BY JAMES HARPER
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a big influence on the life of former Daytona Beach resident Kevin Beckton who will be installed as pastor of his own church this month.
“I believe he (Dr. King) once said, whatever you are, be the best at what you do. This is something that I have learned to live by and incorporate in ministry as well as business,” said Beckton. who will be installed as the pastor of St. Johns Baptist Church in Altamonte Springs on Jan. 27.
The installation service will take place beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Altamonte Springs at 2401 Ronald Reagan Blvd.
“I have many mentors probably far too many to name them all but on the local level – Charles Cherry Sr. (founder of the Daytona Times) and Yvonne S. Golden (former mayor of Daytona Beach) were also big influences in my life,” Beckton noted.
Years of preparation
Beckton said he answered the call to ministry in 1995 while living in Daytona Beach. He served as an associate minister at Allen Chapel AME for seven years under the leadership of Pastor Michael K. Bouie.
After leaving Daytona Beach, Beckton went on to become associate minister at Christian Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church for 10 years under the leadership of Pastor Otis C. Raines in Sanford.
“My goals as a preacher are to teach and preach the true word of God and make disciples of those that are given to my charge,” Beckton said in an interview with the Daytona Times this week.
As pastor or St. Johns, Beckton said community outreach will be a big part of his mission – “to evangelize the community and meet the needs of the community wherever and whenever possible through real community outreach.”
Resides in Sanford
St. Johns will be celebrating its 99th anniversary this spring.
“God has truly blessed me with a beautiful group of believers and we are looking forward to doing great things in the future,” Beckton continued.
After leaving Daytona Beach, Beckton remarried and bought a home in the Sanford area where he and his wife reside.
Though ministry is his passion and by far the most important part of his life, Beckton said he also is building an independent insurance practice.
For more information on the installation service, contact the church at 407-260-1691.