Alfonso Kirk Jr. was born in Shreveport, LA. on Thanksgiving Day in 1966. His father died when he was eleven, so he and his five siblings were mostly reared by his mom, with lots of help from his maternal grandmother. He grew up in a small town, outside Shreveport, called Haynesville where he was baptized in a Baptist church and attended Sunday School and worship services on a regular basis.
Alfonso graduated valedictorian of his high school class and attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA., where he obtained a B.S. of Computer Science from the College of Engineering in November 1989. While at Louisiana Tech, Alfonso accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior in September 1986. Upon earning his degree, he immediately moved to Tampa, FL as a result of new employment as a computer software programmer for IBM in January 1990.
After moving to Tampa in 1990, Alfonso attended several ministries throughout the city, sometimes actively involved, other times not so active. Like many Christians, he didn't always walk in the will of God, but at times walked in his own will instead. But on March 30, 1998, Alfonso surrendered to the will of God regarding the calling on his life to minister in the gospel. On April 11, 1998, he officially preached his first sermon.
In April 1999, Alfonso, his fiancee' Melanie, and two other couples began meeting for Bible Study in their homes. During this time, Alfonso accepted the pastoral calling on his life and Living Witness Ministries was born.
In May 1999, Alfonso was ordained to minister by a council of ministers, ironically headed by his Pastor, who had prophesied God's calling on Alfonso's life some four years earlier. On June 19, 1999 Alfonso accepted and married his helpmeet, Melanie Welch, provided to him by God to accomplish his calling. To this day, Alfonso continues to be mentored by his pastor and father in the ministry, Pastor Doyle Adams - Senior Pastor of the Elizabeth Baptist Church in Benton, Louisiana.
Alfonso has 16 years of experience in Corporate America in various technical and management capacities: 10 years working for IBM in software design and 6 years working as a Lead Software Engineer and Technical Consultant for AT&T Labs; the last 8 years in a bi-vocational mode.
In August 2005, Alfonso left a thriving career at AT&T Labs to pursue a vision that God birthed in him during a corporate fast in February 2004. God has given Alfonso a vision where the TV and the movies will be used for His Glory to reach the lost and not only for the sesspool of filth and decadence it is today. Currently, Alfonso is an entrepreneur and runs his own company, Christian Writing & Innovation Enterprises LLC, where he writes Christian entertainment projects as well as provides Information Technology consulting services to small and Fortune 100 companies. In addition to the consulting services, Alfonso is currently writing Christian media (TV shows, movies, and books) for mainstream broadcasting as well as Bible software tools, as well. Alfonso believes in Jesus' model for leaders: "Leaders are here to serve, not to be served". This is one of the main reasons Alfonso continues to be gainfully employed outside of LWM, all the while leading a "full-time" ministry.
In addition to this, in 2007, Alfonso helped found the Remember The Poor International, Inc. (RTPI) global missions organization. Alfonso currently serves as President of this organization whose goal is to bring churches and Christians together to carry out mission work: evangelizing, discipling, educating, feeding, and developing the communities in some of the poorest countries in the world. RTPI's current focus is in the remote areas of Haiti.
Alfonso and Melanie are a team in every sense of the word. In the past, Melanie has worked as a Hillsborough county kindergarten teacher as well as a social worker. Although the multi-talented Melanie has a psychology degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, her primary focus, since the birth of their first child in 2000, continues to be the home. She is also very involved in ministry work, especially in regard to the Women, Youth, and Children ministries at LWM. She is also a nationally certified aerobics and fitness instructor and teaches several classes at various health clubs around the Tampa Bay area. She believes that God has called her to have an impact on the Body's physical health, as well as the spiritual health.
The Kirks have 3 children, Alfonso III, Naketris Margaret, and Erika Louise born September 2000, February 2003, and Nov 2006, respectively. In August 2009 the Kirk household expanded again as they opened their home to Myriam Pierre, the 16-year-old daughter of Fedner Pierre, the Haitian pastor of our Haiti mission. Myriam is living with the Kirks and attending high school in Tampa, Florida.
While Alfonso is about LWM, LWM is not just about Alfonso. Our motto here is "It's All About Jesus", and we hold true to that. Our vision and mission is plain and simple: In Matt. 28:18-20, Jesus instructs us to "Go make disciples" and to "teach them to observe His commands". We intend to make this the focus, not raising money, not buildings, etc. In short, our mission is the Great Commission. God has spoken to Pastor Kirk and the LWM family and instructed us to step out on faith and He would do the rest. And we believe Him since after all, It's not just about us, but "It's All About Jesus".