Pastor Howard E. Jones Jr. , 2nd from left, sponsor of the Matters of the Heart 9Krun/walk, along with co-coordinator Tonya Davis, 4th from right, and Dr. Lloyda B. Williamson, 4th from left. Also shown are other members of the Elam staff sharing their appreciation of the partnership, including Diana Ross Hardin, far left, and Jackie Crum, 3rd from right.

By Staff Writer

NASHVILLE, TN — The Matters of the Heart 9k Run/Walk organization contributes to the nationally acclaimed Elam Mental Health Center at Meharry Medical College. The contribution was made on Friday, July 7, during the Center’s staff meeting. The Center, located at 2000 Albion Street provides a variety of services for the mentally challenged.

The inaugural  Matters of the Heart event, which focused on good health; both physical and emotional, took place in mid-June, with runners and walkers from various groups and individuals participating in this event for self-health and a positive lifestyle.

Pastor Howard Jones, sponsor of the run/walk said the event was dedicated to fun and focused on a healthy lifestyle for both young and old, the able and disabled, and even babies.  

“With a stronger focus on mental health, since Covid changed our lives, it is critical that we lean into those mental disorders of our lives, so we can get the proper health care needed.  This contribution is our way of showing we care and we want to help our people get the care they need,” said Pastor Jones.

The $1,000 contribution can make a positive difference and can begin a trend of more organizations and individuals helping those who live in a challenged mental world.

Dr. Lloyda B. Williamson, Medical Director of the Elam Center and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry accepted the contribution.  “On behalf of the Lloyd C. Elam Center for Mental Health, we are so grateful for your generosity  and look forward to more partnerships in the future.”

These times are perfect to show care and concern for those who need help.

“While the inaugural event was a beautiful sight to behold with runners, walkers, and babies in strollers, we too can make the lives of the mentally challenged beautiful by helping with research and operations of the Elam Center,” said Pastor Jones. 

The Matters of the Heart Team will hold the 9K run/walk again next year the second Saturday in June, as a prelude event to the Juneteenth celebration. “We want to make this an annual event and continually show support for the mentally challenged,” said Tonya Davis, coo-coordinator of the event.

For more information, contact Pastor Howard Jones at or