Logo, Michigan Faith in Action

Building a Michigan with
Justice and Opportunity for All 

Text “FaithListens” to 864237 to keep in touch with MFA

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Logo, Michigan Faith in Action

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Text “FaithListens” to 864237 to keep in touch with Michigan Faith in Action

Building a Michigan with justice and opportunity for all. 

About Michigan Faith in Action


Building a faith-based movement to transform Michigan--MFA brings people of faith, institutions, and organizations together to build community and address the root causes and results of poverty, violence and division.


We will develop a new Michigan narrative that acknowledges the right, and creates the opportunity, for all to experience social and economic justice equally.


  • Honor the abundant gifts God has given us.
  • Act on the beliefs that we are all God's Children.
  • Repair that which is broken.
  • Create shared prosperity, wholeness, safety, and health for all people.
  • Transform the state.

Faith in Action or FIA

  • Mission to assist congregations in building powerful organizations to improve communities and strengthen families
  • Since 1972, helping working families have an effective voice in public decisions that shape their lives.
  • 1,000 congregations, 60 faith traditions, 150 cities, 18 states, six countries in Central America and Rwanda. One of the largest, most diverse community efforts in the United States.
  • Track record of improving inner-city schools, winning hundreds of millions of dollars for housing and community development, innovative community policing, increasing access to health care and holding political leaders accountable.

Eileen Hayes
Eileen Hayes

Eileen Hayes, Executive Director

Eileen Hayes is the Executive Director of Michigan Faith in Action (MFA). She officially joined the staff in 2016 as a community organizer, after nearly ten years of volunteer leadership through her church’s local organizing ministry. In less than a year Eileen was promoted to her current position. Eileen received her formal undergraduate education from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and her Master of Fine Arts in Digital Cinema (ABT) from National University in California.

Eileen is a long-time member of Quinn Chapel AME Church in Flint, MI. Her church activities have included several leadership roles; she is a Steward and the Chair of Christian Social Relations; the President of the Chancel Choir, and the President of the Lay Organization. Eileen is particularly proud of the work she accomplished as the former Digital Media Arts Director of QCASP?s award winning Project Citizen: Youth Perspectives, an after-school program challenging and broadening young minds by introducing them to social issues that can be powerfully addressed through public policy.

Rev. Gerald Cardwell
Rev. Gerald Cardwell

Rev. Gerald Cardwell, Director of Clergy Relations

Rev. Gerald Cardwell serves as Director of Clergy Relations for Michigan Faith in Action (MFA). Rev. Cardwell also serves as Chair of the Metropolitan Christian Council of Detroit and Windsor Advisory Board and is on the board of the International Christian Education Association of Michigan.

He served as secretary for the Board of Examiners on Ministerial Orders for the Michigan Conference of the A.M.E. Church; and Dean of Evangelism for the Fourth Episcopal District. He has also served as President of the A.M.E. Ministerial Alliance of Southeastern Michigan; President of the Downriver Ministerial Alliance; and Director of Evangelism for the Michigan Conference of the A.M.E. Church. 

Rev. Cardwell is an Ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church; and is Minister of Evangelism for Oak Grove A.M.E. Church in Detroit.

He is the former pastor of Community A.M.E. Church in Ecorse; St. John A.M.E. Church in River Rouge; and Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church in Flint. Rev. Cardwell is also a Retired Major serving in the United States Army Reserves. He is a former accountant, field service manager and national dealer auditor for the Cadillac Division of General Motors; and has worked as a new and used sales and leasing consultant for Detroit Area Cadillac Dealerships.

Rev. Cardwell is a 1972 graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Education, where he became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity serving as its Province Chaplain and has completed post-graduate work in Business Administration at Wayne State University. He is a 2000 graduate of Ashland Theological Seminary with a dual Master of Arts in Ministry Management and Master of Divinity degrees. He has served as an Adjunct Professor of Church Administration at Ashland Seminary and is a current member of the Seminary’s Detroit Advisory Board.

Rev. Cardwell has been married to his wife Betty for forty-six years, and together they a son and a daughter and three grandchildren.

Luke Allen
Luke Allen

Luke Allen, Lead Community Organizer

Luke Allen is the Lead Organizer for Michigan Faith in Action (MFA). Luke comes to MFA with eight years of experience in community organizing and public policy. He spent five years with The Harriet Tubman Center in Detroit. At Tubman, he founded the Metro Coalition of Congregations in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties, which pursued successful campaigns to reduce foreclosures, expand Medicaid, and improve regional transit. Luke went on to act as Tubman's Director of Statewide Organizing. After spending a year as executive director of Michigan Interfaith Power and Light, Luke has spent the last two years working at Michigan State University's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research as a Policy Fellow, while completing his Master's Degree in Public Policy. Originally from Bear Lake, in rural Northern Michigan, he currently lives in Ypsilanti with his wife, Alex, and dog, Doxology.

Sharon D. Allen
Sharon D. Allen

Sharon Allen, Community Organizer- Flint

Sharon D. Allen is the Flint Community Organizer for Michigan Faith in Action (MFA). Born and raised in Flint, on St. John Street, Sharon graduated from Luke M. Powers high school in 1979. Sharon is very active in the community, advocating for higher political activity among minorities and the disadvantaged. One of Sharon’s first actions was with the Rainbow Coalition in 1980 at Flint City Hall. She attended C.S. Mott Community College prior to working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Chicago in 1986. She returned to Flint in 1998 and attended Baker College. As Sharon’s son was a student at The Flint Community Schools, she also gained a great understanding of the school system as an employee.

Sharon began as a part-time administrative assistant with Flint Area Congregations Together (FACT), now Michigan Faith in Action (MFA), in October of 2009. Within six short months, Sharon was promoted to become a full-time employee. In 2010, Sharon was appointed by the executive committee to become a community organizer for MFA and she worked as the Resource and Fund Development Director from 2014-2017. Sharon is now the Flint Community Organizer for Michigan Faith in Action.

Sharon loves getting to know others by talking about their passions. She also loves the sense of collaborating with community members and organizations that help those in need. She is passionate about voter’s rights, education, youth activities and the elderly. Sharon continues to be an active member at her home church, Christ the King Roman Catholic Church of Flint, MI.

Jacquelyn (Jackie) Gibson
Jacquelyn (Jackie) Gibson

Jackie Gibson, Community Organizer- Lansing

Jacquelyn (Jackie) Gibson is the Lansing Community Organizer for Michigan Faith in Action (MFA). Originally from Mount Morris, MI, Jackie realized her passion for helping others while serving in various student and professional groups as an undergraduate student at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU). Jackie received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from SVSU in 2013 and later her Master’s Degree in Organizational and Community Leadership, along with a Graduate Certification in Community Engagement from Michigan State University in 2016.

Jackie has a history of doing advocacy work as a student and as a young professional. For example, she recently worked as the Sexual Assault Advocate at Underground Railroad in Saginaw, MI.

Jackie is very excited to be a part of the Michigan Faith in Action Team and to utilize her skills as a macro social worker. She feels that it’s important to empower others to create positive change.

Nakiya Wakes
Nakiya Wakes

Nakiya Wakes, Administrative Assistant

Nakiya Wakes is the Administrative Assistant for Michigan Faith in Action (MFA). Nakiya is also a proud activist, mother and resident of Flint, MI. In 2015, Nakiya learned of the massive lead, bacteria and disinfection-byproduct contamination in Flint, Michigan’s water. It was during this time she began to draw connections between the increasing number of seizures her daughter was having, to the intensity of her son’s ADHD and her own tragic miscarriage of twins. Nakiya realized all of these hardships were linked back to the water contamination in her home. While working as a Community Organizer for Michigan Faith in Action, Nakiya realized that her family was not alone when it came to living with these horrors. This is when she began to share her heartbreaking tale.

In early 2016, Nakiya began canvassing and aligning her organizing efforts with Flint Rising. Nakiya helped to form a mom's group for united support and action. Nakiya has shared her family's personal struggles throughout united states and has been sought out by media from around the world.

Through Nakiya’s media exposure, she has used her platform to educate residents of other cities on what to do if lead is found in their home. Nakiya has since been promoted to Administrative Assistant for Michigan Faith in Action. In her spare time, Nakiya volunteers with other local nonprofits to organize community outreach events, educational meetings and collaborations with social justice movements such as the Michigan Poor People's Campaign.

Nakiya's strength and resilience have been recognized by organizations all over the country as water contamination becomes an issue that effects the world. Nakiya continues to lead by example. She will not give up until Flint residents get the clean water they deserve.