BENNIE GADSON JR., Faces of Faith
...BAINBRIDGE , On the surface, ordained minister Bennie Gadson Jr. may seem like an average man of God. MINISTER: Minister Bennie Gadson
As Jesus Christ exhibited the ultimate sacrifice with his
life leading to an Easter celebration, Gadson
has chosen to sacrifice his
pay as a minister.
"I don't believe that God's
intention was for preachers to preach for money," explained Gadson
, whose pay would come directly from what was collected in the Sunday offering, if he
, 31, has begun his
own personal quest to preach the word of God without the ulterior motive of financial benefit.He
relies solely on the satisfaction of teaching the truth and knowing he
is living in the path he
feels God has set for him.
"Pay is offered just about every time I speak," Gadson
said."People at my church are poor people, it wouldn't feel right taking money from them.I believe that God will make a way, if the church grows." To keep his family afloat, Gadson has recently started his own lawn care business after quitting his job at Dillard's because it conflicted with his school schedule.He is currently a student at Albany State University, set to graduate in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in middle school education.His
wife is a certified nursing assistant at Seminole Manner
said it's hard for him and his
family to maintain their modest lifestyle, he
doesn't think money is the only standard that qualifies one to be rich.
"God blesses me and my family all the time, we're simple people," he
has spent the last two years ministering at St. Paul, a church with about 300 members, most of which are relatives of his
.So not only does he
struggle with teaching the truth to people who may not be receptive, Gadson
said it is even more difficult preaching to his
"It's hard preaching to family because most of them think I'm just talking about their individual situations," Gadson
"Many days I just feel like walking away, but every now and then I get one person who comes up to me and says, 'Thank you, you really don't know how much I needed to hear that,' and that makes it all worth while," he
is certain about his
calling now, he
youth feeling unworthy of his
A Tallahassee, Fla., native Gadson was born the fifth of seven children into an impoverished family.