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I am the native son of a small town 30 miles south of Atlanta: Griffin, Georgia. There, my mother, Evelyn Odom, and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and family friends in a loving neighborhood known as Riley Heights, raised me. Before there were cell phones and text messaging, this simple network of care was all it took to get a message to me from my mom to get home.
It was in this humble setting that my values were laid. My earliest recollections of childhood include memorizing Holy Scripture for Sunday school at my aunt’s church. My aunt Lizzie Turnipseed was a pioneer. She was among the few women who were willing to risk ridicule and rejection for organizing ministries in the late 60s and early 70s. It was under her tutorage that I learned God’s Word and that my longing to understand God’s Word was laid.
I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal and fine arts from the University of DC. I’ve read and studied the classics, particularly enjoying The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, The Gathering Storm and Their Finest Hour. I’ve also studied Shakespeare’s MacBeth, Hamlet and Othello. I’ve read the Bible five times and studied the Holy Word exhaustively for over 15 years.
It was never my intention to be in the ministry. During my undergrad years, I said to my classmates that the pulpit was too narrow for my aspirations in life. However, somehow God changed that perspective.
After living in California and returning to my home state of Georgia, I professed my calling in ministry. From that, I embarked on 15 years of ministry as an associate minister,teacher, and acting interim pastor.
My other passion in life is my career in education. I have been an educator as long as I have been in ministry.