- Faith & Family
“I think your attitude will either make you or break you in life.” This is a statement that Rev. Dwayne A. Richardson, 41, pastor of Greater Love Full Gospel Baptist Church, has to often reiterate in his day-to-day life, while working with youth.
As a full-time educator for more than 12 years, he is aware that a lot of the youth he works with deal with issues that makes them angry and sometimes bitter.
But he encourages them to see the good in every situation, he said quoting Romans 8:28.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Richardson doesn’t believe that those youth are the only people who need to make changes, he said that young people can also be positively impacted if adults were more open and less judgmental.
“We need to be more transparent with our children to let them know that we’ve been where they are and know that we are compassionate of what they have to say,” he said.
While pastoring over Greater Love and educating for the Miami-Dade County Public School System, he has also spent weekends coaching The Pembroke Pines Optimistic football team.
As a pastor, Richardson leads a church where people can feel free to worship God, tap into the presence of God and feel His love. Following Richardson’s lead, the church also invests in the lives of children with its daycare and before/after school program. Richardson’s goal is to assist the church in growing spiritually, by having more: workshops, Bible studies and conferences, so that the congregation is able to meet the needs of the community even more.
Hopes for the future
Richardson would like for the church to one day open a charter school and a family life center for the youth that will provide services, such as tutoring, homework help, counseling and wholesome recreation. He would also like to create platforms where adults can speak with youth and hear their problems.
“I think today’s youth just need to know that somebody cares and loves them,” Richardson said.
He enjoys building the lives of all children, but particularly young men because he is a single-parent of two boys: Daniel, 12 and Daylan, 8.
“The youth are our future and if we don’t grab them, nurture them and train them, we’re going to lose them,” Richardson said. “Too many of our youth have been lost to the streets and as a successful Black young man, I feel that it’s my duty to do all that I can to help our young people.”
By Malika A. Wright