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Pastor Nathaniel Drayton (Award Winner)

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My name is Reverend Nathaniel H. Drayton and to be chosen as a Festival of Excellence recipient is indeed humbling.

I have been married to the former Viola Anderson for the past 35 years and we have two great children Kimberly Michelle Drayton B.S.N. of Peoria, Arizona and Kevin Michael Drayton student, Galen School of Nursing.

My journey of life is not as so much about achieving great educational levels or of being recognized for notable community accomplishments; but one of triumph in spite of personal failures and of falling and getting back up time and time again through faith on to victory.

Upon graduating from Gibbs High School in Saint Petersburg, Fl. in 1972; I was fortunate to receive a basketball scholarship to Arizona State University. After doing poorly academically my first year and having to petition the school to maintain my scholarship, I rebounded to become the first African American male student athlete at A.S.U. to graduate on time receiving a B.A. degree in Elementary Education in 1976.

Returning home to “start life” I found the road to manhood and success to be a difficult one to traverse. Literally failing at everything I put my hands to, finally falling into drug addiction and crime; causing much pain to my wife and family. After losing “everything” I was actually homeless for a short period of time only to be rescued by my elderly grandmother.

Only by the grace of God, He lifted me out of the miry clay and set my feet on the proper path to victory. For the past 20 years I have dedicated my life to mentoring young men and serving my community wherever needed.

•       I was ordained into the ministry in 1993 while serving as interim Pastor at Travelers Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Saint Petersburg Fl.
•       Served as Fulltime Executive Minister at Bethel Community Baptist Church for three years under the Rev. Dr. Manuel Sykes, Saint Petersburg.
•       Director of two $500,000.00 Faith Based grants in Pinellas County.
•       Installed as Pastor of Agape Christian Church serving for six years in Tampa, Fl.
•       Assistant Pastor of the Rock of Jesus Missionary Baptist Church and Head Master of tutorial and After School Program under Pastor Frank W. Peterman Jr.
•       Active Member of the Nehemiah Movement street ministry.
•       Currently employed with the Pinellas County School Board at Lealman Intermediate a Dropout Prevention School, co-chairing 5000 Role Models on campus.
•       Currently the Pastor of Unity Christian Church of Saint Petersburg, Fl.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 January 2010 00:14 )