Andrew Mann | Director
Born and raised in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Andrew always had a fascination with New York City. Entering college, Andrew attended New York University. Over the course of that year, Andrew became involved with East 7th Baptist Church/Graffiti Community Ministries. Transferring to Wheaton College, he graduated with a bachelor’s of music education degree in December 2004. Despite the change of venue from New York to Chicago, during his collegiate years, Andrew plugged into ministry with Betty Cherry and the ARMS ministry of Armitage Baptist Church. Over those three and a half years, Andrew helped develop and lead a Bible study with boys from the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. These years of ministry were formative for his sense of calling and philosophy toward meeting the needs of urban children. In February 2005, Andrew joined the staff of East 7th Baptist Church/Graffiti Community ministries to assist with youth programs and begin preparing for the new ministry plant of Graffiti 2 Community Ministries. In August 2005, Andrew moved to Mott Haven and currently oversees the mission, vision, strategy, and implementation of Graffiti 2 Community Ministries. As a result of this ministry, Graffiti 2 Baptist Church was planted and continues to grow. Andrew pastors this body of believers.
Josh Johnson | Youth & Recreation Director
Born and raised in Princeton, West Virginia, Josh served as an associate pastor working with college, high school, and middle school students. The passion of the ministry was to be on mission for Christ. In May 2010, while serving at this ministry, Josh led a collegiate mission team to the South Bronx to work with Graffiti 2 Community Ministries. After serving in the community for a week, Josh fell in love with the neighborhood and the people who live there. This only fueled the calling God had already placed in Josh’s life for missions. After six years of serving in ministry, Josh now knew God was not only calling him into a new ministry but into a new direction altogether. In June 2011, Josh and his family moved to the South Bronx to begin serving full-time. Josh Johnson joins Graffiti 2 as Director of Youth and Recreation.
Kerri Johnson | Graffiti 2 Works Director
Kerri was born in Princeton, West Virginia, where she met and married her high school sweetheart, Josh. Although Kerri had visited New York City once as a child, she didn’t fall in love with the city until a trip to work with Graffiti 2 in 2010. While dealing with a call to missions, Mott Haven and Graffiti 2 stayed with her daily. Her role as a mother, pastor’s wife, and church secretary continued, and plans were made for a second and third trip to Graffiti 2. Kerri prayed that God would “speak loudly” about the calling in her life. What a blessing to discover that when she finally heard God screaming that His will for her and her family was the desires of her heart. In June 2011 Kerri and Josh along with their two children, Paige and Noah, moved from their hometown in Princeton, West Virginia, to Mott Haven in the Bronx. Kerri is a, MSC (Mission Service Corps) Missionary through the North American Mission Board and serves as the Graffiti 2 Works Director at Graffiti 2. Kerri is grateful for the plans GOD has for her. It is more than she could have ever dreamed or imagined.
Mildred Marin | Office Manager
Mildred was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her family moved to New York City in the early seventies. Mildred was raised in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx where she is now raising her children. Mildred’s first encounter with Graffiti 2 was during the summer of 2009 when she enrolled her two youngest children in sports camp. After sport camps ended, Mildred’s children joined the after-school program. The family’s participation in the after-school program led them to attend Graffiti 2 Baptist Church. Eventually Mildred and her two children accepted Christ as their Savior and Lord. Mildred and her family continue to be actively involved in Graffiti 2 Community Ministries and Graffiti 2 Baptist Church. On June 9, 2014 Mildred became Office Manager for Graffiti 2 Community Ministries. She describes herself as a “true believer of John 3:27.”
JoAnn Lira | Children’s Director
JoAnn was born and raised in Cleburne, TX where she lived with her parents and brother until she moved to attend school in Dallas. From the time she was a child, she knew the Lord had a calling on her life to serve Him. Her parents encouraged her to continue her education after high school and upon graduating Dallas Baptist University; she became the first in her family to graduate from college. Her family and ministry team (her second family) then encouraged her to pursue graduate studies and she graduated with a Masters in Childhood Ministries. Throughout her life, JoAnn continuously asked the Lord to “Send Me”. He first sent her to Dallas to complete her studies. The following 7 years the Lord sent her into the public school system to teach 5th grade. She also served as children’s ministry director at Courageous Church then Waves of Faith. Each one of her assignments has prepared her to now join the Graffiti 2 family. The first time JoAnn set foot in New York, it felt like home!
Proof | Missionary Dog
On June 25, 2016 Proof passed away. To read more about her life and death, click here.
Proof was a canine-assistance animal trained as a professional therapy dog. She worked at Graffiti 2 from February 2006-June 2016. A highly trained animal, Proof serves as a de-escalation tool, reading incentive, and source of unconditional love for the children, teens, and families in the ministry.
Proof was obtained and trained through CARES, Inc. and was a purebred yellow Labrador retriever. Beginning training at seven weeks of age, Proof was raised and trained by many individuals including an inmate at the Huerfano County Correctional Facility in Colorado. Upon completion of training at fifteen months of age, Proof met her new handler, Andrew Mann, who serves as pastor/director of Graffiti 2 Community Ministries and Graffiti 2 Baptist Church. After a week of training, both Proof and Andrew passed a public access test, which allows access to all public facilities and travel (useful since Proof’s primary mode of transportation in New York is via subway). From her days in the Huerfano Correctional Facility to walking the streets of Mott Haven, it is impossible to count the number of lives encouraged by the ministry God provided through Proof.
Check out her illustrated children’s book, “Proof God Exists”