January 2021 News Perspective Online

Student Spotlight: Amy Cannon

Amy Cannon isn’t sure what’s next after she graduates from Perkins in May.

“I’ll do whatever the Lord leads me to do,” she said. “I have learned not to try and plan, because my plans tend to derail. I’ll do whatever He assigns me to do.”

Her plate looks pretty full already. Professionally, she works full-time as the Senior Director of Well-Being and Health Services for Uplift Education, a public charter school network, and oversees 32 health clinics serving 22,000 students in partnership with Children’s Health. The demands created by COVID-19 have made that job “insanely busy” in the last nine months, but she has continued to attend Perkins full-time, pursuing an M.T.S. with a concentration in Biblical studies.

Outside of class, she helps lead the Black Seminarians Association as co-vice president. She serves on the board of Directors for the Chocolate Mint Foundation, a DeSoto-based nonprofit, and is the Assistant Treasurer for a Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) women’s group. In May, she launched an organization called Ambulation.  The 501 (c) 3 nonprofit provides biblical resources to families across the nation.

“Ambulate means to walk or move,” she said. “Ambulation publishes a monthly biblical study magazine designed to help individuals ambulate freely in Christ by releasing the baggage and stressors of life.”

Cannon loves to write and to journal, and says she felt led to share her writings more broadly.

“The Lord laid it on my heart to put my writings out there, to share during this COVID season, because so many are dealing with loss and are struggling,” she said.

Cannon loves giving back to the community. She serves on the board of directors for the Chocolate Mint Foundation, a non-profit addressing food insecurities and providing mentoring for youth in the community.

She also serves as the Assistant Treasurer for Bible Study Fellowship International (BSF), Dallas SW TX EW location at Antioch Fellowship Missionary Church.

A Dark Season

Cannon says her call to ministry arose out of a dark season in her life that began in July 2007. She struggled through personal issues, endured a divorce and then entered into another relationship that turned abusive.

“For ten years, I had been struggling,” she said. “I had been a public Christian but a private puppet of the enemy.”

She remembers a turning point three years ago, December 2017. Standing in her kitchen at home, she heard clear words of direction: “Time’s up. You’ve been in ten years of darkness.”

God, she felt, was telling her that her time of testing was over, and it was time to get to work.

Immediately, she began making changes. She began getting up each morning at 4 a.m. to spend time reading the Bible.

“I started understanding what it meant to pursue the heart of God,” she said. “I started journaling. I fell in love with reading scriptures. “

That led to the decision to attend seminary; she began by enrolling in Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS).  She’s a member of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church, and her pastor, Dr. Tony Evans is a graduate of DTS. But DTS didn’t feel like home. Then Cheryl Roseborough (M.A.M. ’20) asked her: “Hey, have you ever considered Perkins?” Cannon visited Perkins and met Margot Perez-Greene, Perkins Associate Dean of Enrollment Management.

“I fell in love with the staff and the environment that they have created here,” she said. “Perkins felt like home.”

Guided by the Word

The Bible is a constant guiding presence and a deep love for Cannon. In 2016, she started a Bible study for homeless women, which met under a bridge in Dallas every Tuesday morning for praise, worship, fellowship, and to study the Word.

When asked to name her favorite Bible verses, Cannon said that Proverbs 21:2 gives her hope for the future: “All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord evaluates the motives.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible.)

“I’m always careful about the rationale behind why I’m doing something,” she said. “When I do charity work with the wrong motives, I don’t believe the Lord accepts it. I’m always reminding myself: check your motives.”

When she’s not occupied with school or work, Cannon finds time for gardening.

 I love spending time getting into the dirt and digging by hand,” she said. “I’ve learned that when plants have dead leaves, their growth is hindered.  Those things that are attached are dead. When they’re pruned, when they’re cut off, that energy is redirected to grow new things.

“The Lord teaches me a lot while I’m out gardening.”