National Black HIV-AIDS Awareness Day Carousel 9_Linda H. Scruggs

Minister Linda H. Scruggs is a follower of Christ Jesus, the wife of Trustee Nathaniel Scruggs, the mother of two sons, Isaiah and Lawrence, one daughter Latrice, and three grandsons. She serves as an Associate Minister at the Solid Rock Full Gospel Ministries International under the leadership of Pastor Gregory and Lady Ivy Rhinehart.

Minister Scruggs is a woman in constant pursuit of God and His revealed word in her life as she serves others. She is determined to know God intimately, through the studying of His word and seeking His face daily.  She believes as a witness of God’s greatness and grace she’s call to be a helper and builder to others. Minister Scruggs accredits living and surviving many unpleasant life obstacles to being her path to many truths; many of them discovered through tears of healing. None of which have stopped or hindered her to Press toward the mark of a higher calling in Christ Jesus, for it is there that purpose, joy and blessing have been revealed unto her.

It was shortly after receiving an HIV diagnoses while pregnant in November 1990 and given three years to live, Minister Scruggs found an enter-determination to support, share and work to educate others about the prevention, treatment and care of HIV/AIDS. It was during a time when not many women were living openly with HIV she began working at the Johns Hopkins, AIDS Services as a Women’s Health Advocate. It was during this experience she began to build the confidence in her own voice to speak out loud about this devastating disease. Minister Scruggs will often remind people by saying “I am Mamie’s baby girl, I am a women, wonderful, caring, free, healthy, strong and beautiful, yes that’s me, I am not HIV. HIV is a virus.”

Minister Scruggs is also an AIDS educator, activist, master trainer and a renowned leader in the HIV community. She is a charismatic sought-out speaker, both nationally and internationally. She has worked in the HIV/AIDS community for over 23-years, during this time she has served on numerous committees and boards in the HIV community both National and International. Many articles and interviews have been published on her, her family, and the work she has done to denounce stigma and discrimination for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Her accomplishments are many as she stands to be a Positive Voice in the HIV community. In 2010, she received an Honorable Mention by President Barack Obama. Also, her work has led her to present and meet national heads of states, and travel as far as villages in South Africa. She and her family have been highlighted in magazines and media outlets such as ESSENCE, POZ, HIV Plus, and CNN. In 2012, she was invited to be a plenary speaker at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC where over 20,000 global delegates convened.

In August 2012, Minister Scruggs founded and incorporated with her colleague Vanessa Johnson, JD the Ribbon Consulting Group (Ribbon). Ribbon provides organizational consulting services to community base organizations, health departments, and primary care centers (i.e. hospitals and community health centers) to increase their ability to support and promote healthy communities. Minister Scruggs believes through collaborative partnerships and community engagements that individuals, organizations, and governments can enhance, rebuild, and restore healthy communities.

Before starting Ribbon, Minister Scruggs served for ten years as the Director of Programs for the AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth & Families in Washington, DC. She started the National Consumer Corps Leadership Training Program, which has been recognized as the national model for consumer empowerment, education, and training. The program has reached nearly 40,000 people living in vulnerable communities impacted by HIV and other health disparities.

In 2010, Minister Scruggs graduated from Lincoln University, PA with a bachelor’s (certification) and Master in Human Services. She notes choosing the Human Services degree as one that allowed her to bring her drug recovered life of over 27 years, 24-year HIV diagnoses and a 23-year work history in the helping field together. She continued her education to obtain a certification as a Licensed Professional Counselor. She notes counseling is the root of her work in the community, helping others to see and find new paths and opportunity. Simply stated, Minister Scruggs, Linda, is a woman diagnosed with AIDS living in a drug deliverance life for over 27 years and though her Call from the Lord is committed to the healing, education, empowerment and leadership of woman, men, families and service providers affected by illness and bondages of the enemy, she is just a whisper of Gods love.

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