Lexington Leadership Foundation
Connecting Leaders, Unifying the Body of Christ, and Mobilizing People since 1999
“Work to see that the city where I sent you as exiles enjoys peace and prosperity.
Pray to the Lord for it, for as it prospers you will prosper.” -Jeremiah 29:7
Welcome to Lexington Leadership Foundation,
where our commitment to the city of Lexington runs as deep as the rivers that shape our history and the vision that shapes our future.
Rooted in the understanding that Jesus’ heart embraces urban centers, we strive to embody the spirit of Jeremiah 29:7, seeking the peace and prosperity of our city. We believe in the transformational power of people and place and as such, are driven by the desire to renew both the physical and spiritual aspects of our community.
Our focus on the core values of uplifting the vulnerable, fostering indigenous leadership, cherishing the Church, valuing the city, and promoting empowerment and reconciliation reflects our dedication to nurturing positive, permanent city-wide change.
Guided by the prophetic words of Zechariah, we envision a future where all members of our city – regardless of age or circumstance – experience safety, joy, hope and peace.
Whether you’re new to Lexington Leadership Foundation or have been around since our humble beginnings, I extend an invitation to join us on this journey, where risk-taking, unity, and creative strategies pave the way for a city transformed by faith in Jesus, compassion, and a shared commitment to work together to see Lexington become a city for God.
Collectively, we can build a brighter future for the city we love while raising up the next generation of leaders; let’s transform Lexington, together.
Lexington Leadership Foundation
Our Mission & Vision
Through Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, we connect leaders, unify the Body of Christ and mobilize people to transform Lexington into a City for God.
"LLF was founded on a dream, about seeing the kingdom of heaven exist on earth
in this place we love called Lexington, KY”
-Eric Geary, CEO Emeritus & Board Member
In 1998 Dr. John Withers and 3 local leaders from Lexington attended a Christian Community Development Association meeting in St. Louis. There, Dr. Withers attended a break-out session hosted by Leadership Foundations. That seminar exposed him to concepts which he often says, gave him a ‘handle for his heart.’ Spurred on by what they learned, the four local leaders started Lexington Leadership Foundation in 1999.
LLF's founding leaders felt the first action should be to pray, and thus our prayer ministry was started. Next, a survey of inner-city ministry leaders and social service providers was undertaken to determine the pressing needs facing our city which were not currently being addressed by any other agency. The overwhelming cry was for help with children and youth. None of the founding leaders imagined what would follow!
In 2005, after a providential introduction, Dr. Withers, then serving as Chairman & CEO, hired Eric Geary to become his successor. For the next 17 years, under Eric’s steadfast leadership, LLF gained a reputation for developing leaders, uniting the Body of Christ around areas of passion, and convening key city stakeholders to help tackle current problems in the community, especially those that most impacted the vulnerable and marginalized. During Eric’s leadership tenure, LLF incubated and launched multiple local, state-wide and national nonprofits, developed a city-wide youth ministry for youth in urban neighborhoods, became the only direct service provider for fathers in the city and opened Woodhill Community Center while creating an internal culture that staff simply describe in one word: family. Today, both Dr. Withers and Eric still serve on the LLF board.
LLF's growth to date has occurred as a result of God's blessing on our efforts. Other significant factors have included the involvement of diverse partners and incredible consistency from volunteers across a wide section of our city and grass-roots community efforts. Let’s keep working together to make Lexington a city for God!
Eric Geary (Left) and Dr. John Withers (Right), discussing how to empower people of passion to create lasting city-wide transformation.
How we view the city shapes how we treat it and its people
LLF believes that how we engage people and challenges will impact the future success and cohesiveness of Lexington, whether for good or for ill. LLF sees the city, especially urban neighborhoods, as places of promise and possibility, opportunity and faith, rather than risk and uncertainty.
Lasting, city-wide transformation takes all of us
Government & Schools
We serve Lexington with the love of Jesus, knowing that lasting city-wide transformation requires collaboration across faith, business, government, and educational sectors. We connect and engage these diverse partners, as an intermediary, to develop comprehensive strategies that tackle the toughest issues in our city.
When a city's most caring citizens work together, everyone benefits and the Kingdom advances.