Mid-South Hero: Pastor Dianne Young commits to helping her community heal

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 5:44 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A pastor in Oakhaven is committed to healing her community.

Her focus took a shift after a tragedy on church grounds.

“Pastor Dianne, in my view, is a true visionary,” said Julie Meiman.

Building the foundation for a community to thrive began with a leader who listened when God called. Out of the pain and tragedy of losing a member of her congregation grew hope, help, and healing.

“We got a call that she was on the ground, on the grounds, and she had taken a pistol and taken her life,” said Pastor Dianne Young.

Addressing suicide, providing counselors and nursing physical and emotional wounds is the mission of this month’s Mid-South Hero.

Young and her husband have called the Bluff City home for more than 30 years. They began to minister to community members in Oakhaven. That ministry grew into their church, The Healing Center.

Sadly, they noticed critical gaps between the physical and emotional wellness of their neighbors. To aid those in need, the Youngs grew their church membership and opened a free clinic to heal the whole person, creating the Wellness and Stress Clinic of Memphis.

“I think I was a trailblazer. Me, Pastor Gina Stewart. I was a trailblazer for women in ministry. But now it’s not as foreign as it once was. There are people who still have reservations about women in ministry. That’s why you have to be sure of your calling,” said Young.

Pastor Dianne, as she is affectionately called, fights for what she believes in, a fight she’s faced for decades. She said when she entered the ministry, she was not given a warm, pastoral welcome.

Once, she was asked to not enter the pulpit and stand over to the side.

She shared advice to those who are considering going into ministry and want to be mentored.

“Don’t let people call you because if people call you, people will destroy you. But if you let God call you, then you’ll be sure,” Young said.

Young is certain she’s doing the right things by her neighbors who are hurting. Her clinic provides free medical, social, legal, and emotional support services.

“We offer what I consider true integrated behavioral healthcare services, which means that when somebody walks through the door, we’re not just treating the medical issue. Every person meets with a social worker, every person has all of their needs accessed, housing, mental health, everything,” said Meiman.

Young believes treating the spirit, soul, and body allows you to better gauge how to help a neighbor, friend, or family member in crisis.

One lady is forever in the pastor’s heart after seeking counseling for a domestic violence issue.

“We sent her to the doctor. I will never forget her and she was in stage 4 cancer. But it was because she was so focused on one area that she didn’t pay attention to the other area,” Young explained.

With a smile on her face and glow in her eyes, Young truly enjoys providing for others.

“The theme for my life and I don’t know about anybody else’s, but if you’re living and it’s just all about you, then you’re not living,” said Young.

Congratulations Pastor Dianne Young! You are this month’s Mid-South Hero.

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