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Faith-Based Leaders Hold Initial Meeting


Duplin County Faith-Based Leaders gathered today in the O. P. Johnson Building to hold their beginning of the year meeting. This was the first of 3 meetings scheduled for the year where leaders gather with Dr. Austin Obasohan to share ideas on how to support, serve and pray for the students and staff of Duplin County Schools.

The meeting began as Pastor Paul Dean, chairman of the Faith-Based Leaders Group, shared words of encouragement followed with blessings for the meeting and breakfast. He began by saying, “ I remember a time where we could all fit around one table, so it is wonderful to see such a great turnout for today’s meeting.” District representatives listened to remarks as Pastor Dean shared, “‘Prayers are working in Duplin County Schools and those prayers continue to bridge the community of faith”.

Following breakfast, Britani Becher, 5th teacher at Chinquapin Elementary and current Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) advisor, brought gifts of encouragement and words of gratitude from FCA students and staff representatives across the district. Ms. Becher shared, “I am so thankful to be here and to be a part of this amazing group.” 

A video was then shared with the group about the history of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Organization and how the students of Duplin County Schools continue the mission of FCA through humility, service and sacrifice. The same words were also shared as characteristics of the Duplin County Faith-Based Leaders. Ms. Becher shared stories of witness, love and appreciation for the leaders, followed by an enormous list of ways they serve the students and staff of Duplin County Schools. Some of these include; Back-Pack Buddies, teacher appreciation contributions, daily snacks, prayer walks, encouragement, painting hallways, prayer squares for staff, monetary donations, 5th Quarter and the list goes on and on.

One teacher wrote, “If we didn’t have our Faith-Based community, I don’t know where we would be. You are truly the pillars of the community. You are all examples of humility, service and sacrifice that is changing our world and impacting our students.”

Scott Ballard, principal of East Duplin High School shared words of appreciation on behalf of the principals of Duplin County Schools. Mr. Ballard stated, “You all gather in many different places all across the district and continually pray for our students and our school system and we are very thankful for that. Through those prayers, Dr. Obasohan was led to Duplin County Schools. When he got here, the door was cracked open a little on where we stood with prayer and faith, but Dr. O came and he kicked the door open, and there has been an explosion of faith in Duplin County Schools ever since. Through your leadership, we are stronger in faith, prayer and support of one another. Our uniqueness in Duplin County Schools comes from the diversity of denominations across the district and represented on this committee. The power in that, comes from the way we work together regardless of denominations toward the same ultimate goal. That’s what sets us apart from others and that is the true victory for us.” 

The meeting continued as Pastor Dean shared committee updates.

Dr. Obasohan followed by saying, “We are truly blessed as a county to have you faithfully leading our school system. Because of your leadership we are able to plant the seeds using wisdom and love. All we have to do is show love to everyone. Show it everyday in our words but most importantly in our actions. Thank you so much for your commitment to and your love for, Duplin County Schools.”

Various members of the group offered words of encouragement before Pastor Paul Dean concluded by saying, “God has opened the door wide and we must be faithful in what we have been given.” The meeting concluded with Reverend Nick Neilson offering the closing prayer.  

The next meeting is set for Tuesday, January 21, 2020 in the O.P. Johnson Building beginning at 9:00 a.m. and all Faith-Based Leaders or their designee are welcome to attend.