Thursday, April 30, 2015
Pastor Hickman and Hope
You probably saw this CNN interview with Dr. Donte L. Hickman, Sr. He is the pastor of a church who saw a long-planned housing and social services project burned during the riots this week in Baltimore.
What interests me is that Pastor Hickman's biography says he was expelled from three different high schools before he was baptized on Easter Sunday in 1987.
It would have been easy to write him off at that point, to assume that, like many young black men, he would spend more time in the criminal justice system than the world of work.
But that did not happen.
Hickman picked himself up, dusted himself off and got his GED. He went from there to college. Then he earned three more degrees: a master of divinity, a doctor of ministry and an MBA.
Hickman now has a large, successful congregation with outreach efforts to men, women, children, college students and prisoners. He looks to me like the real deal.
This is the thing: People who make youthful mistakes can turn their lives around. It happens all the time.
When we treat struggling young men like criminals, we only make the process of redemption more difficult for them.
Hickman hasn't asked for money, but I'm going to send a few bucks to his church to help him rebuild that burned-down project. I want to vote for the man.
You might want to consider doing this yourself.
There's an online contribution button at the church website: southernbaptistchurch.org.
The mail address is this: Southern Baptist Church, 1701 North Chester Street, Baltimore, MD 21213-2497.