All posts by Cory Skeates


Board of Parker Street Ministries announces New Leadership and New Trustee

Will HarrellThe Parker Street Ministries Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that, in January, William H. Harrell assumed the office of Chair after serving as Vice-Chair for two years. Kyle Davis moved to the office of Immediate Past Chair. Trustee Scott MacDonald was elected to the position of Vice-Chair and Lynn Andersen was elected as a new Trustee. The board of twelve community leaders serve as Trustees, providing governance for the mission of Gospel-centered community development beginning in Lakeland’s Parker Street neighborhood.



Seth and Nirva Ready’s home in Lakeland might be hard to miss. Parked in their driveway is a tour bus – something familiar to musicians. The Readys are a vocal duo whose music is a blend of pop, gospel and R&B influences. As residents of Lakeland, the couple spends a majority of their time traveling in the bus across the nation or flying overseas to perform concerts. In the next few weeks, they are looking forward to being able to perform at home in Lakeland.

On Tuesday, January 23, the Readys will be performing the post-game concert following the Lakeland Magic game as a part of Faith and Family Night. The Magic will be taking on the Greensboro Swarm at 7 p.m. in the Jenkins Arena in the RP Funding Center. The concert will be free of charge to everyone with a ticket to the game. “We’re excited for a public setting to do ministry,” said Seth, an alumnus of Southeastern University.

Born and raised in Polk County, Seth decided to attend Southeastern after hearing about it from one of his youth pastors. “Southeastern was a fun and lively campus with a spiritual focus,” he said.

A 2004 graduate of Southeastern, Seth recalls being the only Math major to walk across the graduation platform. While earning his degree, Seth started to pursue a career in the music industry. In his junior year, he was hired as a backup vocalist for Grammy award-winning artist Kirk Franklin. He took a break for a year from school to travel with Franklin and then returned to finish his degree. Following graduation, he continued to flourish as a background vocalist singing for a variety of Christian artists including Chris Tomlin, Donnie McClurkin and Cece Winans.

Nirva followed a similar career path. Raised in Chicago, she joined Grammy award-winning TobyMac’s Diverse City band after graduating from Fisk University. While singing with Toby at a Billy Graham Crusade, she and Seth met backstage for the first time. Soon afterwards, a friendship developed eventually leading to marriage three years later.

In 2012, they transitioned to serve as young adult pastors at The Crossing Church in Tampa. At that time, Seth and Nirva also started to record songs on the side and released an EP, “I Need You.” They were soon contacted by Integrity Music, who offered them a recording contract. Their first album, “Never Alone,” with Integrity was released in 2016.

One of their songs, “Brother,” – a song they almost didn’t record – quickly made it to the radio. “When we first heard it, we were hesitant to record it. We wondered if we could sing these lyrics with a hundred percent honesty,” said Nirva. “Could we really say that we see a brother when we look in the face of our enemy? This question was haunting and convicting.”

“With all that was going on in our nation though, we felt that this message was needed. And, even if we might not be there quite yet, it could serve as a vision caster for the kind of people we wanted to become,” said Nirva. “‘Brother’ is a reminder that everyone is created in the image of God. It’s good to forgive and not to harbor bitterness. We have to choose to love even when it is hard and difficult,” said Nirva. This is one of the songs they will perform at the Faith and Family Night.

In July of 2017, Nirva stepped down from the TobyMac Diverse Band to pursue music full time with Seth. “It is fulfilling to do ministry as a couple,” said Seth. Since then, the two released a new song at the beginning of 2018 called “We Won’t Back Down.”

To learn more about Seth and Nirva Ready, visit their website at To purchase tickets for Faith and Family Night, visit or call 863.825.3258.


President Ingle Joins U.S. College and University Presidents in Urging Congress to Protect Dreamers

Southeastern University President Kent Ingle, along with members of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, met in Washington, D.C., today to call on Congress to pass a permanent legislative solution to protect young immigrants known as Dreamers. The event took place at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

“I am honored to be able to represent our DACA students at the Capitol. These students are integral members of our community, so it is important that we continue to urge Congress to develop legislation that would protect their rights,” said Ingle.

The call to action is in response to the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last fall. The program protects the deportation and work authorization to individuals who came to the United States under the age of 16, and allows them to attain higher education, serve in the military and work in their communities.

Ingle is one of the founding members of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. The Alliance was formed by 234 college and university presidents and chancellors from around the nation, including representatives from Harvard University, Princeton University and Georgetown University, in response to the urgent need to increase public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact students, campuses and communities. The first priority for the Alliance is to advocate for a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers. Last week, the organization urged Congressional leadership to pass legislation immediately in support of Dreamers.


Lakeland Chamber Annual Meeting Pays Tribute to Mr. George Jenkins

LCC_2017_AnnualMeeting_PostImageThis year’s event features a special original musical production entitled “When You Dream:  A Legacy of Giving.”  Performed by students from Harrison School for the Arts and written by the school’s principal, Daryl Ward, and graduate, Tyler Campbell, the production pays tribute to Mr. George Jenkins and the philanthropic legacy he inspired in Lakeland.

The evening will begin in the Exhibit Hall at 5:15 pm with a heavy hors d’oeuvres reception (in lieu of a sit-down dinner) followed by the program in the Youkey Theatre.  General Admission seats are still available for $65 and Corporate Partnerships (10 tickets in reserved seating section) are available for $700.

Register at


The Forum at SEU Registration

Untitled design (2)The Forum at SEU, a two-day leadership event, will be held on March 15 &16 at Southeastern University. The two-day conference will provide actionable leadership training from premier thought leaders in order to raise the leadership bar in individuals, organizations and communities. This year’s speakers include Daymond John, Brian Kilmeade, Ed Bastian and many more. General admission starts at $149. Register online at For more information, please call 1.877.FORUM2018 or email