“People who have influenced my life”
Mom – Take pride in how you dress. If you work hard you can achieve much in life.
Dad – Be faithful to your God, your family and your church. Get up every day and go to work. Anything worth doing is worth doing right.
My Grandparents – Made me feel special and about the most important person in the world (I’m trying to pass that feeling on to my five grandchildren as well.)
Mr. Leonard (5-6 elementary basketball and track coach and teacher) – Taught me to love sports and to play by the rules.
Big John – (My first regular job boss) – Trusted me with a restaurant night manager position at age 17 and helped me believe I could take on most anything and be successful.
Mrs. Laura Thigpen (College Freshman Speech Teacher) – Taught me to stand tall and speak up in front of others.
Dr. Charles Thigpen (My College President and later my boss) – Exampled for me how to be loyal to those who work under you and stand with them even when you may not always agree with every decision they make. Also, always ask the important questions.
Dr. Stanley Outlaw (College Professor) – Taught me foundational biblical knowledge that has served as a bedrock upon which much has been built.
Mr. Ralph Hampton (College Professor) – Led me to memorize scripture that has both sustained and been a great resource for personal soul winning, sermon preparation and helping others through difficult days. He taught me the basics of how to look at a passage of scripture, understand its meaning, glean from it biblical principles and apply those principles to daily life, i.e., the basic parts of sermon and how to put a sermon together.
Miss Peggy Jo McElhiney – How important it is to serve quietly in the background never seeking recognition or reward and you can profoundly impact an organization.
Sparky – Never take anything that doesn’t belong to you, it can get you into a lot of trouble (he did both).
Mr. Leroy Forlines – Helped me develop my beliefs in basic theology and how to find solid biblical answers to the most difficult questions in life.
Chaplain Billy Lord (my boss in the U.S. Army) – Learn to delegate. You’ll accomplish a lot more with others helping you.
Mr. Glenn Thomas (my father-in-law) – Taught me the value of tapping into the wisdom of those who have more experience and who’ve gone down the path ahead of you.
Mr. Alton Raines (one of my deacons in Ahoskie, N.C.) – Taught me the value of listening to those who may disagree with you. They may just have a good point that should be looked at.
Mrs. Dorothy Early – Taught me how an older Christian lady should carry herself and also devotion to a mate who can no longer care for himself.
Mr. Sheldon Lance (one of my deacons in Asheville, N.C.) – Don’t be afraid of technology, embrace it.
Mr. Jim Horne – Sacrifice is necessary to do the right thing. Others will remember you long after you’re gone. Also, love and appreciate your pastor.
Rev. Bob Shockey – Give to others. It will come back to you many fold.
Rev. Mance Cason – Be faithful at what you do and don’t use age as an excuse for sitting on the sidelines.
Amy Harris (my lovely wife) – How to love through adversity with class and dignity.
Diana Harris (my first wife who died from cancer) – How to face a terminal disease and death with courage and trust in the Lord.