Excited About The Future
“Up at 4am, dark, humid Friday morning in the DMV (DC, Maryland, and Virginia)…. I hug the wife and head out the door…” shares Anthony D. Bobo, Jr. (Senior Associate, The Joseph Factor Group). “Man, tired, but so excited about what God is going to do among us in Flowood, MS Saturday.”
What is he talking about? Well, October 28, 2023 was the 25th year celebration of the R.E.A.L. Christian Foundation. He and Mark Bobo (Associate, The Joseph Factor Group) would attend the event that was a celebration and training. They attend to represent the work of Influential Global Ministries (IGM) who are focused on equipping and releasing cross-cultural, reconciling, justice-oriented, and metropolitan disciple-makers through leadership development, church planting movements, and church revitalization.
What Is REAL?
The Rural Education and Leadership Christian Foundation, Inc. (REAL) was started by Dolphus and Rosie Weary who worked for over 40 years in Mississippi communities to address issues that cause or result from rural poverty like the lack of educational opportunities, poor nutrition, and the barriers to medical care, to name a few. Many Mississippi communities need more support than the local, state, or federal government can give them. Nonprofits help fill this need, but non-profits in rural areas, especially those that are led by minorities and/or are Christian-based often do not have access to the same financial support and resources as urban, non-Christian non-profits. REAL’s founders understand the unique challenges these nonprofits face on every level. As a result, REAL provides both some of the needed money and training to these community leaders in rural Mississippi. They also give these community leaders opportunities to connect with each other so they can share stories of success, failure, and possibly be resources for each other.
REAL started in 1998 in a home in Richland, MS, with no money and 2,000 copies of an autobiographical book written by Dolphus has come true in the form of a $2.7 million endowed foundation that has given away over $1 million to over 25 non-profits serving 14 different communities and located in 12 counties, all in Mississippi. These Mississippi counties include Bolivar, Copiah, Covington, Holmes, Jefferson Davis, Leflore, Quitman, Rankin, Scott, Sharkey, Simpson, and Walthall counties.
What Was The 25th Celebration
The celebration was held at the Sheraton Flowood Refuge Hotel and Conference Center. The beautiful resort was the perfect setting for a celebration of such an impactful organization.
The purpose of the conference was to better understand the benefits of nonprofits, best practices in running a nonprofit, and inspiration to consider new trends and ideas as it relates to nonprofits. The Joseph Factor Group was brought in to discuss with the Christian leaders the importance of “soul care.” How do leaders care for their whole health (mind, body and spirit)? How do they teach and preach to their congregations to care for their whole health? And how do they engage resources to aid in bettering the whole health of communities in which they serve?
“The 25th Anniversary celebration was a special experience. To engage with over 50 people who represent churches, ministries, and organizations that have committed to continual growth of our rural communities was both enlightening and inspirational. I met so many from various backgrounds, denominations and demographic locations. The commonality amongst us all was we are each striving to make an impact for Christ” expresses Mark Bobo.
Click here for more information on REAL.
Click here for more information on IGM.