WOW-Dawn Cunningham VANDY

Twenty-eight years ago, Dawn Cunningham was living on the streets and battling addiction; however, God had another plan for her life.

The Wilson County resident credited His “grace and mercy” with helping her turn her life around. She began worshipping at Launchpoint Church in 2016 and said she is grateful they welcomed her.

She shared that she’s been given three terminal diagnoses — the first in 1992 – but will turn 52 on Jan. 24.

Cunningham works as a server at a Lebanon Waffle House, but donates most of her time to her church and to volunteer at Joseph’s Storehouse, Salvation Army and All For Him Ministry.

“My home church is Launchpoint Church and my pastor Jim Kubic is an amazing pastor that preaches God’s word right out of the Bible and doesn’t sugarcoat the truth,” she said. “I have never been involved in church before because – let's face it – my past isn’t the best.”

Cunningham has a daughter, April, 32, and a son, Terrin, 31. She enjoys making cakes and spending time with her grandkids.

“I’m blessed to have them live next door,” she said. “We like to walk to the creek on our road when the weather permits, otherwise we just hang out. I really enjoy serving God through service to my community.”

She named her junior high school secretary, Sandra Strain; her best friend, Tina O’Connell; Tracy Lening; Jane Hamlette; and Heather Young, with All For Him Ministry as women she admires.

“She (Young) started by pulling a wagon of sandwiches and drinks on her lunch break in Nashville when she saw a need. She has since quit her fulltime job to be hands on with the homeless and started the Ministry,” Cunningham explained. “We serve every Sunday in two different locations in Nashville and here in Lebanon at the Travel Inn on South Cumberland at 3 p.m. under the second covered drive thru. I love being able to say I understand and they seem to open up more knowing that I really do.”

She named volunteers Tracy and Anita Woodard as well. Cunningham also praised Angela – her pastor’s wife.

“She mostly sits quietly in the background with only a nod as pastor is preaching, but I know – because he tells us all the time – she is his backbone and the glue to everything,” she added. “I am truly blessed to have such amazing friends and a church family that loves others and serving God by serving others.”

To nominate someone for the weekly Woman of Wilson feature, email sabrinalgarrett@gmail.com.

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