUp helped her take ownership of her past without letting it hinder her goals for the future.

“I had a class G felony that I did not know how to explain,” she said.

“StepUp taught me not to be afraid of it. To dive in, to explain it, to look at it… say, ‘Hey, I did this. This is what I did, but this is not who I am.’”

“We have some justice involved, but individuals still deserve to enjoy life,” Bass said.


Greensboro News

More Greensboro news from

Baptist is now the shelter director of Weaver House at Greensboro Urban Ministry.

StepUp Greensboro was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) by members of First Presbyterian Church in 2011 under the leadership of Dr. Sheron Sumner.

The organization will celebrate several milestones at its annual Impact Luncheon on Sept. 19.