Prominent city leader Mrs. Daneea Badio-McCray will preach during the 11 a.m. worship service at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on Feb. 16. In addition to her work with the city, Badio-McCray is an acclaimed actress, poet, author and inspirational speaker.

Badio-McCray has worked for the city of Marietta in dual roles since 2013. As the Executive Director of the Marietta Police Athletic League (PAL), she manages multiple juvenile prevention programs which utilize sports, education and recreation as a basis for positive interaction between law enforcement and youth. As Community Programs Coordinator, Badio-McCray continues to work with Marietta’s Franklin Gateway (previously Franklin Road) community.

Prior to 2013, Badio-McCray served as the Franklin Road Weed and Seed Site Coordinator, working with more than 12,000 area residents, as well as local businesses, schools, community partners, multiple levels of government, numerous law enforcement partners, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia. Weed and Seed was a community-based, multiagency approach to law enforcement and crime prevention sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice.

It was in her role as Franklin Road Weed and Seed Site Coordinator that Rev. Dr. Wilma Zalabak, now senior minister at First Christian Church, first met and worked with Badio-McCray.

“I was impressed with Daneea’s brilliant leadership, no-nonsense compassion, and delight in her God,” Pastor Zalabak said. “We are thrilled to have Daneea bring these qualities to our worship service next Sunday.”

The partnership between Badio-McCray and Zalabak has flourished, with Zalabak seeking and facilitating connections on Franklin Gateway with other churches in the area. For more than 10 years, First Christian Church, through its Food Pantry, has delivered bread weekly to families and organizations on Franklin Gateway who help distribute the food to their neighbors in need. Many of these families and organizations were discovered or built up by Badio-McCray.

In March 2018, Badio-McCray was honored by the Georgia House of Representatives for her community service work.

In her free time, she pursues acting, poetry, authorship and inspirational speaking. In 2018, Badio-McCray was lead actor in Turner Chapel’s Christmas production and captured her audience with a powerfully inspirational speaking part. She is married to Retired Command Sergeant Major Russell McCray.

First Christian Church is two blocks north of the Cobb County Civic Center on Fairground, at 569 Frasier St., Marietta, 30060. Worship service begins at 11 a.m. For more information, call 770-428-3125.

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