Pastor Ricky Floyd at Pursuit of God Transformation Center recently purchased the remaining space of the strip mall across from the church.
“Our teen boys are going to work this summer,” said Floyd. “We need more space for the ever-expanding business ideas.
“We want our young men to experience the joy of working with their hands as they build financial independence. We want to change the narrative of our community. Thank God, it’s working.”
Floyd has an ample and eager workforce in “The Husband Institute,” a Pursuit of God outreach to young boys and teens in the community.
“Many of our boys are formerly homeless, classified as ‘special needs’ in school, in and out of Lakeside,” said Floyd. “But the power of addressing ‘fatherless-ness’ is undeniable. In the Husband Institute, they experience the benefit of loving, Godly, and compassionate father figures, who work every day to see them succeed.”
For years, Floyd has worked to see that young men in Frayser break the cycle of gang life and criminality.
“God has a way out,” said Floyd. “And if things are done God’s way, the best possible outcomes will happen. I want our young men to speak differently and think differently.
“Involving them in actual business transactions can open up a world of dreams for them. They can imagine themselves as heads of businesses. We’re building ‘Black Wall Street’ right here in the Frayser Community.”
Floyd says the blueprint for operating, successful businesses is kept simple and easy for a young person to understand.
“You provide a service or some goods in exchange for a specified cost,” said Floyd. “Working directly in one of these businesses can inspire the idea of starting another business. We encourage our young men to identify their talents and gifts. That’s the first step in operating your own enterprise.
“Pursuit of God is training them for financial independence. They will develop into men who can take care of their family.”
Christian Elisha Wright, 17, will be a senior at Power Center Academy this fall. He was named MVP of Track and Field this past year. Wright just launched his own business.
“The name of my business is ‘No Cap Teen Fitness,’ and it is going incredibly well,” said Wright. “I started it with a partner, who I met at the Husband Institute. We develop fitness plans on our website.
“These plans are designed for each person, according to their needs. It is a business run totally online. We thank God for how well it is going.”
After graduation, Wright says he will be working to expand his business. He will delay going to college for a while.
“When I go to college, I will be able to pay my own way,” said Wright.
According to Floyd, Pursuit of God is running its own version of summer youth crime prevention.
“We are not neglecting our girls and young ladies,” said Floyd. “They have the ‘I Am She’ organization, which teaches them what they need to know about growing up into respectable and accomplished young women. We want all our children busy. We make them accountable for everything they do, every decision they make. Pursuit of God is changing the trajectory of these young people.”
Floyd said the business mall across from the church is bustling every weekend because there is a supportive community that believes in what is happening.
“Our teens just became the youngest Crumpy’s franchise owners,” said Floyd. “The Crumpy’s food truck is making big dollars because everybody loves chicken wings. The car wash is doing phenomenal business as well.
“But we have the community to thank. And people come from as far as Collierville, across the bridge from Arkansas, and from Mississippi to support our efforts here in Frayser. We thank God for everyone.”
One youngster has fallen in love with the retail business.
“I will be going to the 11th grade at Raleigh-Egypt High School,” said Cailen Crump. “I work at the Regroup Upscale Thrift Boutique on the weekends, and I absolutely love it. When I graduate, I want to attend Life Christian University. I want to be a minister.”
Life Christian University is a Pursuit of God institution. The church is located at 3759 N. Watkins in the Frayser community.