Judge Troy L. Nunley said, “You can’t use your background and economic situation as an excuse. Rather, you should use it as a motivation to do more and to want more.” Who is Judge Nunley? According to Hudson Sangree, a Sacramento Bee Staff Writer, the judge graduated from a prestigious law school, had a successful career as a prosecutor, and was appointed to the Sacramento Superior Court bench at age 38. He was one of four children raised by a single, teenage mother who grew up in San Francisco’s Hunter’s Point projects surrounded by crime and poverty. The judge says his background gives him a different perspective on the offenders in his courtroom, those now facing the consequences of bad choices. The judge credits his mother’s unrelenting influence to steering him and his siblings, all of whom overcame dire childhood circumstances, away from trouble and toward success.
Nunley said that while growing up he saw a friend die in a drive-by shooting, and a cousin convicted in a gang killing. Friends became drug dealers. People from the neighborhood were stabbed and sexually assaulted. Neighbors landed in jail or juvenile hall. He and his siblings attended Catholic schools, played sports, pursued higher education, and now work in law, business, health care, and religion. Judge Nunley is the youngest sibling. His sister earned her engineering and business degrees from Stanford University and is an executive with IBM. A middle brother is a nurse. Another is a minister.
The reason for the family success, says the judge, is their mother’s belief that education was the path out of poverty. “Her mantra was, education is the black man’s way out of the ghetto,” said Nunley’s sister, Francine Anthony. Their mother, Gennie Nunley-Thompson, grew up in rural Louisiana and Hunter’s Point and had four children by the age of 20. She said she set high expectations for herself and her children and looked beyond their immediate circumstances to a better world. And she made her children believers by the example she set. While caring for them she finished high school, held down two full-time jobs as a telephone operator and group-home counselor, and went to college. She earned her bachelor’s degree, completed a master’s thesis and became a senior award-winning probation officer in San Francisco. “I might be here for the rest of my life, but the projects are no place for you,” Nunley-Thompson told her children. “Every generation has to be better than the previous generation.”
Judge Nunley’s mother insisted her children work hard, do well in school, and stay out of trouble. He said at Hunter’s Point he saw a “corner mentality” of people hanging out and not being able to see anything better. “That corner became their whole world,” he said. “Crime and violence only broke the monotony. You have to get beyond that corner mentality. Don’t become a victim.” For more about Joy, you can visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com. Everyone is welcome. Nobody is perfect. Anything is possible.
United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.