After an extensive search, Catholic Charities of West Tennessee is excited to welcome Kelley Henderson as its new Executive Director. Kelley will succeed Monsignor Al Kirk, who has been serving as the interim Executive Director since June of 2019.
Kelley comes to Memphis from Atlanta, where he was serving as Chief Executive Officer of Action Ministries in care for the hungry, homeless, and youth across North Georgia. He has been involved with homeless outreach and poverty issues since 2006. He’s a graduate of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga., with a Bachelor of Business Administration, and has a Masters in Theology from Spring Hill in Mobile, Ala.
Kelley says that his work with the poor was an “unexpected vocation,” and one that has offered him purpose and inspiration for the past decade. “It’s an exciting time to be joining the faithful of the Diocese of Memphis, and I am humbled by the commitment of so many who serve across West Tennessee. I ask for your prayers in joining this important ministry, and for the continued support of our generous benefactors who make all this work possible.” He is passionate about his Catholic faith and speaks to churches and groups on the intersection of spirituality and service from his perspective as a Lay Carmelite.
Catholic Charities has seen many changes since its start in 1971. But the focus of the agency has always remained constant…caring for the poorest and most vulnerable, and helping them reach a life of self-sustainability, all while maintaining their God-given dignity. As Bishop David Talley says, “We must always remember that Christ is present in a special way in the broken bodies of the poor and marginalized. The work of Catholic Charities serves as a constant reminder of that truth, and a bridge from our hearts to the hearts of the poor.”
“Our search for a new executive director took a while because we wanted to make sure we found the right fit”, says Fr. Al Kirk. “Kelley Henderson brings a wealth of experience in non-profit service, coupled with a deep Catholic faith and a great love for the poor. He will expand the ministries of Catholic Charities and connect it even more closely with the social ministries of our parishes.”
Kelley, who starts his new position in February, has decided to live downtown where he can be close to Catholic Charities and become a part of the city’s energy and activity. He also plans to attend all of the parishes within the diocese in the early months here. “It’s important to me to know the people who make up the diocese … who they are and what sets their hearts’ on fire. I also want them to know about the work Catholic Charities does, so they can not only understand our mission, but be a part of it.” Kelley wants to meet as many folks as he can during his first months and welcomes your phone calls and emails or visits. Please join us in welcoming him.
Catholic Charities invites all members of the Diocese
to an Open House to meet our new
Executive Director, Kelley Henderson
Sunday, February 23
2:30p - 4:00p
1325 Jefferson Ave
Located at the corner of Cleveland and Jefferson