I first met Richard Stewart in 2008 when we attended ministry school at Victory World Church in Norcross, Georgia. There were probably 60 people in that room, but Richard stood out in my mind. There was something very different about his spirit. I recall seeing this bright eyed guy with a heart for God. I would sometimes sit next to Richard and he had this little leather book that he would write scriptures and revelations in. I thought to myself, “God has got some great plans for this guy”.
Fast forward to now and Richard is walking in part of his purpose and destiny as he has founded an organization called Kids for Christ. KFC is currently a local ministry that ministers to the hearts and needs of Middle School Students. I say “currently”, because I can see the concept of Kids for Christ becoming GLOBAL! Recently I caught up with Richard to learn more about Kids for Christ is up to now.
YAHOO: Good morning Richard! How are you today?
RS: At the risk of sounding all religious, blessed and highly favored!
YAHOO: Richard I want you to share with our readers a little bit about your background. Where did you grow up?
RS: In one of the greatest cities in the world, New York, specifically, Brooklyn and Queens. I’ve been all over the world because of the different endeavors I’ve been involved with, but my younger days were spent in the northeast.
YAHOO: I understand that you started out in the Sports industry. Tell us about that.
RS: Like most guys when you get done playing football or your sport of choice, you wonder what’s next. All I knew of then was a genuine love for sports, so I got my post-graduate degree in Sports Administration and found myself shortly thereafter working in the public/community relations field for most of the 90’s and on. I actually was a front office member for the Denver Broncos during their Super Bowl championship days. It was a fantastic learning experience that took me all over the globe and helped me make a plethora of great connections with the heavy hitters of the sports industry.
YAHOO: When did you make the transition to Education?
RS: I moved to Atlanta in 2002 to take a position with the Falcons, but soon thereafter I realized this wasn’t the position for me. I took a leap of faith and left my position, and found myself in a new city with no job, and unsure of my next step. Because of my love for young people, many people suggested I go into teaching, even though I didn’t sense that teaching in a classroom was my calling. Again, I took the leap and from 2004-2009 I was a sixth grade math teacher, building countless relationships with teachers, families and students that have become very dear to me.
YAHOO: Richard, what prompted you to go to Ministry School?
RS: In 2007 (again, at the risk of sounding religious) I got “The Call”. I felt the Lord speak vividly to me about taking the burden He has put on my heart for this generation and devote my future here on the earth to help galvanize a movement of young people’s hearts back to their Creator. To me, ministry school or Bible College was the next logical step, and the teachings from that time period in my life have been invaluable. That is where I discovered my buzz word for me and for young people: Purpose. The difference between knowing and not could be the difference between life or death, eternally speaking.
YAHOO: I am very excited for you to tell our audience about Kids for Christ. What kind of organization is it and what is KFC’s mission?
RS: Kids for Christ is a tangible resource for middle school-aged children, dedicated to changing lives within the middle school families and communities in Gwinnett County. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ KFC builds faith, fellowship, leadership, knowledge and goodwill into today’s young people. We teach the YG (young generation) to aggressively seek God, and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, discover their godly purpose on earth.
This ministry started in my classroom back in late 2004, and has now expanded into a non-profit organization that currently reaches into Richards, Summerour and Sweetwater Middle schools in Gwinnett County, with a vision to reach as many middle schools as we can in this county, and then expand KFC into another ministry that will be geared to reaching the heart of the older portion of young America. We’ve reached over 400 young people, seen over 150 give their lives to Jesus, numerous healings and deliverances, and boldness come upon some of our kids to live the lifestyle of the peculiar that’s spoken of in the Old and New Testaments.
YAHOO: I understand you have a KFC event coming up soon. Can you tell us what the event is and when and where?
RS: Actually, we are about to start our kickoff to the 2010-2011 school year with our first meetings at each our schools in early September. This will be first time that Summerour has hosted us at their school. We will also have several outreaches throughout the school year, as well our first-ever youth conference planned for June of 2011. We are ALWAYS looking for people with a heart for God and a heart for children to get involved with this initiative, so if that speaks of anyone out there, come on and check out what the Holy Spirit is up to in our schools.
YAHOO: Richard, there are people out there that have a vision for starting a non-profit organization. Can you give them any words of wisdom of how to start?
RS: Simply put, you don’t have to be great to get started, but you’ve got to get started in order to be great. There will never be the “perfect” time to start and organization. Proverbs 3:5 tells us that God wants us to trust in Him and not make the feeble attempt to figure it all out ourselves. Discover your purpose, from which God will give you a calling, and then the subsequent vision to carry out the calling.
YAHOO: I know that KFC is your passion, but can you tell me what other areas of ministry God is asking you to develop?
RS: If you haven’t heard of Balanced Food Services yet, you will soon. Besides being an evangelist, I am also an aspiring chef, and I have begun a line of sauces that will knock your socks off (even if you’re not wearing any). You can connect with us on facebook and will soon be able to follow us on twitter. Our first sauce is called Spoulis, and considering nearly 1.5 out of every 2 people that try it buy it, I’d say it’s becoming a hit early on. It’s perfect for anyone who loves something sweet and spicy on their palate. As the holiday season approaches, we will be unveiling our Sweet potato dressing, which is certain to be a hit as well. We also do catering besides our other products.
YAHOO: Where can people connect with Kids for Christ on-line?
RS: www.kidsforchristatl.org, or you can reach us on facebook under the name Kids for Christ, and also on twitter by the name of each school along with Kids for Christ. Specific questions can be emailed to us at email@example.com.
YAHOO: Richard, it was my great pleasure to speak with you today. My prayer for you is that God would enlarge your territory and give you the desires of your heart. Thank you for your time and blessings to you!
RS: Thanks as always, Karen, and I receive that word and send it back to you 100-fold. Jeremiah 29:13