The Many Faces of Urban Christian Ministries

Rev. Cleveland P. Howell

Rev. Cleveland P. Howell

Interim Executive Director Chairman Board of Directors

Rev. Cleveland P. Howell began his time with Urban Christian Ministries in 1982 as a volunteer and has been a vital part ever since. He worked with and developed youth programs, creating the “Kids of Galilee” youth group as well as expanding and enhancing community outreach.

Rev. Howell continued serving UCM in several areas, including positions as Youth Director, Summer Camp Director and even as an emergency medical technician. He realized that God was calling him to full-time service, and in 1995, he became UCM’s Assistant Director, ultimately becoming Executive Director in 2005.

In his evolving role, after serving five years as the operational leader, he was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2010. Rev. Howell was named Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2017 and is currently serving as Interim Executive Director.

Rev. William Coplin

Rev. William Coplin

Assistant Director

In 2012 under the leadership of Rev. William Coplin and the direction of the Spirit of GOD BWAP (Brothers With A Purpose) was established. BWAP is a mentoring ministry designed to reach, change and challenge the lives of tough young men who live in the city of Buffalo. These Young men range from the ages of 8 – 25 years old who live with no hope, no vision or future, who are drug dealers, gang members, etc.

These young men started as children 8 – 16 years old. Many of our younger children look up to them as role models, big brothers, and in some cases FAMILY! It became apparent that in order to save this generation, we HAD to reach our young men. GOD IS OUR ONLY HOPE! BWAP consists of dinner and bible studies, mentoring, basketball, missions, service projects, local church services, Grill And A Prayer, Older Men, Older Women, Conferences, and Workshops, and much more.

BWAP Mentors:
Eddie Lewis    Stephon Boston    Michael Aina

Kathy Jefferys

Kathy Jefferys

Board Treasurer

It has been an honor to serve the LORD at Urban Christian Ministries for the majority of my adult life. I started as a volunteer in the afterschool tutoring program in the old Ellicott Mall housing project. While my children were young I volunteered my time with the ministry in a variety of areas helping with federal fund distributions (remember the blocks of cheddar cheese) and working in the Thrift Store at 1241 Main Street. In 1989, I was hired as the secretary.

When the ministry moved to our current location on Jefferson Avenue, I was promoted to the prestigious position of Office Manager and served in this capacity until 2012 when I “retired” from full time paid staff. At that point, I was elected to the board of directors where I now serve as the secretary and treasurer of UCM.

Mrs. Arlene R. Tatum

Mrs. Arlene R. Tatum

L.E.G.A.C.Y. Children’s Program Coordinator

Arlene Tatum was Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in New Jersey. She moved to Buffalo, New York in 1989 and married Mr. Michael Tatum. They have been happily married for 28 years. She is the mother of three daughters and 7 grandchildren.

Arlene has an A.S. Degree in Ele. Ed. Studies from Villa Maria College and her B.S. Degree in Elementary Ed. from Buffalo State College. She has taught in Buffalo Public and Charter Schools. She has a love for children, people, community, missions, service, and is extremely happy to be a part of the UCM family.

Nicole Shearer

Nicole Shearer

Hello my name is Nikki. I’m 29 years old and I grew up in Buffalo, and I am the Pantry Coordinator here at UCM. I’ve been involved with UCM for over the past 10 years. First was a mission trip to Mexico and then I got involved with Kids Club and I was involved for almost 7 years. UCM was my family and I loved serving the community. Being in Mexico made me realize how much I loved to serve people. Due to life circumstances, I wasn’t able to be involved as much but I always felt connected to UCM. About a year and a half ago, I started asking God specifically for a job in a pantry and then the opportunity opened up. It has been an absolute blessing and one of the most rewarding jobs. It’s so much more than handing someone a bag of food. It’s giving a sense of dignity and getting to know their story and making them feel the love of our Father through how we treat them.

Arthur Kastner

Arthur Kastner

Director of Maintenance Table of Grace Coordinator

Arthur Kastner was born and raised in Galveston, Texas. Arthur is our Director of Maintenance and Table of Grace Coordinator. He has traveled around and lived in various parts of the country from the age of 16-40. Arthur landed in Buffalo through the City Mission and became a follower of Christ on May 15, 2011.
While at the Buffalo City Mission he graduated the discipleship program in 2012 and remains one of the most successful men to complete that program. He is currently a member of Kenmore Alliance Church. He loves to serve his community and is glad to be a part of the UCM family.

Cheryl Anderson

Bio Coming Soon…

Board of Directors

  • Rev. Cleveland P. Howell – Chairman/Interim Executive Director
  • Kathy Jefferys – Treasurer & Secretary
  • Daysi Ball
  • Crystal Benjamin
  • Shirelle Jackson
  • Marilyn Law
  • Alan McCracken

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