Innovators, Motivators, and Visionaries I Have Been Privileged to Inspire and Mentor

In my final article during African American History Month, I am going to deviate a little from the format that I have followed in the previous three columns. I had to wrestle with the idea of writing this material that you are reading today primarily because I have been reluctant and careful not to attempt to take the credit for the achievements and successes that others have had in their given pursuits and professions. I have taken a low key and often anonymous approach to the role or influence that I have had on the lives of quite a few people of distinction and achievement in various areas. I have avoided the egotistical approach of “tooting my own horn” and contrarily attempted to embrace the biblical principle and practice of allowing others to commend or praise me and not pat myself on the back (Proverbs 27:2). Nevertheless, in my article today, I want to briefly present the names of a few people who are making an impact in their given professions and pursuits who I have been truly privileged to inspire and mentor. After consulting with each of them about including them in this column today, without any hesitation, they all agreed.

Bishop Michael Blue
I was introduced to Bishop Blue when he was in his early teens. From the onset, there was something I detected in him that would be both foundational and pivotal to his growth and success. Although, he was a brilliant and scholarly young man who excelled in his academics at school, the key to his success in life has been his unquenchable desire and pursuit of God and His Kingdom. Coupled with his willingness to serve our pastor, the late Bishop John W. Barber, and the brethren in our church, he distinguished himself from perhaps all the other young believers in our church by his commitment and willingness to be inconvenienced for the purpose of serving and pleasing God. Our paths and purposes intersected and interlocked back then. I was privileged of God to serve as one of his primary mentors in helping to prepare him for the great work that he is doing now with a sense of urgency in our locale, throughout the nation, and around much of the globe. He is a humble servant of God, who, in my estimation, is one of the most profound, prolific, and prophetic preachers that the Lord has given us in the entire Body of Christ. I am humbled when he shares with people everywhere that other than our spiritual father, the late Bishop John W. Barber, I was the next man that God used to influence and impact his life. Bishop Blue is the founding pastor of the Door of Hope Christian Church in Marion, South Carolina. He is also the Senior Bishop and Prelate of the Covenant Christian Fellowship Ministries (International).

Robert Roundtree
I met Bishop Robert Roundtree in 1978, while serving in the last of my three years in the Army at Fort Liberty (formerly Fort Bragg). Robert, who had only a few months left on his tenure of duty when he arrived from Germany, was assigned to the company I was in. We both was at the stage of our military obligation that was referred to as “short time”. This term meant that we only had six months or less to complete our time in the Army. Robert accepted Christ into his heart during this time and submitted himself under the spiritual oversight of me and my brother, Earl Goings. Once out of the army, he and his wife moved in with me and my wife. They remained with us for about eight months. From that time to this very day, he grew exponentially in his walk and purpose in Christ. He planted Miracle Temple Family Fellowship in Lake View. This church has grown to be one of the fastest growing and multifaceted ministries in that town that ministers to the whole man (spirit, soul, and body). Bishop Roundtree has traveled extensively in certain parts of the globe like Africa and India, where he has ministered in conferences, churches, and served as a goodwill ambassador for our locale and the nation. He presently serves as the diocesan Bishop over the South Carolina and Georgia districts of the Fellowship of Interdependent Churches International.

James Woods
In my capacity of being a pastor and mentor for nearly 50 years, I have had the privilege and pleasure of inspiring and impacting many people in various professions and pursuits. Quite a few of these men and women have gone on to be very successful in the field of being entrepreneurs of various types. Perhaps the most accomplished of the people I have mentored over the years, who is excelling in the entrepreneurial field is James Woods (who was reared in our locale). His success is derived from quite a few factors that have worked to his advantage. Firstly, he is a very intelligent man who is a quick learner. Secondly, he is an honest man who has always done his business dealings fairly. Thirdly, he is a generous man who helps people in need without “tooting his own horn” about it. Finally, he is a wise and discreet businessman who has mastered the practice of diversifying and not putting all of his eggs in one basket. As the owner and operator of quite a few business ventures, James Woods is a prime example of what one can accomplish when they strive diligently to accomplish a legitimate desire and goal.

Bobby McDuffie
The final person who I am going to briefly mention who I helped to mentor over the years is Bobby McDuffie. I met Bobby when he was a senior at Lake View High. He led the Wild Gators to a state championship in the 1A bracket as their quarterback with a spectacular pass into the end zone that won the game. His achievements over the years have been equally spectacular as his game-winning pass. First, working for McLeod Regional Medical Center as a computer programmer to being promoted as the financial supervisor in that department. Presently, Bobby is his own boss with quite a few business ventures that he owns and operates along with his wife, Nataniel. These businesses include real estate purchasing and management, renting and leasing, and heating and cooling installment and repair. His diligence and intelligence are two of the primary reasons why he has succeeded against the odds.
I hope that the examples of the men who I have considered today will inspire you to pursue your dreams and ambitions as they did.

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