Discover Black Heritage: Climb CDC CEO Pastor John Whitfield
Through our Discover Black Heritage stories each Thursday, News 25’s Janae Jordan will introduce an African-American making a difference in our community.
This week, News 25’s Janae Jordan will introduce a preacher and CEO who is inspiring a new generation of community leaders.
John Whitfield is not only the pastor at Morning Star Baptist Church in Gulfport, but also CEO of Climb CDC which is an alternative program that offers equal education, services, and employment opportunities for youth trying to get back on their feet. “I’m blessed to work with tremendous staff and to touch the lives of a lot of young people who most of society has given up on, we don’t believe in just a second chance we believe in another chance.”
A man who doesn’t shy away from his shortcoming in life says that’s what drives him to go out in the community and meet people right where they are in this journey called life. “I have served time before. I may not be able to operate as a lawyer, but they can never take away what I have in my head and that’s why I am able to diversify what I do and to improve the impact that I’m blessed to make in the community.”
Not only does he preach the word, but steps out from behind the pulpit and puts those words into action. “I’m able to just touch the lives of many through the food drops that we have, through our clothing pantry. We have a food pantry. We help people with the light bill, with housing assistance, and with healthcare as well.”
Whitfield says his goal is to make it a priority to show the youth that they can be successful no matter what happens in life. “It is important our young kids, especially our African American kids, and kids of color, that they may see people who look like them, achieving academically, achieving professionally, and the one thing that I stress every time I get to speak to young people is the value of an education, having an education is something that can never be taken away from you.”
A life of turning his test into his testimony is what he wants to share. “If I can spread the message as the master talk than my living will not be in vain.”