As a school-age child in the southeastern African nation of Malawi, Faith Wokoma encountered Jesus in a powerful way when she attended a Reinhard Bonnke crusade.
A couple of years later, her life drastically changed when her mother uprooted and moved the family to the U.S. Her mother had married a Malawian who was living in Pittsburgh, so the family immigrated to Pennsylvania when Wokoma was only 8 years old.
"I did not speak much English when I arrived, but I was very outgoing," Wokoma says on her website, askdoctorfaith.com. "I didn't let my lack of knowledge of the language hold me back."
Her leadership ability showed itself from a young age.
"I remember leading on the soccer field and making people laugh in class," she says. "Before long I was in the town newspaper for becoming the first African American president in my elementary school. After that, I was part of just about every organization you can imagine."
She says she had a "natural drive," which spurred her on to lead her youth group. Along with all of the different positions she has held through the years—preschool teacher, program director, life coach and advisor among them—her outgoing personality, advanced education and Spirit-led faith have come together to equip her to start her own business, Ask Dr. Faith Inc., based in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Driven to Lead
Wokoma's heritage and culture also influenced her career choices.
"Being an African American, we are very driven—you're either going to be a lawyer, doctor or engineer, one of those," Wokoma says. "I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. I loved people."
In the end though, she didn't follow those aspirations to become a medical doctor. Instead she got her Psy.D. in clinical psychology from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. While there, she struggled with comparing herself to her classmates and doubted her direction.
"I remember seeing and meeting people like Heidi Bakker," she says. "And I was like, 'God, I just want to be on the mission field. Why do you have me here? Why am I doing this?'"
God showed up in the powerful way only He can.
"I just had a clear confidence that my line of work was going to be with people directly, helping them to discover their identity and their purpose," she says.
After graduating from Regent, Wokoma did her residency in Alabama. She thought she was going to take the "normal route" of getting her license to practice clinical psychology. But the Lord showed her a different way forward. She remembers hearing Him say, "I've called you to work for Me, and we don't have too much time."
The Lord made it clear she was not to take the usual licensing route.
"I ended up getting pregnant, severely sick, couldn't take my [licensing] test and got it rescheduled," she says. "And the day I got rescheduled, I had an emergency C-section with my son. So I was like, 'OK, God, I get it.'
"And so out of that, we said, OK, our heart is going to be to work with people spiritually and help them just really emerge in their purpose and their identity and go from there."
As Wokoma reflects on her ministry so far, she credits her vision to one thing: "Our assignment is to the Lord."
Equipped to Serve
First, she got educated, then she learned what she had to leave behind in the classroom. Early on, she had a profound realization in an introductory psychology class.
"Because I had been dreaming as long as I could remember, I was like, 'This is what I need to do,' not knowing that the dream interpretation in psychology obviously is not the tool we use as believers," she says.
Wokoma had to understand how to pair her education in psychology with her gifting in the Holy Spirit.
"Everything is not just biological or psychological," she says. "I know there's a spiritual component. Sometimes the church thought everything was spiritual, but sometimes there's a biological or a psychological component."
Every day in her work, she employs "a holistic understanding of people," she says.
Now she has moved from working with individuals to businesses. Ask Dr. Faith is flourishing as a resource center offering mentorship programs, content courses and other holistic life-affirming resources to all kinds of businesses led by believers.
"Our courses range from dream interpretation courses to inner healing and deliverance courses," says Wokoma, who says the Lord has "allowed us to broaden what we offer."
Wokoma believes strongly that healing and miracles are normative today. She saw that early on in the Bonnke crusades.
"Seeing the miracles and all of that, it was just normal," she says.
Earlier in life, she thought she would have a deliverance ministry. Frank and Ida Mae Hammond's classic bestselling book Pigs in the Parlor: The Practical Guide to Deliverance was a big influence in her life.
Even though she is working with business clients now, she doesn't check her spiritual gifting at the office door. Having her own business also has opened up opportunities for Wokoma to share her wisdom in countries around the world. She speaks at conferences, teaches seminars and helps organizations grow in areas such as spiritual development, purpose and destiny, family and relationship dynamics, leadership formation and spiritual well-being.
Ask Dr. Faith offers guidance in business structure and systems, defining organizational identity and what each client uniquely brings to the table. Wokoma asks questions like, "Who are you? What is your value? What do you bring? "What is your culture? What do you want your workers to feel and experience?" This format is especially important for church leadership, Wokoma says.
Her approach to vision-casting allows her to adapt it to both Christian and general market organizations. And Wokoma says this has allowed her to bring the gospel to those who might not have heard it otherwise.
"That's what I love about what we get to do," Wokoma says. "It's an opportunity to release the values of the kingdom of God, even to people who may not necessarily overtly express them."
She does this by asking the client, "What does kindness look like in your organization? What does generosity look like? Do you want to create that kind of culture?" And then, she says, "Our focus, our 'why,' is to not only help equip people in organization, but to help people understand that, ultimately, we're alive to spread the gospel."
Understand Your Identity
At its core, Ask Dr. Faith is designed to help people understand their purpose and identity as they seek to lead their organizations.
This is something Wokoma had to do in her life as every Christian must find their identity in Christ.
First, she is thankful she has never rebelled against God.
"It wasn't like I was saved from this horrible thing, and I committed my life to the Lord," she says. "I just always loved Him."
And then she wanted to share that love with others to help them grasp their own identity in Christ.
"People have a better life when they really understand who they are in Him," she says.
Not only is Dr. Faith Wokoma fulfilling her God-given purpose to help others, but she also has extended the reach of her wisdom and encouragement through her books, Marked: Unraveling and Understanding the Call of God for Your Life and Healing Your Past: How to Heal From Rejection, Regret and Shame So You Can Step Into Your Future. She says she wrote them to take the reader on "the journey of looking at some of the things that speak to great destiny, but oftentimes the enemy wants to use them to distract us."
Even though she has plenty of opportunities to be distracted by the craziness of life as wife, mother, pastor and business owner, Wokoma rests in the call the Lord has placed on her life.
Dr. Faith and her husband, Soboma Wokoma, lead Legacy Center Church in Cary, North Carolina.
"It was really out of obedience," she says. "We had been doing ministry, traveling conferences, mentoring, that kind of thing. And the Lord began to say, 'You're babysitting, but I need you to create a home.'"
Throughout 2021 and beyond, Dr. Faith Wokoma hopes to help her audience create a home in their own unique callings.
Nadia Joy Schult is an assistant editor at Charisma Media.
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