ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - She's a powerful law enforcement woman protecting and serving in the Atlanta community. For 20 years, Jackie Gwinn-Villaroel moved up the ranks to lieutenant, celebrated and honored through her accomplishments at the Atlanta police department.
"My testimony is truly amazing. Just knowing I'm able to join the police department. And I wasn't truly physically in shape," said Lt. Villaroel.
She knew she was destined to become a police officer since she was 5 years old. It was a career path captivated by her fascination of Westerns, like the Lone Ranger. But, divine intervention led her to her second career that she wasn't ready to embrace.
"I didn't see myself saying I wanted to be a preacher," said Villaroel. "I ran from it. So when people say I ran from ministry, that is actually true. But, then I had to settle down and say 'Lord, I do hear you.'"
And settle down she did becoming a powerhouse preacher at the First Gethsemane Baptist Church in Atlanta on the heels of her late father Reverend Macon Gwinn. She helps to spread the message of God's love at her church while visiting as guest speaker at numerous other churches around the metro.
Meanwhile, Pastor Jackie continues to step out on faith. Her journey now leading her to start her own ministry named, "Unstoppable Praise Ministry of Atlanta opening in March.