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Gwendolyn Searls


Her Story

Gwendolyn Searls was born Gwendolyn Braswell in Albany, Ga in 1974. She began working at the age of 14 as a canvasser for local political leaders. She also joined Concerned Youth of Albany (CYA) where her leadership skills continued to mature. Searls was the president of her church's junior choir and junior missionary team. She credits a lot of her knowledge for community relations to her mother who served as a director of the Boys and Girls Club, 4-H program, and youth ministry.


Community service and early ministry work prepared Gwendolyn for what became a painful start to adulthood. Before the age of 18, Searls faced molestation, rape, and teenage pregnancy; she went on to experience 15 years of domestic violence and homelessness. In 2006 she relocated to Atlanta for a fresh start where she reconnected with a childhood friend, Arthur Burkes. The two served in ministry for years before beginning the Dry Bones Street Project ministry in 2009. They wed in 2012 and served Metro Atlanta and surrounding areas until Arthur passed in 2015.


Widowhood sought to overtake Gwendolyn as she again faced homelessness, poverty, and much spiritual warfare. Fortunately, she took this as a challenge to promote the gospel of Christ and uplift others. God allowed her ministry to grow and expanded her reach to new territories. In recent years Gwendolyn met and married Teddy Searls, a devout ministry partner. She accredits Mr. Searls, her children, bonus children, and a host of volunteers for keeping the 'Dry Bones' dream alive.


Dry Bones Collaborative Outreach - Timeline

January 2017

May 2013

November 2009

The first Dinah to Deborah conference was held to honor women who have overcome obstacles and to connect. 

Our first annual Diva-Fella Ball was held to give GED graduates the traditional prom experience with free formal attire, hair styling, and make-up services in addition to career development.

Dry Bones Collaborative Outreach formerly known as Dry Bones Street Project began with a Thanksgiving dinner giveaway. The initial goal was to feed 10 families though over 100 families end up being fed.

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