Stepping Out is taking the next step forward.
Shortly after the passing of founder Patrice Puglise, Lori Jarnigan has stepped in as the new executive director of Stepping Out.
Jarnigan has been performing many of those duties in the last few months as Puglise battled health issues, so she is ready to take the challenge.
“Patrice was one of those larger than life personalities,” Stepping Out Board Chairman Steve Amos said. “To follow in her shoes, Lori has her work cut out for her, but she’s definitely the right person at this time for Stepping Out. We’re excited about her being here.
“I had the opportunity to speak with Patrice several times before she passed. She assured me every time we spoke that Lori was the person to take over. God really used Patrice to create this ministry, but He’s given us Lori to continue it, to take on the legacy of Patrice to continue the service that He birthed through Patrice,” Amos said. “To have Patrice’s vote of confidence means a lot.”
Jarnigan has been with Stepping Out since October, 2015.
“Around September, 2016, Patrice started training me to be her possible replacement. I have had the privilege of being under the tutelage of Patrice for almost three years,” Jarnigan said. “In September, 2016, she told me of her plans to retire in 2020 and that she wanted me to be the next director. She has put in many hours, patience and training into me, even up until her last week with us she was still teaching me. She was such a strong, amazing and inspirational woman of God.”
Jarnigan has bachelor’s degree in management and leadership studies from Lincoln Memorial University and an associate’s degree in business from Walters State Community College.
“Lori comes with the experience needed for this position to relate to our clients and to those who come to Stepping Out for help,” Amos said.
Jarnigan is approaching her new job knowing the difference it can make. She has benefited from counseling herself.
“I had a history of drug abuse and God delivered me from that,” Jarnigan said. “I come with an experience of knowing where participants come from. This is a judgement-free program. We want to help people no matter what the circumstances.”
“The transition has been smooth and we look forward for a good year for Stepping Out,” Amos said. “We feel like we have some achievements on the horizon and look forward to those becoming true this year. We’re thrilled that Lori is here. Lori has done a tremendous job”
“The Lord, through Patrice, has set a firm foundation here at Stepping Out and we plan to build on the firm foundation by always seeking The Lord for guidance,” Jarnigan said.
One of Jarnigan’s favorite scriptures is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in The Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
“There is so much hope in those two verses,” Jarnigan said. “So, with all of our trust in The Lord, Stepping Out is moving forward as Patrice would have wanted it.
“I want to personally thank you for supporting Stepping Out and ask that you continue as we move forward. Your financial gifts make it possible for us to help rebuild families, help individuals become better role models for their children and citizens in the community, and help create a better workforce,” Jarnigan said.