“I have been on a long journey to arrive at this point, but I am finally planted in New England to be a Pastor in Providence and a Bridge Builder in Boston for many years to come.”
After ten years with only one staff person, we are grateful for God’s provision to be able to hire Rev. K. Percy Ballah to the UB staff! Percy considers his life-long calling to be a bridge-builder. He brings skills in administration, leadership, and racial reconciliation to UB. Read below to hear Percy’s story of moving to Boston as a young adult, then pastoring at Impact Center Providence, and now his journey back to Boston to work with UB.
Coming Home: My Journey Back to Boston!
Hello UniteBoston Family!
Thank you for welcoming me to your team. My name is Percy, and I am excited to join this beautiful community! I am grateful to the faithful donors who made it possible for me to assist Rev. Kelly in the mission of nurturing Christian unity for the flourishing of the city.
I was born in the country of Liberia, which is located in West Africa. I moved to America at twelve years old after surviving three brutal civil wars over a ten-year span. It was an epic journey that I’d love to tell you about at another time! Unlike most children in my country, I was allowed to come to America because my mother was a hard-working resident in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area for many years. I lived with her for most of my teenage years before God called me to move to New England.
Currently, I reside in Providence with my wife Katie and our three children Sophia, Oliver, and Mia! As my kids would say, together, we are Team Ballah! Our team takes pride as a family unit on a mission to glorify God and bring wholistic transformation to people and communities through Christ. In 2019, we planted a church on the Southside of Providence. And recently, we merged our church with an older congregation. Now, we are excited that I will be working with Kelly to fulfill UniteBoston’s vision in a city that is close to our hearts.
Before moving to Rhode Island, we lived in Boston for five years. I served in ministry at The Boston Project Ministries and Morning Star Baptist Church. This season shaped us in incredible ways. We learned how to impact communities holistically and to strategically serve those living in disenfranchised communities. We learned how to be parents: two of our kids were born at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. God used the experiences and lifelong friendships we developed in Boston to shape our identity as a ministry family. Even though I was not a native Bostonian, I adopted Boston as my home city!
One of my favorite characteristics of Bostonians is their passion for local sports teams. This culture resonates with my love to cheer for the Philadelphia Eagles and Sixers. For many years, I watched the New England teams win championships ngnyear after year, while my teams always had heartbreaking losses. After endless debates about which teams were better, I finally accepted the reality that Boston had the best sports teams in the country. I still support my Philadelphia teams, but I don’t root against the New England teams in the playoffs because of their championship pedigree.
I am even more passionate about playing sports than watching it. When I lived in Dorchester, I enjoyed playing basketball at the local parks, participating in flag football games between various churches, and coaching young men during the summer league. However, some of the best parts about sports transcends actually playing together: we built friendships and learned essential life skills such as managing our emotions and being people of integrity.
Additionally, I also appreciate the emphasis Bostonians place on education and critical thinking–this resonates with my love for reading and playing competitive chess. I loved going to Harvard Square and the public library in Roxbury to play against great players. Nowadays, when I am not playing sports, reading, or competing in chess, I am usually hanging out with family and friends.
How you got involved with UB and what you love about UB
Since I left Boston to pursue God’s calling to be a pastor, I always stayed connected to the Holy Spirit’s work in the city of Boston. As I conversed with various groups of people and ministries in my Boston network, I realized they had one thing in common — they were all connected to UniteBoston. I was intrigued by this organization’s ability to gather Christian leaders and churches from diverse backgrounds. According to Reverend Kelly, UniteBoston is “called to unite the bride of Christ” to fulfill Jesus’ prayer of unity and oneness in John 17. While Christians can often be divided over various issues, UB is building bridges to connect believers.UB creates a space for the body of Christ to experience healing from self-inflicted wounds and a safe place to have conversations that will bring reconciliation.
Therefore, when the opportunity came for me to work for this incredible organization, it was a no-brainer because they aligned with my lifelong calling to be a bridge-builder. Even though my various ministry experiences equipped me with the skillsets to support Rev. Kelly at UniteBoston, I am more excited about the opportunity to learn from her and the UB community about building bridges and connecting Christians.
I have been on a long journey to arrive at this point, but I am finally planted in New England to be a Pastor in Providence and a Bridge Builder in Boston for many years to come. God is the author of my story, and I am excited to live the next chapter in working with UniteBoston. Most of all, my heart is happy because God is allowing me to serve the city that welcomed me with open arms and the place I have adopted as my home city.