FAITH has been the foundation, cornerstone, and mortar to the building of Anita Conner’s life and business. Faith was what God required of Anita for the plans He had already laid for this entrepreneur’s amazing story of struggle, determination and triumph.
Anita Conner’s story is the story of an African-woman who heard her father’s “preaching” as a young girl of the empowerment and self-determination that comes with owning your business. Anita’s road to her faith-based Certified Public Accounting business was filled with many bumps and detours, but all along the journey it was her faith that kept Anita on the path God had laid out for her.
Just as she was preparing to start college, Anita learned she was pregnant. All of her plans to go to Boston and begin her college education were put on hold -- for a little while. Her boyfriend and future husband and their friends went off to college and Anita stayed home and gave birth to her daughter. Anita quietly kept the faith that she would still get her college degree. Her unplanned pregnancy was what Anita would come to call one of the “stumbling blocks” life threw her way. Her deep faith in God didn’t allow Anita to consider such challenges obstacles, because she knew God promised to always bring believers out of any difficult situation.
Anita persevered and not only got her bachelor’s degree,
but went on to get her master’s degree and become a certified
public accountant. She was traveling pretty much in unchartered
territory. There were very few female CPAs at the time and fewer
African-American CPAs. Anita stepped out on faith, left corporate
America and started her own company.
She faced more “stumbling blocks” from community and political leaders who told Anita her dream of becoming a community accountant was futile. She was told she was “never going to succeed in business” with her goal of serving the community.
Opening the Anita Conner CPA firm required faith on multiple levels. Beyond the challenges of running a business daily, Anita was being pushed by God to become an expert for a certain type of clientele – black churches. Anita’s expertise in tax accounting kept drawing churches to her for advice and understanding. “I used to fight to not work for churches,” Anita said, because many church leaders looked at her as a “young kid” who could just volunteer her expertise. Anita knew she needed to get paid the proper rate for the kind of work she did for the churches. She resisted taking on church business. But Anita said “God was pushing me.” He was telling her “this is your ministry.”
Today, a large part of Anita’s client base is church business. She services churches across the country with her expertise. “When churches and non-profit organizations need expertise, our firm is on the list to call,” Anita says. “I am here to help the churches… It takes a lot of faith to work in the community. It takes a special person to work with the community.”
It took an even deeper level of faith for Anita to be strong enough
to battle the next “obstacle” life brought her way:
breast cancer. Anita faced so many unknowns, particularly with the
type of treatment she needed and whether her insurance company would
pay for the treatment. Anita recalls “sitting on pins and
needles waiting for the results from the insurance company.”
She did what God required of her. Anita waited and prayed and the Lord made a way for her to receive a treatment that insurance companies do not even cover today.
Anita Conner was not only a breast cancer survivor, but one who
survived many battles and obstacles life brought her way. In spite
of it all, she was steadfast in her faith. She has become a testimony
to how commitment to faith, family, and community has been the foundation
to success in business and life.