- Faith & Family
Pastor Theodore “Ted” McRae Jr., 53, of Abundant Life Ministries, South Florida knows a thing or two about beauty. As a hairstylist who at one time owned a thriving day spa, he understands how to create an eye-catching look. But he says that a beautiful exterior means nothing if it only hides an empty if not downright ugly soul. For years, McRae managed his business, Ted’s Team Concepts, and things were booming. But the situation was far from positive in his spiritual life.
“I believe that my business had become my God because that’s all I lived for and I forgot that there is such a thing as family that God creates for other things,” said McRae, who is a married father of four children.
It was not until a devastating car accident and subsequent lawsuits forced him to sell his business in 2001 that McRae was able to address the imbalance in his life. The financial strain caused him and his wife to separate and McRae moved to New York. He continued to work as a hairstylist to maintain his financial well-being, but this time he carved out time for his spiritual health as well.
“[Hairstyling] is still a part of my life but now it’s in the right perspective,” he said.
Later, he and his wife reconciled and McRae returned to South Florida in 2004. He shares his knowledge of the business with students at Miami Northwestern Senior High School where he teaches courses in cosmetology. Interacting with his students, McRae says he realized that there was a greater need for service in the community. In 2010, he founded the Abundant Life Ministries. The church initially began with a focus on providing help and healing to the youth of the community.
“There are so many broken families in Liberty City,” he said. “We have very young mothers who are almost children themselves and they have problems with alcohol and drug addiction.”
Within the past year, the church has hosted a health fair, a book bag give away and a beautification program at Holmes Elementary School where worship services are held. The church currently has an estimated 60 members. The attraction for members is not surprising to McRae.
“When the person you’re dealing with finds that there is genuine concern it brings about authentic reception,” he said.
The Abundant Life Ministries’ pastor has learned that any solution for the community must reach beyond its children.
“Sending a healed child back to an infected family environment is pointless,” he said. “The whole family must be healed.”
During the month of November, the church will hold a conference on families. Services are held on Sundays at Holmes Elementary School, 1175 NW 67th Street in Miami. Christian education classes start at 9 a.m. and worship services at 11 a.m. For more information, call 305-910-0095.
By Kaila Heard