About Tonia

My life has often been too complicated. It’s still messy and beautiful but in this season I’m working to simplify. I am blessed to be married to a brilliant photographer. I’m raising two boys age 8 and 12. My daughter, Ciara and step-daughter Kira are beautiful grown women finding their way in the world on the left coast.

Sean, Cooper, Asher and I make our home with our church, Elevation in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a former journalist at CBS-affiliated stations in Charlotte and Houston, and the ABC affiliate in Spokane, Washington – I always loved to write – but have found it challenging in recent days to indulge my first passion for all my current ones.

As Elevation’s Outreach Director, God’s been stacking gifts in my life so I can bring him glory. In this, and in learning to live and love and parent better, I’m finding great joy. In 2013, God taught me a great deal about UNITY. In 2014, we focused on GENEROSITY and I still feel like I have so much to learn. In 2015 we focused on finding our CONFIDENCE in Christ. This year, our focus word is BOLD. Thank you for joining us on this journey.

Sean's Shot Smaller file

17 Comments on “About Tonia

  1. Tonia, here is a healthcare story idea for you. Medical practice that allows patients all the time they need with the provider directly…he even gives his own shots and takes vital signs and does not charge per minute. The practice is Denali Family Medicine in Concord and it is whole new concept that centers around the patient entirely. Check it out at http://www.denalimed.com-a.googlepages.com/home

  2. Hello Ms. Bendickson,
    I am a high school student in Charlotte. I have been going to Elevation for years, and have seen you many times. I am very intrested in becoming a news anchor. It is a passion of mine. Is that what you majored in, in college? What steps did you take in order to become an anchor? Where did you study? I am inspired by your work at WBTV and at Elevation. I look up to you as woman of God. I would love a reply if you had a spare minute of time.

    Thank you.
    I’ll cya at Blankney.

    McKenna Gorham

  3. It was a pleasure for Marsha and I to meet you last night. Again, Thank yo for all you do and I look forward to working with you in the future.

  4. Reading your post today helped me to not let someone have it. There are only so many time when someone can talk down to you and you let it slide. It happened twice today and the second time, only a few minutes ago, my tongue was ready and I remembered “…be slow to speak and slow get angry….. I thanked God for His grace in holding my tongue and wanted to thank you for that scripture.


  5. Loved serving you on your birthday. This is the second time we’ve met at Char Bar, and we at Elevation are so blessed to have you on our team. May God bless you! See you around! 🙂

    • Dear Taya, thank you for your kind words and encouragement. Looking forward to LOVE Week and seeing you again! You’ve got such a beautiful, sweet spirit and you made our time there special. Thank you!

  6. Hey Tonia. Bob Isitt here in DC. Thought about you with all that’s going on in Charlotte. And across this site. So happy seeing your priority with your relationship to Christ and your family.

  7. Hey Tonia. Bob Isitt visiting my brother here in DC. Thought about you with all that’s going on in Charlotte. And across this site. So happy seeing your priority with your relationship to Christ and your family.

    • Hello dear Bob – so great to hear from you. Thank you for reaching out. So grateful for the way you invested in this skinny, silly Spokane girl. Thankful for your prayers for our city.

  8. Tonia and Sean were very good friends to my son, Matthew. Matthew passed in ’07 from Melanoma. I will be forever grateful for the love and attention they gave to him.

  9. Hey Tonia,
    We met many years ago when I was in prison ministry and you were with WBTV. I will always remember your kind and gracious spirit. More recently saw each other at Coca Cola Consolidated in a prayer meeting for our city called by Frank Harrison. You may remember I am now the operations manager for With Open Eyes, a global missions organization cofounded by Frank and his son, James. I’d love to have a chance to meet with you and catch up when you might have some time. Always love to hear what the Lord is doing and where He is moving. I know He is doing great things in and through you.

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