Our Staff

Jerry Blassingame

Executive Director of Soteria CDC

Jerry Blassingame is the Founder and CEO of Soteria Community Development Corporation. He endeavors to empower individuals and the community through education, affordable housing, financial literacy, community and economic development, and entrepreneurship. His passion is assisting individuals who have been incarcerated through reentry and helping them to become productive citizens.

Jerry attended Columbia International University and studied architectural engineering at Greenville Technical College.  Jerry received a 20 year prison sentence in 1995 and only served 3 1/2 years after being paroled in 1999.  He is also a Social Entrepreneur who believes in social enterprise for the non-profit sector.  Jerry has continued to fight for change in legislation since he was granted a pardon in 2004.  After 14 years of advocacy, South Carolina passed its first legislation to expunge felony drug charges in December of 2018.

In 2018, Jerry published his first book, Reclaimed, a memoir that details his story from tragedy to triumph.

Jerry lives in Greenville South Carolina with his wife, Stephanie of 20 years and 3 of their 6 kids.  He is an active part of the community and an advocate for economic and social justice.

Soteria CDC has continued to receive recognition for its community service:

  • In 2004, received outstanding Prison Aftercare Award from Transition of Prisoners Inc.
  • In September 2008, at the Housing and Community Economic Development Conference, Soteria CDC received the South Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations Award for outstanding leadership and service to low-income neighborhoods and communities in Greenville County.
  • In January 2009, at the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce annual meeting, received the Max Heller Neighborhood Improvement Award for exemplary efforts towards neighborhood improvement and empowerment.
  • 2009-2010 Graduate of the Leadership Greenville class 36
  • 2010-2012 Jerry served on the PTA board for AJ Whittenberg Elementary as President Elect and 2012-2013 as President. Also served as President Elect for Southwest Council PTA of Greenville County as.
  • In 2013, received an award from Institute of Prison Ministry for prison aftercare.
  • In 2014, received a Chuck Colson scholarship to attend Wheaton College correctional ministries program
  • 2014-2015 PTSA President of PJ Fisher Middle School
  • 2015, certified at Wheaton College in correctional ministries as a re-entry specialist.
  • In 2015, became the Vice President of Correctional Ministries and Chaplain Association International based out of Wheaton College through the Institute for Prison Ministries
  • 2016 Fellow of Just Leadership USA
  • 2016 Chair of the Greenville Reentry Coalition
  • 2018 Aspen Institute Healthy Communities Fellow
  • 2019 Greenville Chamber of Commerce Buck Mickel Award for Community Development
  • 2016-2019 Vice President Correctional Ministries & Chaplains Association
  • 2019-2021 President Correctional Ministries & Chaplains Association

Janice Irby

Chief Operations Officer

Janice is a Greenville native that spent her early childhood growing up in Philadelphia, PA.  During those formative years she learned at an early age, “people are just people”.  As an adult, her successful career in Engineering, Human Resources and Christian Ministry combine to make her a lover and leader of people of all cultures, social and economic backgrounds.  She founded Open Door, LLC to assist ministries, non-profits and for-profit organizations with operational and organizational skills to help shift their paradigms and strengthen their upward mobility.

Janice has devoted the last 25 years to the empowerment of others through Holy Spirit lead Bible teaching, speaking, presenting and workshop facilitating.  She likes to foster a culture of learning, development and continuous improvement through team collaboration.  She believes working as “community” fosters success at every level.  Keeping people actively engaged in their business or organizational goals is one of her chief assets.

In 2006, Janice became a member of Kairos Prison Ministry where she served as Clergy for 5 years until her ministerial duties became too great to continue.  In 2008 she added service at the Greenville County Detention Center as a Bible Teacher.  Her heart is still on fire to serve those who have been associated with incarceration.  She continues to serve both ministries through prayer.

As a licensed minister under Long Branch Baptist Church, Janice serves as Director of Global Missions and Ministry Leadership Trainer. In 2010 she was called by God to minister to His people in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Rwanda & Haiti. The church’s work in these areas is ongoing.  She has ministered in France and Switzerland and maintains prayer partners there. 

Her work is supported by Matthew 28:19, Jesus’ command to GO into all the nations!

Janice is the mother of three grown children and the proud grandmother of five.  She loves spending time with family and friends.  Other things she likes is to laugh, plan parties and social events along with home decorating when time permits.

Her personal mission statement and prayer for each day is that God would enable her to be – A Channel of Blessings”.  Janice knows, without doubt, she was sent to Soteria CDC by a move of God to continue its great work and she is ready to serve as Chief Operating Officer.

She is on assignment, on purpose in accordance with Ephesians 2:10.

Kate Weaver Patterson

Managing Attorney and Site Director for the South Carolina Second Chance Justice Collaborative

Kate leads the South Carolina Second Chance Justice Collaborative, which is a partnership between Soteria and nationwide reentry advocate Root & Rebound. The Collaborative advocates for the rights of people who have been harmed and marginalized by mass incarceration, seeking to increase access to justice and opportunity for people with records, and to fight poverty and create second chances for people in Greenville and more broadly across South Carolina. Kate grew up in Greenville and attended Duke University for her undergraduate and law degrees. She also holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from the University of Hong Kong. After working in New York, Charlotte and Miami, she returned home to the city she loves, looking to be a force for positive change. She lives in Greenville with her husband and their two children.

Denise Patterson

Denise Patterson

Executive Administrative Assistant and Property Manager

Denise Patterson is the Executive Administrative Assistant and Property Manager of Soteria Community Development Corporation.

Denise, a graduate of Eastside High School, continued her education at Greenville Technical College from 2008-2013 where she received her Associate Degrees in Business Management, Marketing, Supply Chain Management and Accounting. In November 2007, she began volunteering at Soteria CDC as an appointment setter for the Ministry of Resources Benevolence Ministry. In May 2011, she started an Internship for Soteria’s Green Start Recycling before coming onboard as staff in July 2011 as Soteria Program Manager.  As the need expanded, so did Denise’s role into Administrative Assistant and Property Manager. In seeing a need of managing the housing of Soteria CDC, she went back to Greenville Tech in August 2012 and received certification in Property Management. Shortly thereafter in January 2014, she became a Notary Public for The State of South Carolina. In her spare time she loves to be “YaYa” to her 3 grandchildren.

Denise has four children and resides in Greenville, South Carolina

Bob Vann

Junious Buchanan

Program Manager

Junious Buchanan is the Program manager of Soteria House . His mission is to Love God , Have Fun, and Inspire . This simple yet meaningful mission places God’s will for Ministry and family first. Remembering the joy of the Lord second , and spreading the good news and inspiring others sums it up .

Junious is a U.S. Army Veteran who has served honorably in Afghanistan as well as stateside in hurricane relief operations . Junious attended Southeastern Louisiana University where he studied Kinesiology and North-shore Technical College where he studied Business Administration.

Junious comes to Soteria with indefatigable passion for ministry.  His experience as a Senior Pastor, Composer , Writer, and Business Man suits him to thrive in any arena.

Junious Currently Lives in the upstate region with his wife Chante of 8 years and their 7 children . He serves as an Elder at Relentless Church and is actively blazing a trail of faith and freedom .

Wallace Justice

Soteria At Work, Project Manager

Wallace Justice is the Deconstruction Project Manager for Soteria At Work.

Wallace joined Soteria in 2017 and has given 110% to become a positive, productive member of society.  This man loves good hard labor, and it shows.  His deep understanding of construction combined with his maturity and motivation make Wallace one fine Project Manager.  We are proud to have him.

Catherine Blount


A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Catherine brings almost 20 years of design and marketing experience to Soteria.  She gets the word out about all the good things going on both at Soteria, CDC and Soteria At Work.

Soteria At Work

Soteria At Work is the on-site job skill training program at Soteria.  We teach the men how to deconstruct houses and then use the wood to build furniture and artifacts.  Our tagline, “Reclaiming Wood, Reclaiming Lives” rings true every day as the men build tangible skills for future job opportunities in addition to the intangibles like work ethic, time management, and leadership skills.


George | Artisan

Soteria At Work Intern

Jonathan | Artisan

Soteria at Work Intern Brandon

Brandon | Intern

Proud to Partner with Furman.

Soteria CDC has teamed up with the Shucker Leadership Institute at Furman University. We are beyond excited to offer internships to these students and provide hands-on experience with non-profit re-entry work.

Furman Internship

Sophia Daphnis

Grant Development

Allie Hargrove | Furman Intern

Allie Hargrove

Community Development Intern

Our Board of Directors

Jerry Blassingame,
Executive Director 

Founder of Soteria CDC

Mike Gatchell, Chair //

Fundraising and Strategy Development Consultant

April Barksdale //

Beyond the RazorWire
Author & Entrepreneur

Kelechi Benet //

South Carolina State University

Brooke Culclasure //

Furman University, Research Director

Cindy Dorn //

Dorn Advisory

Anita LeBold //

Franklin American Mortgage Company

Shawn Reid //

Duscha Management, LLC

Interested in future opportunities with our Board?

Please complete the following application.

Terry Clark //

Anchor Radiology (Retired)

Jan Collins //

BMW Manufacturing

Chris Schoen //

Wyche, P.A.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt