How long have you worked at Columbus Hospice? I’m entering my third year. I did an internship there, when I was in school at Beacon; and I did so well, they asked me to stay.
Did you go to Beacon for your master’s? Yes. I received that in 2009. I’m working on my doctorate now. I start Aug. 23 at Tennessee Baptist Seminary in Chattanooga.
How long will that take? A minimum of three years.
People probably ask you how you do hospice work. What do you say? It’s rewarding for me. My dad was with hospice (before he died). The co-workers and the environment are very pleasant. And, I was involved in an accident in 1997. I was one of the corrections officers in a van. I spent a year learning to walk again. It ties in with my work.
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How? Dealing with a crisis, the personal contact and the unknown. Most of all my work is done in nursing homes. I’ve had some wonderful experiences. It’s probably the most rewarding work I’ve ever done. I see myself doing this a long time.
What happened with the van accident? A truck ran us off the road. We ended up in the north-bound lane and then got hit by two other trailers. This was in Tifton. I was taken to the hospital there. I was a corrections officer at Jack T. Rutledge Prison, and we were coming back from Valdosta State for some training.
Do you have residual effects from the accident? I had a brain injury, two broken legs, a broken ankle and my right arm. My lower extremities were devastated. I haven’t been pain-free since the accident. That’s when I got into the ministry. I went to Greater Beulah Baptist Church in 2001, and I’m an associate pastor. I’ve also been through CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) at St. Francis Hospital. That was for four months in 2006.
What did it teach you? How to accept people where they are. And you have to be interdenominational. It was life-changing. The first time I was on call, that was intimidating to me. While on call, I was the only chaplain responsible for the whole hospital. I wanted to make sure I did a good job.
Who’s in your family? My wife is Theresa. My son is Cole (Lacovia), and my daughter is Takara. He’s 16 and she’s 10. I also have a daughter, Portia, from a previous relationship. She’s 24.
Who’s someone you look up to? John Adams from the Pastoral Institute. He’s been a mentor to me. He teaches me the ropes in becoming a pastor.
What do you do at Greater Beulah? My pastor started a youth church, and I am the minister for that. We’re trying to build it up.