(Inspired by MVL’s Master Mentor series) … http://www.myvicariouslyfe.com/2012/10/the-master-mentor.html

When I came to Pentecostal Church of Christ in 1974, two young women in particular mentored me as a young saint, Brenda Rainey and (now my Sister-in-Love) Evangelist Beverly Green (Lewis at that time). They were a Godly example to me and taught me  how to serve, and how to be a leader. They helped develop skills I already had by teaching me, involving me, and even taking me with them to Conventions and other meetings and social occasions.

WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE (in my Oprah Winfrey voice) is critical to the mentoring process is relationship. Involved individuals must be willing to give of themselves while giving to someone else.

Later, as I became a young adult, young wife, young mother, God gave others to impart into my life.  The epitome of a First Lady, Jewel Watkins, Hortense McWhorter Nash, and Evangelist Jerlean McCormick, were holy women who mentored me. Spiritual Mothers, Evangelist Geneva Rucker and Mother Margie Donnell mentored me … There were/are significant others  too, including my Mother-in-Love, Evangelist/Mother Lillian Lipford (in Heaven).

One day though, a family moved from Springfield to Cleveland and became apart of our church family. Charleyse S. Pratt, Ph.D. influenced and impacted my life in a profound way. I remember vividly the first of hundreds of times she took me to an event outside of the church … It was a Toastmistress (at that time) event held in the Higbee store conference space at Severance when it was a mall (You know how long ago that was, right?). I had no idea what was in store for me that day and from that day until now, she has mentored me, advised me, and celebrated me … even to this day.

As a couple, she and her husband mentored us as a young couple with young children, welcoming us into their home, breaking bread together, learning together, and our husbands teaching together. She included me in corporate functions she facilitated or participated in, she shepherded me and I shadowed her. I assisted her in administrative tasks including typing parts of her doctoral dissertation, and documents for her consulitng practice she was and still is inclusive that way. She, as so many will agree, is a giant IMAX example of excellence, poise, scholarship, achievement, and a speaker par excellence. She is a visual of professional, educational, and the Proverbial 31.

“Evidence of learning is changed behavior.” ~ CSP; “Words create worlds.” ~ CSP

This is in no way an all-inclusive account of how she has blessed my life for more than 30 years including being one of the premiere influences for my going back to school and earning my degree (as she has been for countless others).

My focus more than anything in this writing is to share that mentoring is so much more than a teacher or a coach, it is principally about relationship as well.

BRAVO to mentors and to those who seek them out.

[Disclaimer: The persons named in this writing in no wise complete the list of ‘legends’, strong women, and spiritual mothers who have imparted into my life, especially my Mother, Altha Casey (in Heaven)] *Q