Webinar: Engaging Faith Communities in our Prevention Work


This webinar provided participants with a broad overview of the issues of faith and spirituality as protective factors, outlined the significant assets religious organizations possess and described how they can be mobilized to reduce substance misuse. Effective and innovative strategies for engaging faith leaders in prevention efforts were also discussed.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants learned about some of the challenges of working with the faith community
  2. Participants learned how community-based organizations and coalitions have successfully partnered with religious organizations in their communities.


About the Presenters:

Tracy Johnson, Founder & Managing Partner of TTJ Group, LLC

Tracy has over 29 years of experience working closely with states, nonprofits, small businesses, universities, communities and coalitions in helping them with community organizing, environmental strategies, strategic planning, substance abuse prevention, and cultural competence. He is also Managing Partner and Director of Training & Technical Assistance for SheRays’s & Associates, LLC.

He currently is working with the state of Ohio’s Partnership for Success (SPF-PFS) and the Community Collective Impact Model for Change (CCIM4C) Initiative. He formerly was the Project Director of the federally funded Center for Substance Abuse Prevention's Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT) Central Regional Team (CSAP's Central RT). Mr. Johnson is a member of the Executive Team for the Southeast (HHS Region 4) Prevention Technology Transfer Center network, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to improve implementation and delivery of effective substance abuse prevention interventions.

Michael L. Dublin, Pastor for South Central Church of Christ

Pastor Michael L. Dublin Sr. has served in the pastoral role at South Central church of Christ for the past 36 years. Pastor Dublin began his service to Christ Jesus in ministry as an Associate Minister at Brooks Avenue church of Christ in 1985 before his calling to Rochester Heights Church now South Central.

Under God’s direction, South Central has grown spiritually and numerically and averages 180 on Sunday mornings. The current building where the congregation meets was completed in May 2006 and houses several ministries that are consistent with South Central’s God given vision to “Build a Better Community for the Coming Christ by Loving God, Each Other, and Serving the Community Through Intentional Evangelism”.

Pastor Dublin has facilitated scripturally based, Substance Abuse Prevention and practical Marriage and Family workshops in a number of congregations of the Churches of Christ and is in growing demand to continue these workshops during this time of great stress in families and marriages and fluctuating drug use and misuse.
Pastor Dublin has also worked in the field of Addictions as an Internationally Certified Substance Abuse Prevention Consultant for the past 34 years.  He currently serves as a consultant for NC ABC Talk It Out Program providing faith-based training to churches.

Pastor Dublin has been married to Cecelia Crim of Dayton, Ohio for 36 years. They have a blended family of three adult daughters and two adult sons, 13 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Lesley Gabel, Certified Prevention Specialist

Ms. Gabel is currently the Co-Chief Executive Officer at Prevention Resources (PR), a nonprofit agency presently covering Hunterdon, Somerset and Monmouth Counties, NJ. Lesley graduated with a Marketing degree from Hofstra University. She has over 30 years’ experience in key leadership roles in non-profit management and training with a focus on statistical analysis, auditing and process improvements.

Ms. Gabel joined the Prevention Resource team in 2009 to direct and manage the federal Drug Free Communities grant program focusing on reducing underage drinking and drug misuse through the Safe Communities Coalition. The coalition has been recognized several times nationally for its’ outstanding successes and demonstrated outcomes in the area of prescription drug prevention and the reduction of underage drinking and marijuana; CADCA, Coalition of the Year, 2017, the National Coalition Milestone Award (February 2013) and the Dose of Prevention Award (2011). Additionally, she is incredibly proud to have received the 2018 Hunterdon County Business Woman of the Year award and Community Leader Award with the New Jersey Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association in 2016. Ms. Gabel has also been one of the team members responsible for developing a nationally recognized Faith Based coalition called “One Voice,” a collaborative network of faith-based organizations and the prosecutor’s office, focusing on community concerns, such as suicide, opioid and marijuana prevention.

Ms. Gabel is passionate about creating a better community by being involved with many organizations. She has been fortunate to live in many parts of the country like Georgia, New York, California, Nevada, Colorado and now New Jersey. Most of all, Lesley enjoys her time with her family and dogs.

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