Carlton Gooding Executive Director
Carlton Gooding joined Yokefellow Prison Ministry of N.C., Inc. in October 2017 as Yokefellow’s State Developer and was promoted to Executive Director in July 2021. Carlton was raised in a Christian, Bible-centered home in Kinston, North Carolina. His parents were simple, hard working people who focused their lives on worship and service to God and His church. His mother’s patience and his father’s steadfastness in the Christian faith, along with other devout teachers and people who nurtured him in the Christian faith, helped set the path for his own life and ministry.
When Carlton responded to Christ’s invitation in a personal way, he was baptized in the First Baptist Church of Kinston, North Carolina, where his faith was nurtured, and he later sensed a calling to ordained ministry as his life’s vocation. His family and church have always had a profound influence on his life. The things He treasures most are the love of his own family, his wife and six children, the ministry, and the pastoral care God has called him to within the church.
Out of his love of family, including the family of God, his desire is to continue in ministry beyond his 25 years of experience as a Chaplain, Retired, (LTC) in the Army Reserve Component, 20+ years of experience as a Federal Prison Chaplain, in 5 different institutions throughout the United States and pastoring in NC, WVU, and MD. His desire is to continue serving God in ministry, using his spiritual gifts and diverse ministry experiences to nurture others in God’s care.
He loves God’s Word and God’s people, wherever they may be in life’s circumstances, and is grateful to serve in this capacity, yoked with other believers in Christ. Contact Carlton Gooding at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-740-0392.
Jennifer Burns Development & Marketing Administrator
Jennifer Burns joined Yokefellow Prison Ministry in September 2021 as the Development & Marketing Administrator. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. Jennifer is certified by the United Methodist Church as a Lay Minister and comes to Yokefellow with a background in Christian Ministry, having worked for over six years for the United Methodist Church as a Church Office Administrator, in Visitation Ministry, and as a Social Media and Ministry Marketing Coordinator. Jennifer has extensive volunteer experience in the church setting, helping in various ministries, and in leading Bible studies and prayer groups. Jennifer is the wife of an Active Duty Air Force member who is stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Jennifer has significant volunteer experience serving those who serve our country, including as a receptionist at the Airman & Family Readiness Center at the Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, and serving as a Spouse Mentor helping to onboard and train spouses that are new to the military family lifestyle. You can contact her at email@example.com or 336-681-6835.
David Morton, President of the Board for Yokefellow Prison Ministry of North Carolina, had a career with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons and the N.C. Department of Correction that provided experiences in program creation, development, oversight and management of prison programming and re-entry. In the roles of chaplain and administrator, David developed and managed ministries to address the religious, emotional, and physical needs of many disenfranchised people.
Prior to his retirement from the Bureau of Prisons in 2012, David was responsible for national-level faith-based programs and multi-faith restorative/re-entry programs. He supervised administrative chaplains and non-chaplaincy staff in locations across the U.S., and he managed a program serving 200,000+ inmates. David managed a nationwide mentoring program for ex-offenders, a program that was created for the Bureau of Prisons in response to the great need for aftercare and mentoring for inmates reconnecting with the community. This program also included elements to address the needs of families and communities receiving the re-entering inmate.
Reverend Morton currently resides in NC with his wife, Linda. He has worked with Yokefellow Prison Ministry since 1982 as a chaplain and now as the President of the Board for Yokefellow Prison Ministry of NC. He has served in this capacity since 2015.
Twyla Philyaw joined the Yokefellow Prison Ministry Board of Directors in July 2022. A lifelong Christian, Twyla has a love for music ministry and says that “Christ and music have been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember.” Twyla has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Relations and had a variety of professional jobs ranging from Recptionist, Secretary, Food Server, Assistant Restaurant Manager, and 30 years with the North Carolina Department of Corrections/ Department of Public Safety. Twyla learned of Yokefellow Prison Ministry through her time as a prison administrator and wanted to continue her ministry to North Carolina inmates through Yokefellow Prison Ministry following her retirement with DPS. Twyla says that “seeking God and knowing His promises should be the desire of all Christians btu, sometimes, it is simply the ‘small quiet voice’ as God calls on us to be His voice to others.” This is Twyla’s vision for her service with the Yokefellow Prison Ministry – working with other volunteers quietly and gently demonstrating the Good News of complete and full forgiveness that only a loving God can give.
Gary Cagle is a banker with Fidelity Bank in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Originally from Lexington, NC, Gary is a graduate of Wake Forest University where he majored in analytical finance with a minor in communication. He spent four years with Fidelity Bank in the Raleigh area before returning to the Triad in 2008 as Vice President and Business Development Officer in Winston-Salem.
With Fidelity Bank, Gary enjoys serving the local business community as a commercial banker with a primary focus on commercial real estate lending. In addition to Yokefellow, he is active in the community through the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, commercial real estate organizations, the Winston-Salem Home Builders Association, Mt. Tabor United Methodist Church, and as a coach for Twin City Youth Soccer.
Gary joined Yokefellow Prison Ministry of North Carolina in early 2015 as Treasurer and has served in that capacity since that time.
Pastor Kelvin Sellers Secretary (Non-denominational)
Pastor Kelvin Sellers is the pastor of A Second Chance Community Church in High Point. He is also the Local Coordinator for the High Point Yokefellow Aftercare program.
Ken Ripley joined the Board of Directors in 1992 because of his interest with prison ministry and involvement at Nash Correctional Institution. He is the Editor Publisher Emeritus of the Spring Hope Enterprise, having retired after 43 years. He is also a certified lay minister in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and serves on the Restorative Justice and Mercy Commission (RJAMM).
Board Members at Large
Steve Couch (Baptist)
Steve Couch is a Durham native and graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Western Carolina University with a degree in Industrial Technology. After graduation, Steve joined his mom and dad, Carlton and Margaret Couch, in their family oil business. He is a lifelong member of Mount Hermon Baptist Church in Durham and is involved with their thriving prison ministry with Orange County Correctional Facility. When he’s not hard at work, Steve enjoys Bible teaching, sports, music, mission trips, the mountains, cats, and church life.
Chris Holland (Non-denominational)
Chris Holland joined the Board of Directors in October 2020. He retired after almost 25 years of working in the federal prison system.
Dwight Hunter (Non-denominational)
Dwight Hunter joined the Board of Directors in July 2022. He is a Returned Citizen who wants to use his own experience to impact the lives of others and show that changed lives are possible through the power of Jesus Christ. Dwight lives in the Raleigh/Durham area and has been instrumental in starting the Residential Reentry Ministries in that area. Dwight is the owner of a successful home and commercial cleaning company.
Chris McLean (Non-denominational)
Chris McLean was born in Brooklyn NY, raised in Sanford NC 41 yrs. Born again in 1997 as a non-denomination Christian now serve at Body of Christ Out Reach Ministry under Bishop Larry and Pastor Mellanie Ray of Sanford NC. In 2000 he was interested in serving when answering the calling to ministry. Served on many boards at Church; armor bearer, security, parking lot attendant, youth Sunday school teacher and a church volunteer at the local prison in Sanford NC. Worked at Pfizer in Sanford NC from 1999 – 2010, was laid-off the summer of 2010 between then he was recruited to Yokefellow ministry in 2003 by Harold York (97yrs of age now) that was appointed to start Yokefellow up in Sanford NC since the late 80’s. It was a blessing when he was laid-off because he was asked would he consider to be the Chaplain at Sanford Correctional. Ordained as a minister in 2010 growth to being ordain to Evangelist in 2017 work full time at Caterpillar as a Logistic Team Lead he is still serving as a volunteer Chaplain. God the Father gets all the Glory, Amen.
Leon Morrow (United Methodist)
W. Leon Morrow is a member of the Yokefellow Board of Directors. He is a United Methodist Church Pastor (Elder) appointed to Hickory Grove United Methodist Church (UMC) in Greensboro. Previously, he was appointed to Whitnel UMC in Lenoir for 6 years and to Gilkey UMC in Rutherfordton for 6 years. Before being called into ministry, he worked for the NC Division of Prisons for 27 years in several capacities, including Staff Psychologist and Superintendent of Western Youth Institution (as well as brief stints as a correctional officer and as a program supervisor). He taught a variety of Criminal Justice Courses for Western Piedmont Community College while working with the prison system. Leon served on three Epiphany teams (“Kairos” for younger inmates). He also wrote a yearlong series of monthly columns for the Charlotte Observer Newspaper, including one advocating for higher salaries for Correctional Officers.
Yvette Morrow (United Methodist)
Yvette Morrow joined the Board in 2019. She serves as a volunteer in her husband’s ministry at Hickory Grove United Methodist Church.
Yvette grew up in the AME denomination; additionally, she was guided in her spiritual growth by her grandmother and her Baptist church. However, she was disciplined in a deeper spiritual life in the Roman Catholic church of her young adulthood. There she was heavily involved in “The City of the Lord,” a Catholic, charismatic, lay community whose members are called to a covenant relationship with God and one another. She lived in the community and learned servant-hood and true concern for others. During those years, she worked in the real-estate business and sold homes for Pulte Homes. While caring for her first husband, who struggled with cancer, she felt alone and needed the support, help, and love that she received from Christians. She knows the offenders who come to Yokefellow meetings also need Christian help. With her faith as a United Methodist, she believes she can add a spiritual dimension and support to the work of the Yokefellow Prison Ministry Board.