REACH ONE: Brundidge hosts 7th annual leadership celebration

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, July 23, 2019

“This is the day the Lord hath made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Brundidge Mayor Isabell Boyd set the tone for the 7th Annual Each One Reach One Leadership Celebration in Brundidge Saturday and it was a joyful day indeed, Boyd said.

“When people come together with a common purpose good things happen. Saturday was a good day in Brundidge and we thank all of those who worked so hard to make it happen,” Boyd said.
“Each One Reach One” is an outreach ministry of the S.D. James Evangelist Association and is held annually on the grounds of Brundidge City Hall. The event is open to those who want to effect positive change in their community.

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Karen Rouse, event chair, said the activities of the day were designed to bring people of all ages together to help those in need and contribute to the common good.

Following the Main Street parade, motivational speakers Sherika Gray, Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas, Dr. Michael Bivins and Lydia Mardenborough shared messages all with the common theme that dreams do come true for those who work hard, surround themselves with positive people and, most importantly, put God first.

“God has a special purpose for each of us. We have a legacy of greatness so dare to dream,” Gray said. “There is no big secret to success, just dream big and work hard. Learn from your failures. Never give up; just keep going.”

Gray said the friends that one choses can mean the difference between success and failure.

“Surround yourself with positive people; those who will lift you and help you achieve success,” she said in speaking to the young people. She also had words of inspiration for the adults who might be struggling. “It’s never too late to change your path in life. See yourself where you want to be and work hard and put God first. Nothing means anything without God.”
Thomas challenged the young people not to let the streets be their influence.

“Lean on your families,” he said. “Listen to those who are positive and upbeat. Coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant said, ‘Make your mama and daddy proud.’ That is my challenge to you and I say to parents, let’s build champion children.”

Bivins encouraged the young people to find the one thing that is special to them — art, music, math, science, a trade.

“That is the talent God has given you. Figure it out and do it.” he said. “Then, work hard because a lazy genius is useless. And, if you fail along the way, fall forward. Reggie Jackson struck out 25,000 times but nobody remembers that. They just remember the three homeruns he hit in the World Series. Thomas Edison had 1,000 failed attempts at inventing the light bulb. But, on his 1001th attempt, he was successful. Always fall forward.”

Bivins said the formula for success is in one’s shoes.

“Before you go to bed each night, push your shoes as far under the bed as you can reach,” he said. “The next morning, get down on your knees and reach for them. While on your knees, put God first. Ask for his mercy and grace. Pray for humility and understanding.”
Mardenborough said into each life, some rain must fall and how those rainy days are handled has much to do with the successes in life.

Too often people don’t anticipate those rainy days and aren’t prepared when they come, she said.

That’s when one’s integrity and character make a different in success and failure.

“Don’t let your attitude determine your altitude,” she said. “Go with friends who are going in the direction you want to go. Those who are going in a different direction can derail your plan. Challenge yourself and, if things don’t go has you planned, don’t sit back, bounce back. Think in a different way.”
Mardenborough said, when things begin to go wrong, don’t get out of control.

“God will fight your battles if you will let Him,” she said.

“Each One Reach One” included a bake contest, free haircuts for boys, and the giveaway of backpacks, school supplies, sock and shoes. The kids enjoyed bouncy houses and those of all ages enjoyed hotdogs, barbecue and watermelon. And as W.C. Scott said, “You know you’re in the country when they cut a watermelon and give it to you.”