Pierre Monice, Pastor
â€œI followed Godâ€™s lead,â€? he says. â€œI hung up the possibilities of making big bucks for a more simple life of leading people to Jesus, more specifically, young people.â€?
[Our Profile Of The Day]
WHERE HE’S FROM: Pierre Monice will tell you he’s strictly an East Coast boy, and rightfully so. He was born and raised in Newark, N.J. where he spent the first 13 years of his life. His family then moved to West Palm Beach, Fla. so his dad could pursue a career as a doctor. The transition was difficult for Pierre and his sister.
“I was born and raised in a Black community, even the private school I attended was 99.9 percent black,” he tells The Black Star News. “But in Florida, my sister and I were the only Black students there. It was a big culture shock, but I was able to adapt.”
Pierre says the transition helped him to figure out and consequently appreciate his identity, despite other people’s opinions.
“I was Pierre Monice, a Haitian American, and I had reason to be proud of that regardless of how other people defined me.”
In finding his identity, Pierre thought he’d also discovered his aspirations in life – he wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps to become a lawyer. But someone else had other plans. That someone was God, he says. Pierre said he was raised in the Seventh-day Adventist church from birth, but he was never serious about the religion. He was simply “going through the motions.” After he moved to Florida, Pierre and his mom began attending a nearby church, where he would occasionally attend youth service, but to him, these actions were mere formalities.
“At that time none of my friends went to church,” he adds, noting that, “the youth services were boring. I didn’t want to be there.”
“My mom told me to stop complaining and get involved, but like any 15-year-old boy, it went in one ear and through the other,” Pierre recalls. Something Pierre’s mom said had to have stuck with him, because when the youth service leader suddenly quit, Pierre took over. In just two years time, the group grew from 10 to over 40 members.
More importantly, however, Pierre said God had shown him through the experience that he had a special gift of being a spiritual leader.
Pierre spent three years at Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, Tenn. where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology. At the end of his junior year he conducted a six-week evangelistic series in Cartersville, Ga. where six people were baptized – the youngest, a 12-year-old girl. He has also preached at many youth rallies, and his ministry as a summer camp counselor has helped several young campers to decide to give their hearts to Jesus and be baptized, according to his pastor’s page on the church’s Web site.
“I followed God’s lead,” he says. “ I hung up the possibilities of making big bucks for a more simple life of leading people to Jesus, more specifically, young people.”
WHERE HE’S AT: If you’d asked Pierre on May 1, 2007 where he’d be living four months later one thing’s for sure; he wouldn’t have told you Tulsa, Okla. “You couldn’t even get me to point out Tulsa, Oklahoma on a map,” he says with a laugh.
Yet, at age 21, Pierre is the first and youngest Black male to be a senior pastor of the First Tulsa Seventh-day Adventist Church, a congregation composed of predominately white members. But color is not an issue for him.
“I see color, not as a barrier, but as an opportunity to broaden my horizons and learn,” he says. “Bottom line; we’re all people. We may like to eat and do different things, but we’re all people.”
Pierre does not view his youth as a hindrance to his ministry, but sees it as an opportunity to encourage, motivate and inspire young people to pursue their dreams and make the best of every situation, no matter their age. He said that if God could use an inexperienced 21-year-old like himself, who was the last candidate in his graduating class to be hired, then God could use anyone in any situation, to do anything. He especially mentions a formula he uses to reach young people when ministering. It’s called relevance.
“Our generation doesn’t like to be told anything, even when we’re wrong we don’t want to hear it,” Pierre says. “So you have to be relevant. You have to preach in a way that young people can relate to it and realize they need change. When a young person comes to that paradigm shift in their mind, then they’ll be on fire for Christ.”
Pastor Pierre especially has a message for young African American males in today’s society, and calls it Pastor P’s three Ps: Be proud of who you are, be productive in what ever situation you’re in, and be progressive – always strive to move further in life.
Pierre’s role model: His mother. “She taught me to not be afraid to dream.”
Pierre’s most important life lesson learned: “Be humble in every situation because all of your achievements can be taken away in a moment.”
Pierre’s words of wisdom: “Don’t take life for granted; be serious about yourself. Set standards and goals and go for them.
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