Sunday, July 24, 2022

Chetoca Barfield Talks About Her New "Book Welcome to Ms. Nelly's Sunday School Class"


Chetoca Barfield


Welcome to Ms. Nelly’s Sunday School Class

Author website Link:

Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

My name is Chetoca Barfield. I was born and raised in a small town in Eastern North Carolina with my parents, two siblings, and an older brother and younger sister. My parents are retired and living their best life doing whatever it is that retired folks do ๐Ÿ˜Š. My brother resides in Virginia, and my sister resides in Western North Carolina, where she recently received her doctoral degree in Social Work.

Growing up, I had dreams of becoming a lawyer. Nothing sparked this interest, but I knew early on in grade school that I loved to research and explain how things came to be. After graduating from high school, I knew I would pursue criminal justice studies at Elizabeth City State University (i.e., ECSU) with hopes of having a career as a criminal prosecutor.

In my freshman year in college, I laid eyes on my dream guy, who has been my husband for the last 19 years. I knew I was going to marry him when I saw him walk out of the cafรฉ. I know that may sound weird, but it’s the truth. Michael (my husband) and I didn’t begin dating until one year later. It’s funny how things happen, but that is a story for another day.

In 2000, I graduated from ECSU and began working in corporate America, starting from the bottom as a customer service representative. I was studying to take the LSAT to enter law school during this time. In 2003 Michael and I wed. Marriage was fun and enjoyable, and I didn’t want anything to interrupt our marital bliss ๐Ÿ˜Š.

So, I decided to no longer pursue law school. To be honest, studying has never been my strong suit, and I knew law school would have demanded so much of my time that I just wasn’t ready to commit. I enjoyed working in corporate America but knew staying in a customer service role wasn’t my “forever” career choice. I wanted to move up the corporate ladder into a leadership role.

In 2006, I received my MBA degree from Strayer University. During this time, my corporate career was taking off. I moved into a supervisory role and led an operations team for a few years within the financial industry. In 2011, I was offered a higher-level leadership opportunity with a different company, but still within the financial industry.

Leading teams for the last 15 years led me down an unexpected path; mentoring. I’ve mentored many colleagues and peers from a career development perspective. This was an undisclosed passion I didn’t know I had until I was knee-deep in it. It was the best decision I could have made for my career goals, as I have thrived promotionally ever since. 

As time passed, mentoring evolved into helping individuals, groups, etc., navigate life challenges. My parents had a rule for my siblings and me growing up in my household. Every Sunday, we were in church. If we didn’t attend church on Sundays, we couldn’t go anywhere for the rest of the day.

While I didn’t appreciate attending church as much as I did, I’m thankful that I did. My Sunday school teacher taught me how to develop a relationship with God versus focusing on religious affiliations rules. As I’ve grown in my walk with Christ, this vital lesson has helped me through many difficult moments.

When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit in 2020, all our lives were altered. The daily routines once in place replaced social isolation, mental health challenges, social injustice, and doubting faith. The need to have a healthy support system was magnified, and this need led to the birth of Treasured Possession

Treasured Possession is a mentoring community that I created to provide encouragement, support, and tools to equip the body of Christ to lead healthy lives in body, mind, and spirit. The name Treasured Possession comes from Deuteronomy 7:6 (ESV) “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”

You and I are his most Treasured Possession.

What inspired you to author this book?

My inspiration came from my relationship with my Sunday School teacher, Ms. Nelly. She was a very caring, soft-tone lady who emphasized the importance of building a relationship with God through communication. She made God relatable to me. Through my experience and her teachings; I learned that it’s not about religion but about a relationship.   


Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

In my head, I developed a mood board of what a “modern-day” Ms. Nelly’s Sunday school class would look like. From there, I could create the cover.

Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

I know for most people, the response to this kind of question is always someone within your immediate family, and it’s no different for me. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting people from all walks of life during my 44 years on this Earth. Out of all those people, my parents have significantly influenced me through their service and dedication to God and to our family.

This will be a weird answer as a writer, but it would be God. I have never wanted to write a book, nor did I know anything about how to write a book. He literally spoke to me, and this book came to life.


What were the struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

I wish I had a brand message to my readers and other inspiring authors about the struggles of writing this book, but I honestly didn’t have any. As natural as it is, having a conversation with a friend is as natural as it was for me to author this book.

Tell your readers about your book.

Welcome to Ms. Nelly’s Sunday School Class is a book comprising six short stories about how Ms. Nelly and her class are preparing for their Sunday School program. The assignment of bible verses and each student crisis led to doubts about who God is. Ms. Nelly helps each student navigate their crisis by simply encouraging them to converse with God.


Who is your target audience, and why?

My target audience is adults (i.e., parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, Sunday school teachers, etc.) trying to introduce God to a child but struggling with where to begin. There are so many adults within the body of Christ that weren’t properly taught how to live out biblical truths and apply biblical principles to everyday situations that they may face. We all know that having a good foundation for anything we try to succeed in is critical. This book shows how to do both, starting at the early age of six.

If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read, why should they buy it?

To instill in your child having a relationship with Jesus Christ vs. following a list of religious affiliation rules.

What do you consider your most tremendous success in life?

The ongoing growth and development of walking this life with Jesus.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

That I was a 42-year-old lady (at the time, I wrote “Welcome to Ms. Nelly’s Sunday School Class”), who wrote a Christian book for children based on the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Yep, that is a story ๐Ÿ˜‰.


How do you overcome writer’s block?

For this book, I didn’t have any. But I would imagine it would include going for a walk and talking with God over a pack of Oreos if I did.

What one piece of advice do you have for new authors?

Go with the flow, and your only competition is you!

What is next for you in your writing career?

Here’s a sneak peek: While I’m not ready to fully disclose during the time of writing “Welcome to Ms. Nelly’s Sunday School Class,” I wrote two other books. So…… TO BE CONTINUED. Hint: join my website to keep updated on all things.

Tell your readers anything else you want to share.

I hope you all enjoy Welcome to Ms. Nelly’s Sunday School Class as much as I enjoyed writing it. In Ms. Nelly’s simplistic way, she was able to make God relatable to her students just as she can help make God relatable to the child in your life.