Premier Flowers owner Colby Midgett becoming a household name in Memphis

Colby2Would you like to learn about all things flowers?

Try talking to Colby Midgett.

A native of Memphis, Midgett, 40, apparently is quite knowledgeable about an assortment of topics and trends pertaining to flowers.

You name it.

Surely, she can enlighten you about it.

For real.

“The way flowers make you feel,” said Midgett during an interview Wednesday afternoon with news reporter Andre Johnson, when asked what does she likes mostly about her business. “They are like therapy. They are beautiful. They can change your life. They light up and bring class to a room and they bring joy to others. They tell a story.”

Speaking of a story, Midgett, a rising business owner, who’s becoming a fixture as a professional florist in the Memphis-metropolitan area, certainly has gone to great lengths to share hers — a story that, fortunately for her, is greatly giving way to the essential exposure she needs in this ever-so-competitive industry.

FINDING HER NICHE --- A Memphis Trezevant High and University of Memphis graduate, Colby Midgett is in her second year as owner of Premier Flowers, but had been involved in floriculture and gardening for eight years and counting. To her credit, her immense track record has been nothing short of impressive.

FINDING HER NICHEA Memphis Trezevant High and University of Memphis graduate, Colby Midgett is in her second year as owner of Premier Flowers, but had been involved in floriculture and gardening for eight years and counting.
To her credit, her immense track record has been nothing short of impressive.

The owner and chief executive officer of Premier Flowers at 80 North Tillman Street, Suite #104, just minutes west of midtown, Midgett’s business venture — or “Floriculture,” as she labels it — is geared large around emerging as a preferred florist whom customers contact for all of their floral needs. “When you think of flowers, (I want) you think of Premier Flowers and how wonderful we made you feel through those flowers,” Midgett said. (We want) those memories to last a lifetime, to be a top event florist even for those on a small budget.”

Premier Flowers certainly is committed to accommodating consumers who can’t merely afford the proverbial overpriced, less-than-attractive flowers.

“Not everyone can afford to spend $3,000 or more on flowers,” Midgett said. “To be as successful as God allows me to be is by doing my due diligence to make this last.”

Midgett said her business caters to individuals of all ages, and has accommodated people as far as in Europe. A Memphis Trezevant High and University of Memphis graduate, Midgett is in her second year as owner of Premier Flowers, but has been involved in floriculture and gardening for eight years and counting.

To her credit, her immense track record has been nothing short of impressive.

For starters, her business was voted amongst the Top 10 To Watch by the Greater Memphis Chamber. And, just recently, she became a nominee for The Commercial Appeal’s Memphis Most Best in the florist category.

Also, she will be a recipient for the Tri-State Defender 2016 Woman of Excellence Award at the Esplanade on May 30, 2016 — “And I have a wedding that same day…Yikes!” she said — and she has been invited to be apart of the decorating committee for this year’s American Cancer Society’s Imagine Ball on August 27, news by which she said she’s “super excited about.”

SHOW STOPPER --- Midgett's business was voted amongst the Top 10 To Watch by the Greater Memphis Chamber. And, just recently, she became a nominee for The Commercial Appeal's Memphis Most Best in the florist category.

SHOW STOPPERMidgett’s business was voted amongst the Top 10 To Watch by the Greater Memphis Chamber. And, just recently, she became a nominee for The Commercial Appeal’s Memphis Most Best in the florist category.

As Midgett explained, it is in large part because of her success in her brief time as a business owner that she deems it necessary not to concern herself with what her competitors are doing.

“Never worry about the competition,” she said. “None is in comparison to you. And ignore the whispers.”

Among the things from which she never shy away is esteeming others daily highly than herself, particularly through her business venture.

“For some people, the only positive thing they have in their life is you inspiring them,” Midgett explained. “People in life are so judgmental, so vain. You never know what someone is going through, or where they have been, and where they are going in life.

“Follow your dreams and your heart. You’ll never know the outcome until you do,” Midgett added. “Only then, can you say, ‘At least I tried and now I know.’ You never know where life will take you and you have one shot at this. I inspire others to be themselves, to do what they love, and to ignore the naysayers. I strive to do and be the absolute best I can because there is always someone watching.”

Let alone someone who wants to talk about and purchase flowers.

You name it.

Surely, she can enlighten you about it.

For more information about Premier Flowers or to make purchases, call 901-320-7000 or send email to: premierflowers901@gmail.com.



AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Marion (Ark.) High senior Allen Latham, Jr. generating late interests from colleges

STOCK RISING --- To his credit, he certainly appears on track to possibly suiting up in a college uniform in the coming months, considering Allen Latham, Jr. was invited recently to put his mechanics on display before the coaching staff at Harding University, a Division 2 school in Searcy, Arkansas.

STOCK RISINGTo his credit, he certainly appears on track to possibly suiting up in a college uniform in the coming months, considering Allen Latham, Jr. was invited recently to put his mechanics on display before the coaching staff at Harding University, a Division 2 school in Searcy, Arkansas.

Allen Latham, Jr. was asked recently to assess his senior campaign for the Marion (Arkansas) High basketball team.

“I think it went really well,” Latham, Jr. told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson. Then after pausing momentarily, Latham Jr. recalled arguably his grandest memory of his final season of major prep basketball.

“I had a breakout game of 31 points and being the team captain, that led to me being a leader on and off the court,” Latham, Jr. said.

Now that his prep hoops tenure has ended, the 6-foot-2, 187-pound swingman is now clinging to lofty aspirations of extending his athletic talents at the collegiate level.

To his credit, he certainly appears on track to possibly suiting up in a college uniform in the coming months, considering Latham, Jr. was invited recently to put his mechanics on display before the coaching staff at Harding University, a Division 2 school in Searcy, Arkansas.

Although the 18-year-old Latham, Jr. has yet to garner any official offers, he has acquired some interest and qualified academically, according to his father, Allen Latham, Sr.

DAD KNOWS BEST --- Although the 18-year-old Latham, Jr. has yet to garner any official offers, he has qualified academically, according to his father, Allen Latham, Sr. For the past couple of weeks, Latham, Sr. has been quite complimentary of his son, saying, among other things, that he has exceeded expectations on and off the court and that he is worthy of having a shot of fulfilling his dream of playing college basketball.

DAD KNOWS BESTAlthough the 18-year-old Latham, Jr. has yet to garner any official offers, he has qualified academically, according to his father, Allen Latham, Sr. For the past couple of weeks, Latham, Sr. has been quite complimentary of his son, saying, among other things, that he has exceeded expectations on and off the court and that he is worthy of having a shot of fulfilling his dream of playing college basketball.

For the past couple of weeks, Latham, Sr. has been quite complimentary of his son, saying, among other things, that he has exceeded expectations on and off the court and that he is worthy of having a shot of fulfilling his dream of playing college basketball.

“He began playing (basketball) at the age of six,” Latham, Sr. said of his son, whom he said also generated interest from Arkansas Tech and Ecclesia College in Springdale, Arkansas.

Ever since his child first dribbled and launched a basketball toward a goal, the elder Latham knew his son would ultimately find his niche in the sport.

This past season, unlike any other, it seemed he had done just that, something by which he hopes college scouts and recruiters will subsequently take into account in the foreseeable future.

“He has a lot of talent and potential to do well in this sport,” Latham, Sr. said. “He had (a number of) good games (this past season), he didn’t get hurt, and he played team ball.”

Indeed he did.

pat3In leading coach Irving Clay’s Patriots in scoring at better than 13 points per game, Latham appeared in 25 of Marion’s 26 outings and, by season’s end, the Patriots’ late-season surge gave way to a 14-12 finish and a No. 43 overall ranking in the state in a final poll released by Maxpreps.com.

A pretty impressive resume for a talented swingman who doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s aiming to make a favorable impression upon scouts — much sooner than later.

“I’m a solid shooter who can handle the ball and who is willing to go 110 percent and continue to work hard,” Latham, Jr. said, when asked what he’d like to say to recruiters. “(Basketball) is the love of my life. My whole life has been created to school, serving God, and basketball. I won’t stop now.”

That was quite evident this past season at Marion.



AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Memphis Evangelist Delmelodia Tipton recalls life-changing ‘miracle’ in her book, “In the Midst Of The Storm There Is Purpose”

Tip2EDITOR’S NOTE: Evangelist Delmelodia Tipton was inspired to write this epistle in the form of a teaching manual with faith declarations,  prophetic utterances and work study for the empowerment of the household of faith in Christ Jesus.

On Wednesday morning, Delmelodia Tipton went on and on about her passion and fond adoration for ministry.

Without hesitation, she wasted little time getting her vital point across.

“I have a love for people,” Tipton, a longtime licensed and ordained evangelist told news reporter Andre Johnson.

Given her immense track record, coupled with her steadfast ability to live on the larger side of God, it is abundantly obvious why isn’t hard-pressed for many to recognize just how much of a pillar and asset Tipton is to the Body of Christ.

Having found her niche and identity in ministry some 12 years ago or, as she tells it, having been rooted in ministry “with my hands to the plow for 12 years,” Tipton also is a rising author, one who recently assembled and released a book that, to her credit, could very well impact hundreds of thousands throughout the modern-day church and the world.

ddHer latest project, entitled “In the Midst Of The Storm There Is Purpose,” is a 220-page soft cover book that includes a bookmark and CD of her enchanting, thought-provoking, life-enhancing message, one that undoubtedly has changed the overall landscape of her life.

“Many of us have either been in, entering in, coming out of or in the midst of trials and tribulations in the form of a storm crisis,” Tipton said while explaining the theme and purpose of her book. ‘”In the Midst of the Storm’ was the first message that I preached under the unction of the Spirit of the Living God in March 2006. In 1996, after five years of building a bond and foundation, my husband and I decided it was time to start our family.”

Unfortunately, during the early stages of her pregnancy, Tipton began to encounter an array of physical challenges. Nevertheless, because of her devout faith walk with Almighty God, she sensed that having an abortion was not an option.

hhAs she recalled, in fact, her firstborn was diagnosed with Wolf Hirsh II Syndrome, a rare condition that is characterized by learning difficulties, epilepsy, growth delay and craniofacial digenesis, which customarily happens in one out of every 100,000 individuals.

According to PatientInfo.com, patients also experience a severe general learning disability, severe limitation of comprehension and speech, seizures, ataxic gait, hypotonic, and muscle hypertrophy.

After the death and bury their baby, angry with God, Delmelodia would write letters to God because in her mind she thought God had forsaken her. However, God did not speak or reveal Himself to her in pity, but power and told her to write a book. Eighteen years later it has come to pass; the Holy Spirit spoke the prophetic word through Apostle Larry Pratcher, Jr. and she knew and acted without any hesitations to the voice of the Lord.In writing her first book the Holy Spirit revealed a second book.

“The Mission is to silence the kingdom of darkness in works against believers as believers come into the knowledge, power, obedience, faithful, revelation and wisdom of God in Christ Jesus and to prophetically speak life,” Tipton said.

Evangelist Tipton is the Founder, Host & Producer of AMBASSADORS 4 CHRIST APOSTOLIC BROADCAST MINISTRY, airs every Thursday @1:00PM CST, Comcast Channel 17.

“I had all kind of genetic testing and amniocentesis,” Tipton explained.

All of which ultimately gave way to her harboring mixed emotions, of sorts, pertaining to her faith.

During the time as a salon business owner and cosmetologist,” Tipton said. “I worked half of a year, lost client, income, clients and during the same season husband job was closing its doors to relocate. We had all kinds of neonatal facts and genetic expertise given to us. In spite of all that was told to us we prayed and believed God was going to bring in through and restore his health. After he was born which was a miracle, because the circumstances said the opposite; however, we were hopeful. 

“Things turned for the worst after some days after arrived home,” continued Tipton, alluding to after she had given birth to her firstborn. “I saw with my very own eyes my baby die. Now men and women handle emotions totally different. I took it extremely to heart, yet torn ripped and emotionally devastated. I almost gave up on God. As a believer in Christ, I was severely put on trial and my faith was tested. God blocked what the devil meant for her destruction; the sucidal thoughts from becoming reality, God blocked the giving up on her life her marriage, her business and all the he had bless her to accomplish thus far. Every door every thought that was meant for evil God blocked it, shut it down and worked it all out for her greater good.”

But God…

ARRAY OF TIPS --- Tipton's latest project, entitled “In the Midst Of The Storm There Is Purpose,” is a 220-page soft cover book that includes a bookmark and CD of her enchanting, thought-provoking, life-enhancing message, one that undoubtedly has changed the overall landscape of her life.

ARRAY OF TIPSTipton’s latest project, entitled “In the Midst Of The Storm There Is Purpose,” is a 220-page soft cover book that includes a bookmark and CD of her enchanting, thought-provoking, life-enhancing message, one that undoubtedly has changed the overall landscape of her life.

Or as Tipton specifically recalled, “The Lord intervened on my behalf, not because I was and still is saved,” she said, “but because He is faithful to those that will call upon His Name out of a sincere heart. Even though the pain was there, the confusion and emotional breakdown looked like it was taking over. But the Lord prevailed against the gates of hell.”

Today, unlike never before, Tipton thought it necessary to recall — and share — arguably her life’s grandest encounter in her debut book.

On Saturday, she is will host an official book signing from 2:30-6 p.m. at the Panera Bread at 4530 Poplar Avenue (April 30). In addition, T-shirts will be available for purchase as well as the CD that depicts her message with regards to “In the Midst Of The Storm There Is Purpose.”

Tipton’s book can also be purchased online at: www.ambassaduer4christ.net.

By and large, Tipton emphasized that she remains hopeful and prayerful that her book will impact lives not just amongst believers but, above all, those who have yet to make peace with God.

ON FIRE FOR GOD --- Given her immense track record, coupled with her steadfast ability to live on the larger side of God, it is abundantly obvious why isn’t hard-pressed for many to recognize just how much of a pillar and asset Tipton is to the Body of Christ.

ON FIRE FOR GODGiven her immense track record, coupled with her steadfast ability to live on the larger side of God, it is abundantly obvious why isn’t hard-pressed for many to recognize just how much of a pillar and asset Tipton is to the Body of Christ.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but The Lord delivers us out of them all,” she said. “Crisis that we face are stages set for the opportunity for Yahweh God to show us His Glory.

“When the storms of life rumble, all types of winds blow and beat against us, whether it’s divorce, health, finances, job, family friendly, children or other turbulences,” added Tipton, who also owns Studio of Styles Salon Spa at 5134 Millbranch Road, Suite 100, in the Whitehaven area. “Know that there is no power, no devil, and no crisis bigger or greater than the power of God, Who is still performing miracles.”

TipIn a nutshell, understand, Tipton reiterated, “I am a miracle and so are you.”

“The Lord often use the suffering and pain…I use to bring out the gold, the purification, the greatness and the purpose within the believers soul,” Tipton continued. “The storm came to usher in the Supernatural development that has been or is still asleep in many believers. He desires to exalt you to greater, but it comes through the fire. Many of us say we know Him, say we trust Him, and many of us even say we love Him, which is good. However, beloved, some things He will allow shaping and shifting the paradigm and thoughts. God wants to get us to the place, a place whereby nothing will shake us, the redeem, off of the true Rock of Salvation. Therefore we just don’t go to church as usual, talk or behave as usual, but we Rise in the Spirit to our birthright position in Christ and Live!  Take the leap of Faith at All cost. The gift of faith which is God in us makes us whole; spirit, mind, heart, soul and body. The renovation is necessary for the infusion of the Kingdom of God to Rise within your soul empowering us to overcome every crisis and every devastation! Faith Abounds! Its the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in my eyes.”

For more information about Delmelodia Tipton, send email to: ambassaduer4christ@gmail.com



AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are a pastor or minister, entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, or model who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson is the former chief adjutant to Elder Andrew Jackson, Sr. of Faith Temple Ministries COGIC in Memphis. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, call him at 901-690-6587 or send email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

Freshman point guard standout Barry Wilburn, Jr. holdng his own for KIPP Delta

kippSome 10 years ago, Barry L. Wilburn, Jr. picked up a basketball and went headed for the backyard.

He began to dribble.

He began to shoot.

He dribbled some more.

He shot some more.

Little did he know that even at the tender age of five, someone very dear to him was looking on the entire time, was watching virtually his every move as he dribbled and shot and dribbled and shot some more.

That person was non-other-than Barry Wilburn, Sr.

Just like yesterday, Wilburn, Sr. recalls how he watched in wonderment how his son had managed to adopt a passion for basketball, a trend that has ultimately given way to his finding his niche today on the competitive circuit.

“I really noticed his unselfishness and natural leadership abilities,” Wilburn, Sr. told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview.

TRUE FRESHMAN --- Barry Wilburn, Jr., meanwhile, relishes the fact that his off-the-court resilience paid off mightily in his first full season of major prep basketball. Kipp Delta captured a league championship, in large part because of Wilburn, Jr.’s stellar offensive display in which he led the team in scoring and assists.

TRUE FRESHMANBarry Wilburn, Jr., meanwhile, relishes the fact that his off-the-court resilience paid off mightily in his first full season of major prep basketball.
Kipp Delta captured a league championship, in large part because of Wilburn, Jr.’s stellar offensive display in which he led the team in scoring and assists.

To his credit, Wilburn, Jr.’s ability to lead and thrive, coupled with his a significant upgrade of his overall mechanics, has greatly given way to his blossoming as a catalyst for Kipp Delta Collegiate School in Helena, Arkansas.

A 5-foot-8 freshman guard who still has much growing to do, Wilburn, Jr. turned in valiant contribution this past season for a Kipp Delta team that finished just one game shy of the .500 mark with a 14-15 mark, highlighted by an 11-7 record in league play.

“I truly believe that he has a true love of the game and wants to succeed at it,” said Wilburn, Sr., assessing his son’s overall play as a true freshman. “He also has a very high basketball I.Q., which is shown by his play as a point guard.”

Wilburn, Jr., meanwhile, relishes the fact that his off-the-court resilience paid off mightily in his first full season of major prep basketball.

Kipp Delta captured a league championship, in large part because of Wilburn, Jr.’s stellar offensive display in which he led the team in scoring and assists.

So much for first-year jitters.

“Barry is true point guard,” Kipp Delta coach Phillip Lockhart said. “This (past) season, he not only led the team in scoring, but he also averaged 13 assists a contest. Barry also has a 3.4 GPA.  His leadership skills on and off the court are superior to most athletes his age.”

BUSY OFFSEASON --- Fortunately for the young Wilburn, Jr., he’ll be afforded the golden opportunity to brush up on his fundamentals this summer while on the AAU circuit. Most importantly, he knows full well that will also present him with the chance to draw attention from scouts.

BUSY OFFSEASONFortunately for the young Wilburn, Jr., he’ll be afforded the golden opportunity to brush up on his fundamentals this summer while on the AAU circuit.
Most importantly, he knows full well that will also present him with the chance to draw attention from scouts.

Luckily for newcomer, he undoubtedly held his own, something he hopes is a sign is a sign of things to come.

“I love the game and I’m willing to work hard to make my team better,” Wilburn, Jr. said. “I work out daily, from shoot-around, scrimmages and physical strengthening.”

As for his greatest strengths, Wilburn, Jr. said, “Ball-handling is my strongest point or strength and I would say rebounding is somewhat of a weakness.”

Fortunately for the young Wilburn, Jr., he’ll be afforded the golden opportunity to brush up on his fundamentals this summer while on the AAU circuit.

Most importantly, he knows full well that will also present him with the chance to draw attention from scouts.

“The college level is still three years away for me,” Wilburn, Jr. said. “But I will continue to study the game and play competitively as often as I can.”

Something about which he’s been doing, really, since the tender age of five.

With his father looking on in amazement.



AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

 Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

Evening Star MBC Pastor Dennis Ross, Sr. is a spiritual, natural fixture in South Memphis

“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18 KJV)

 

KING'S CHILD --- Regardless of how seemingly insurmountable situations and circumstances had become in his life, much less throughout his ministerial tenure as the Senior Pastor of Memphis’ Evening Star Missionary Baptist Church, Ross Sr. was determined to demonstrate the life-enhancing wisdom he had acquired as a child growing up in the church. “I am here today only by the grace and mercy of God,” the 56-year-old Ross, Sr. explained during a recent interview with longtime journalist Andre Johnson. “The enemy tried to kill me, but God kept me.”

KING’S CHILDRegardless of how seemingly insurmountable situations and circumstances had become in his life, much less throughout his ministerial tenure as the Senior Pastor of Memphis’ Evening Star Missionary Baptist Church, Ross Sr. was determined to demonstrate the life-enhancing wisdom he had acquired as a child growing up in the church.
“I am here today only by the grace and mercy of God,” the 56-year-old Ross, Sr. explained during a recent interview with longtime journalist Andre Johnson. “The enemy tried to kill me, but God kept me.”

Just recently, Dennis Ross, Sr. paused momentarily to reminisce on just how far from which God has brought him.

As one songwriter once insinuated, Ross, Sr.’s’ soul ultimately cried out, Hallelujah, in large part because all his life, he was taught to always think of the goodness of Jesus and all He’s done for him.

In fact, given his immense, notable resume as a man of cloth, Ross, Sr.’s routinely acknowledgement and reverence to Almighty God is just as prevalent today than it was when he accepted his divine calling to the ministry.

In other words, regardless of how seemingly insurmountable situations and circumstances had become in his life, much less throughout his ministerial tenure as the Senior Pastor of Memphis’ Evening Star Missionary Baptist Church at 1047 Mississippi Blvd. in South Memphis, Ross Sr. was determined to demonstrate the life-enhancing wisdom he had acquired as a child growing up in the church.

“I am here today only by the grace and mercy of God,” the 56-year-old Ross, Sr. explained during a recent interview with longtime journalist Andre Johnson. “The enemy tried to kill me, but God kept me.”

So much so that even to this very day, Ross, Sr. doesn’t shy away from the notion that he has a newfound perspective on his ministry as well as the overall landscape of his life.

“It made me see God in a way that hadn’t seen Him in Evening Star MBC, Inc.,” Ross said.

BORN TO PREACH --- Generally, it seemed evident that Ross. Sr. would destine to assume the role as a pastor. That’s because three of his older brothers had been called to the ministry.

BORN TO PREACHGenerally, it seemed evident that Ross. Sr. would destine to assume the role as a pastor. That’s because three of his older brothers had been called to the ministry.

Raised in a single parent home like a number of his peers, Ross, Sr.’s father abandoned their home when he was he was just three years of age. Still, he’d be the first to tell wasn’t excuse to abstain from maximizing his potential in the natural and in the spirit.

Having been brought up in the church virtually his entire life, Ross Sr. was baptized at the age when he was six years old and attending Sunday School and midweek Bible study was mandatory.

WE ARE FAMILY --- In assessing his longstanding pastoral tenure, he acknowledged his family has supported him “100 percent,” in large part because a large contingent of them is members of his church. “In hind sight, I can see I was called (to preach the gospel) at age 12,” said Ross, Sr., “did I not surrender until age 37.”

WE ARE FAMILY — In assessing his longstanding pastoral tenure, he acknowledged his family has supported him “100 percent,” in large part because a large contingent of them is members of his church.
“In hind sight, I can see I was called (to preach the gospel) at age 12,” said Ross, Sr., “did I not surrender until age 37.”

In addition, he was a fixture a member of the choir and, along with the steady strides and valiant contribution to the ministry, he became a Sunday School teacher and superintendent as well as a choir director.

“I was raised by my mother,” Ross, Sr. said. “My father left when was about three years old, but my mother instilled in us the Golden Rule.”

Generally, it seemed evident that Ross. Sr. would destine to assume the role as a pastor. That’s because three of his older brothers had been called to the ministry.

In assessing his longstanding pastoral tenure, he acknowledged his family has supported him “100 percent,” in large part because a large contingent of them is members of his church.

Ross5“In hind sight, I can see I was called (to preach the gospel) at age 12,” said Ross, Sr., “did I not surrender until age 37.”

Regardless, the gates of hell shall not prevail against a ministry Ross, Sr. said has partnered with The Southern Baptist in that it partakes in an assortment of community-wide activities, particularly in the poverty-stricken 38126 zip code.

Moreover, Evening Star MBC also has partnered with the Center For Transforming Communities as well as the Soulsville Revitalization Initiative, all of which has made Ross, Sr.’s ministry an integral force in the heart of the South Memphis community.



AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are a pastor or minister, entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, or model who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson is the former chief adjutant to Elder Andrew Jackson, Sr. of Faith Temple Ministries COGIC in Memphis. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, call him at 901-690-6587 or send email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Forrest City freshman guard Tylan Foster excelling on court amid grandmother’s death

Every day.

Every single day, amongst the routines about which Tylan Foster follows is a rather familiar, thought-provoking, life-enhancing Biblical verse.

GRANDMA KNOWS BEST --- Every single day, amongst the routines about which Tylan Darion Foster follows is a rather familiar, thought-provoking, life-enhancing Biblical verse. Knowing full well he can essentially recite it with his eyes closed, Foster has arrived at a point in his young life whereby he can utter it verbatim. Housed in Luke 1:37, such a spiritual passage reads: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

GRANDMA KNOWS BESTEvery single day, amongst the routines about which Tylan Darion Foster follows is a rather familiar, thought-provoking, life-enhancing Biblical verse.
Knowing full well he can essentially recite it with his eyes closed, Foster has arrived at a point in his young life whereby he can utter it verbatim.
Housed in Luke 1:37, such a spiritual passage reads: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

Knowing full well he can essentially recite it with his eyes closed, Foster has arrived at a point in his young life whereby he can utter it verbatim.

Housed in Luke 1:37, such a spiritual passage reads: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

“That what I shall live by,” Foster told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “It’s a dream for me because I want to show my family, especially my grandmother, that I lost this year while playing my championship game. I want to prove that people can make it out of Forrest City (Arkansas) and give back to the community. I always keep this scripture, because it’s what’s my grandmother taught me.”

allsFoster, a 15-year-old freshman guard for Forrest City High, is alluding to arguably the most downtrodden moment of his young life when his grandmother passed away moments after his team had played in a title game.

According to his mother, Sharren Lennell, telling her son of his grandmother’s death was undoubtedly a disheartening encounter, considering she had just watched her son play the game he loves, although the Mustangs had fallen in the title game by just a bucket.

“My mother actually passed away February 18, 2016, the same day of my son’s conference championship game against Nettleton,” Lennell explained. “It was a bad day for him cause their team lost by two points and I had to break the news that his grandmother passed right after his game.”

Two months removed from having bid his grandmother an emotional farewell, Foster admittedly is using the assortment of life lessons taught by his grandmother to fuel his desire to excel on and off the court.

A 6-foot, 147-pound swingman, Foster was an integral part of a Forrest City ninth grade team that is coached by Christopher Williams.

“I would some it up like it was one my best seasons, because it was a growing point,” Foster said it assessing his freshman campaign. “It taught me a lot. I’m intelligent player. I have good sportsmanship and great defense. I’m well rounded by playing any position basically.”

GUARDIAN ANGEL --- According to his mother, Sharren Lennell, telling her son of his grandmother’s death was undoubtedly a disheartening encounter, considering she had just watched her son play the game he loves, although the Mustangs had fallen in the title game by just a bucket. “My mother actually passed away February 18, 2016, the same day of my son’s conference championship game against Nettleton,” Lennell explained. “It was a bad day for him cause their team lost by two points and I had to break the news that his grandmother passed right after his game.”

GUARDIAN ANGEL — According to his mother, Sharren Lennell, telling her son of his grandmother’s death was undoubtedly a disheartening encounter, considering she had just watched her son play the game he loves, although the Mustangs had fallen in the title game by just a bucket.
“My mother actually passed away February 18, 2016, the same day of my son’s conference championship game against Nettleton,” Lennell explained. “It was a bad day for him cause their team lost by two points and I had to break the news that his grandmother passed right after his game.”

And, to his credit, he doesn’t plan on slowing down now that it’s the offseason.

Said Chanson Newborn, Foster’s pastor and spiritual father: “He’s a driven, focused and talent young man. As long as he keeps God first and remain focused, he will accomplish great things.”

Simply put, he knows full well that grandma wants him to devise ways to progress — on and off the court.

“She encouraged him to push forward and stay focused never give up on his dreams,” Lennell said. “(She told him to) keep God first in everything that he does. Tylan has seen his grandmother fight many battles, which made him see that he has to fight as well. Even though his grandmother is gone, he is motived to continue to make her happy on and off the court.”

Every single day.



AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

 Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Holy Vision Temple COGIC First Lady Brandy Lee impacting lives through Incredible Eats and Treats Cupcake Dessert Shuttle

WOMAN OF VISION --- A devoted wife, mother, and pillar to the Body of Christ, Lady Brandy Lee of Memphis' Holy Vision Temple COGIC is the founder and owner of Incredible Eats and Treats Cupcake Dessert Shuttle, a mobile refreshment and baked goods business geared largely toward helping the Youth Ministry at Holy Vision. A business on wheels that routinely makes stops throughout greater Memphis and the Mid-South, Incredible Eats And Treats is widely known for making and selling cupcakes, sheet cakes, cake pops arrangements, mini cupcakes, cupcakes candies, and an assortment of other goodies to satisfy your one’s sweet tooth.

WOMAN OF VISIONA devoted wife, mother, and pillar to the Body of Christ, Lady Brandy Lee of Memphis’ Holy Vision Temple COGIC is the founder and owner of Incredible Eats and Treats Cupcake Dessert Shuttle, a mobile refreshment and baked goods business geared largely toward helping the Youth Ministry at Holy Vision. A business on wheels that routinely makes stops throughout greater Memphis and the Mid-South, Incredible Eats And Treats is widely known for making and selling cupcakes, sheet cakes, cake pops arrangements, mini cupcakes, cupcakes candies, and an assortment of other goodies to satisfy your one’s sweet tooth. (Photos submitted by B. Lee) 

Lady Brandy N. Lee works earnestly in the ministry alongside her husband, Memphis-based Pastor John H. Lee Jr.

The name of their church: Holy Vision Temple Church of God In Christ.

Located at 875 Crockett Place in the heart of Southeast Memphis, how befitting that the word “vision” accompanies the name of a tradition-rich ministry for which this godly, compassionate couple oversee.

Speaking of vision, to Lady Brandy’s credit, she has steadfastly embraced the one by which God has strategically blessed her, one that, well…let’s just say that it has a taste of sweetness attached to it — literally.

A devoted wife, mother, and pillar to the Body of Christ, Lady Brandy is the founder and owner of Incredible Eats and Treats Cupcake Dessert Shuttle, a mobile refreshment and baked goods business geared largely toward helping the Youth Ministry at Holy Vision.

FOLLOW HOLY VISION COGIC ONLINE: http://www.holyvisiontemple.com/

A business on wheels that routinely makes stops throughout greater Memphis and the Mid-South, Incredible Eats And Treats is widely known for making and selling cupcakes, sheet cakes, cake pops arrangements, mini cupcakes, cupcakes candies, and an assortment of other goodies to satisfy your one’s sweet tooth.

“What’s good about Incredible Eats and Treats Dessert Shuttle is we deliver to your location for any occasion and event,” Lady Brandy told longtime journalist Andre Johnson on Wednesday. “What I like more about this business is that you can be very creative and design awesome desserts that customers loves to enjoy.”

treatsMore than anything, though, Incredible Eats and Treats Dessert Shuttle is committed largely to its mission, which is helping to enhance and enrich the lives of youths.

“This business helps with the youth in our church, and community through the youth ministry at our church, which is the avenue for helping them grow in God and mentorship.”

asGenerally, Incredible Eats and Treats Dessert Shuttle’s products are available to churches and other organizations throughout the greater Tri-State area, and all of Lady Brandy’s treats are freshly baked to satisfy consumers.

Er, sweet tooth consumers, that is.

“All ages loves the sweet tastes of the desserts that is freshly baked and enjoyed,” Lady Brandy said.

er5Interesting enough, Lady Brandy, a true multi-tasker to say the least, has been afforded the golden opportunity to tell God’s goodness and spread the gospel and, well, you know, make mentions of Incredible Eats and Treats Dessert Shuttle’s products over the radio waves.

Lady Brandy is a local talk show host of a show called “Daughters of Destiny Christian.” The talk show airs on Memphis Comcast 31 on Mondays at 10:30am.

“It’s also reaches, inspires, and has encouragement for the soul,” Lady Brandy explained. “Helping others is what God has sent us here to do, to be a beacon of light to someone else along the way. My personal mission is to grow the business in helping the youth in mentorship and blessing others with the delicious baked desserts of Incredible Eats and Treats Dessert Bar Shuttle.

CALLED BY GOD --- Lady Brandy N. Lee works earnestly in the ministry alongside her husband, Memphis-based Pastor John H. Lee Jr. The name of their church: Holy Vision Temple Church of God In Christ.

CALLED BY GODLady Brandy N. Lee works earnestly in the ministry alongside her husband, Memphis-based Pastor John H. Lee Jr.
The name of their church: Holy Vision Temple Church of God In Christ.

“I have been baking for a couple of years, but now it’s really moving forward and growing and we couldn’t be happier,” Lady Brandy added. “I thank God for my family, church, and friends who have been amongst my biggest supporters in this journey and, most of all, God for the love and a heart to help others in love.”

For more information or to place or book orders through Lady Brandy’s Incredible Eats and Treats Dessert Bar Shuttle, call 901 281-7951.



AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are a pastor or minister, entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, or model who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson is the former chief adjutant to Elder Andrew Jackson, Sr. of Faith Temple Ministries COGIC in Memphis. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, call him at 901-690-6587 or send email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Forrest City High frosh JaJuan Whitby already drawing rave reviews from college scouts

qooEver since their son, JaJuan JarDale Whitby, was too young to remember, LaTwon and Evetta Whitby had a feeling he would ultimately gain a passion for sports.

They just didn’t know which sport.

So to make matters less complicated, the couple purchased what they described as “a ball of all sports.”

How to explain that trend?

“He would have the tendency to throw all balls out of his crib except the basketball and baseball,” Evetta Whitby explained during a recent interview with Sports Journalist Andre Johnson. “We monitored him for months. When he began to crawl, he always had a basketball and a baseball and the same when he began to walk. We could not travel anywhere without JaJuan’s basketball and baseball. If we left the house without those two items there was no peace in the car. There were times we had to purchase more basketballs and baseballs so that they will be in each vehicle. So no matter when we left, JaJuan had a basketball or baseball in his car seat.”

A pretty clever, amusing recollection for a rising athlete who, to this very day, seems to have found his niche on the hardwood.

A 5-foot-9, 129-pound freshman, JaJuan attends Forrest City High, where he was one of the Mustangs’ marquee players for coach Christopher Williams’ ninth grade squad.

To his credit, JaJuan demonstrated time and again why even as an infant, he was destined to enjoy success at playing competitive basketball.

qwFor starters, he was as good as advertised, averaging better than 15 points per game as one of Forrest City’s featured ninth graders.

In addition, he asserted himself as a facilitator, of sorts, having amassed five assists per contest.

For his favorable, consistent efforts, scouts have already taken notice of his undeniably dazzling athleticism.

According to the Whitbys, their son has generated emails of interest from a “few colleges.”

Not only that, JaJuan’s stock seems to be steadily rising, considering he’s received invites to appear at a number of credible camps, most notably the Elite 80 Scout Focus Camp with ESPN Recruiting Director Mr. Paul Binacardi.

“I have had the privilege to attend Scout Focus Elite 80 in Indianapolis, Indiana directed by Mr. Joe Davis a few weekends ago,” JaJuan said. “It was an experience I will never forget, it was such a joy to attend.”

Aside from basketball, JaJuan has become a fixture in his community, considering he

volunteers several hours weekly at the St. Francis County Food Pantry, where his father is the director.

juajunIn addition, he volunteers in helping the homeless, sick and shut-ins, the elderly.

“It has really become a passion that I have grown to love,” JaJuan explained. “I am a member of YAC- Youth Advisor Council. I am a member of FCCLA, Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America. I volunteer with Toys for Tots during Christmas. I also volunteer with FCA United; I am usually one of the costume characters for the children.”

Overall, JaJuan’s parents are thoroughly impressed by their son’s commitment to excellence — on and off the court.

“There’s no limit for our children,” LaTwon Whitby said. “For the bible tells us, ‘With God all things are possible,’ and it also says, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.’ We have taught him to always keep God first. No matter what the situation may be, God allowed it and only He can see him through it. We taught him to always stay focus and stand on his now faith daily. For the bible says, ‘Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.’”



AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Briarcrest basketball player Reginald Neely: ‘I believe I am one of the best players in Memphis in my age group’

Reginald Lee Neely isn’t playing around.

Simply put, as it pertains to his basketball mechanics, this Briarcrest Christian School basketball standout is forthright and to the point.

RobMainGo ahead.

Ask him to assess his skills and be prepared for Neely’s customary direct responses.

“I feel like I can blow past anybody,” Neely told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I believe I am one of the best players in Memphis in my age group, I believe I can finish anything at the rim.”

Some pretty dauntless statements from 5-foot-11, 150-pound eighth grade swingman who, like his peers — most notably upperclassmen — boasts lofty aspirations of playing basketball at the collegiate level.

HE'S JUST SAYIN' --- Ask him to assess his skills and be prepared for Briarcrest eighth-grader Robert Neely’s customary direct responses. “I feel like I can blow past anybody,” Neely told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I believe I am one of the best players in Memphis in my age group, I believe I can finish anything at the rim.”

HE’S JUST SAYIN’Ask him to assess his skills and be prepared for Briarcrest eighth-grader Reginald Neely’s customary direct responses.
“I feel like I can blow past anybody,” Neely told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I believe I am one of the best players in Memphis in my age group, I believe I can finish anything at the rim.”

If nothing else, Neely is making a solid case that by the time his prep career ends, he could emerge as one of the finest basketball players ever to put on a Briarcrest tradition-rich uniform.

For starters, this athletically-talent kid, who was a catalyst on the Saints’ eighth grade team this past season, demonstrated time and again that he destined to hold his own once he suits up for the school’s varsity squad in the coming years.

Add to the fact that Neely has become an effective player for Memphis’ Team Thad AAU team, and it’s no wonder many who have followed his hoops prowess believe the sky’s undoubtedly is the limit for a thriving student athlete who, well, isn’t playing around.

“I am a good athlete, a good listener, and a good communicator on the floor,” said Neely, steadily being rather straight forward as it critiqued his skills. “I take my education and spiritual growth very serious. (I train) as often as I can, which lately has only allowed for two times weekly”

In assessing his progress, coupled with his strengths and weaknesses this past season for Briarcrest coach John Harrington and Zac Davis’ eighth grade squad, Neely was as good as advertised.

Next year, though, he will be expected to pick up where we left off as a member of the Saints junior varsity team.

According to his coaches, Neely is deemed a versatile scorer, a sharp communication on the floor, and an efficient player who displayed solid ball-handling skills and is aggressive on defense.

As for his offseason plans, Neely’s primary focus is to improve his overall game.

STOCK RISING? Add to the fact that Neely has become an effective player for Memphis’ Team Thad AAU team, and it’s no wonder many who have followed his hoops prowess believe the sky’s undoubtedly is the limit for a thriving student athlete who, well, isn’t playing around.

STOCK RISING? Add to the fact that Neely has become an effective player for Memphis’ Team Thad AAU team, and it’s no wonder many who have followed his hoops prowess believe the sky’s undoubtedly is the limit for a thriving student athlete who, well, isn’t playing around.

“Getting stronger, getting time in at the gym, getting in shape, working on my fundamentals, and actively playing competitive ball with my competitive team,” Neely said.

With some much basketball to play in what figures to be a promising career, Neely’s mother, Felicia Collins-Neely, is thoroughly impressed with the strides her son has made in recent years.

“I love to watch him play…and to think he could go a long way with his love for the game is scary,” Collins-Neely explained. “The sport is so competitive and everyone is always fighting to be in the spotlight…it’s scary. I have always told him there are no limits to what he is able to achieve.  Through commitment, practice, and time, he can earn anything he sets his mind to.  But, he knows his education is first and foremost.”

Simply put, all her son needs to do is keep his focus on the larger picture. In other words, education first, athletics second.

The rest, Collins-Neely said, will take care of itself.

“I don’t believe anyone has a limit,” Collins-Neely said. “You set your own limits. With that being said, it’s all about your determination, how you handle setbacks, how you pick yourself up from a fall, and how you continue to stride full force toward you goal.  The sky is the limit for my son because I make sure he knows that he will not make every shot, he will not pass every test, and everyone will not like him.”

Like her son, mom isn’t playing around either.

Rather, she’s only being forthright and to the point regarding her son, who’s clinging to lofty aspirations of playing basketball at the collegiate level.



AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

JB Sports founder Jim Bailey esteeming others daily through recreational football, basketball

FireFORREST CITY, Arkansas — Just recently, Jim Bailey paused momentarily to reflect upon his life experiences, most notably those encounters that have greatly shaped his life for the better.

By and large, Bailey considers himself a blessed man, a man whose reputation is such that not only does he deems it necessary to esteem others daily higher than himself, but he thinks it essential to utilize those pivotal life lessons through sports in doing so.

There have been many influences and experiences throughout my life that have affected me to be the person that I am today,” Bailey told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “And more importantly, the person that I strive to be. These experiences that I have had will contribute and affect my youths in my program.”

A devoted and avid sports fanatic whose craft as a recreational coach spans more than two decades, Bailey is the director of JB Sports Organization, a dual sports group that is comprised of his youth basketball team, the JB Fireballers and his youth football team, the JB Bulldogs.

AuuTeams that have become fixtures in Forrest City, Arkansas and the surrounding areas, Bailey’s athletes compete mostly in the Tri-State area, or Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

In addition, Bailey sanctions a program called “Midnight Basketball” that takes place from 5:00pm to 12am every Friday from 5 p.m. to midnight.

He also has organized a program geared toward helping local youths stay off the streets, in large part so that they can “have something positive to do.”

JP3JB Sports is widely known for its organized basketball games and its Hour Of Power prior to the start of the games.

“I have to give thanks to Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church for the use of their Gym,” Bailey said. “If it wasn’t for them, my program wouldn’t be possible. I partnered up this year with basketball coach Mr. Tommy Delph from SEMO (Southeast Missouri) Elite Basketball in Missouri.”

JP2JB Sports is a Community Organization whose purpose is to create youth sports programs based upon positive morals and values while learning about sports.

When asked to reveal his organizaton’s mission, Bailey acknowledged that while it is simple, it aims to enhance lives, one life at a time.

“There is no limit to what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit,” Bailey said.

Not only that, Bailey emphasized that JB Sports promote sportsmanship, self-esteem, and the development of life skills through engaging youth in sports, all while providing a safe, healthy, positive environment where the youths can acquire the fundamentals of various sports.

“We also promote good health and healthy habits through exercise and hard work,” Bailey said.

What’s even more astounding is the unique acronym for which JB Sports stand:

J — Joy

B — Brotherhood

S — Self Control

P — Purpose

O — Opportunity

R — Respect

T — Tolerance

S — Success

All of which is a monumental reflection on Bailey, who considers himself a blessed man, a man whose reputation is such that not only does he deems it necessary to esteem others daily higher than himself.



AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.