Transforming lives is my business. As the Executive Director of Fayetteville Urban Ministry (FUM), I often tell my staff that they do not work for me but they work for the Higher Power that has called them to service! I started my career at FUM in 1999 and I still continue to be driven by a deep desire to serve others while seeing their lives improve.
I moved to Fayetteville, NC in August of 1995. I played collegiate basketball for Methodist College 1995-99 and won many games along with setting a few team records, notably a historic 20 game win streak, an NCAA Elite 8 playoff run in 1997 and today presently, recognized in the Hall of Fame. My student-athlete path was unique, as I was older than most classmates/teammates and dubbed with the nickname of “grandpa.” Being a bit older, I really soaked up these once in a lifetime experiences. However, my biggest accomplishment and beyond basketball, was walking across the stage and being escorted by my son while accepting my B.S degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology. One chapter closed and another started.
Before I was the executive director of FUM, I served the organization with dual roles as the director of Find-A-Friend (FUM’s youth program) and associate executive director through 2011. Learning from my own unconventional background and touching base with the legal system as a late teen to young adult, working with youth would be huge blessing. The youth that I worked with were deemed at-risk or court involved, therefore, I worked closed with the law enforcement field and providers in getting youth back on track before their adult years. The associate executive director’s role allowed me to focus on needs and collaborative relationships with staff to help sharpen FUM’s outreach. Throw in assuming guardianship for my two younger sisters; one would think this would be a difficult time in my life. However, it was ultimately my grandmother’s passion and optimistic views for opportunity that I adopted as my own, and will never forget.
Fast forward to present day and more than 20 years at the FUM organization, it continues to flourish and I feel honored to play a part in the process. Building the organization’s reputation, services, partnerships and literally building a debt free new Youth Enrichment Center for our Find-A-Friend program, has all been too extraordinary. I’m very Blessed
to work with so many in making FUM ubiquitous in being known well in the community, the state of NC and the region.
In conclusion, I have achieved and made a few historical moments in my life, however, my biggest and proudest achievement is being a father to my son Chris Wilson. This young man had his basketball jersey retired at Fayetteville Terry Sanford High School. He went on to play and graduate from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. Afterwards, Chris went on to play professional basketball in Germany and now presently has his own personal training business. I was also blessed to play a crucial role in being guardian and raising my two little sisters Shadonna and Faith. My sisters moved in with me due to a family crisis during their formative years at the ages of 9 and 5. Today Shadonna is a nurse and Faith is student at Bennett College in Greensboro, NC. None of this would not have been possible without my supportive wife, Ginny, who has been a professional in the medical field for nearly 20 years.