(Pastor Alonzo Smalls, Rev. Dr. Joseph D. Clemmons, Minister Vandy Moore and Rev. Henry Yordon)
Pivot Ministries began in 1970 as a response to increased drug use among teens and young adults in the Norwalk community. The Rev. Dr. Joseph D. Clemmons, Sr. was Director of the Norwalk Area
Ministry (NAM, predecessor organization to Pivot) at the time. NAM was funded by area churches. Clemmons had a great rapport with the kids but knew that, in their best interest, the program needed a new direction. Prayerfully, he set the process in motion to make it happen.
Rev. Henry Yordon, the late pastor of the First Congregational Church on the Green, was Board Chair at the time. He shared the vision with the Board. They approved it enthusiastically. One of the ladies on the Board came up with the name Pivot Ministries because the goal was to turn around the lives of young men. The name "Pivot" Ministries was unanimously approved.
Dr Clemmons knew the new vision required new leadership and, at the urging of the Board, began the search for a Director. Clemmons was given carte blanche by the Board to find a Director to bring the new vision into reality. He talked to several people and organizations about the new position, including Rev. Jesse Winley of Soul Saving Station, NYC. Rev. Winley suggested the name Alonzo Smalls, a member of Soul Saving, who was attending Teen Challenge
Ministry Institute (TCMI).
(Dr. Joseph D. Clemmons and Rev Alonzo Smalls)
The Founding of Pivot Ministries
Dr Clemmons recommended Rev. Alonzo Smalls to the Board and, upon his graduation, he was hired as Pivot's First Director.
The vision had now been realized. After a brief while, Dr. Clemmons resigned and turned the reins over entirely to Rev. Alonzo Smalls. Dr. Clemmons was confident, as was the Board, that the Lord had provided the right person for the right position at the right time. Rev. Smalls served as a trailblazer for the
ministry for the next 35 years, put Pivot on the map and allowed it to receive national acclaim. Rev. Smalls, who is now Pastor Emeritus, served Pivot faithfully as its first Director for years. He has been a legacy for other Pivot leaders to follow.
(Rev. Alonzo Smalls in the early 80's in front of Pivot's Norwalk house)
Ministry had its humble beginnings at 52 Chestnut Street in Norwalk. Urban renewal development in Norwalk forced Pivot to relocate to 17 Quintard Avenue. The Bridgeport facility was added in 1985. After 36 years, the vision still lives. The
Ministry goal is to impact the lives of thousand, turning them from drugs to
deliverance and from addiction to the freedom of Jesus Christ.
The Rev. Dr. Joseph D. Clemmons, Sr. is the Senior Pastor of Miracle Temple Church of God in Christ in Norwalk. He continues to support the
Ministry and its current Director. The late Rev. Harry K. Yordan served as pastor of First Congregational Church on the Green for forty-two years before he died in 2005. Rev. Alonzo Smalls currently serves as Pastor Emeritus for Pivot Ministries. The vision given to Dr. Joseph Clemmons lives on. Rev. David B. Smith is the current Executive Director.
Pivot Ministries Inc.
Pivot Ministries Crisis Center: 485 Jane Street, Bridgeport, CT. 06608 crisis centerPhone: 203-336-9263 Crisis Center