Where Are They Now: John M. Greene
Published 9:32 am Thursday, August 25, 2016
John M. Greene is a 1975 Graduate of Prentiss High School
Where did you go from PHS? A.A. Clarke College—Newton, MS / B.M. William Carey University M.R.E New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
What was your career choice and why? I had planned on being a doctor; but in the 9th grade I felt God calling me to full-time Christian service. The past 40 years have been spent serving in the areas of Youth and Music ministry. The last 10 years I have served First Baptist Church of Morristown, TN as their Worship Pastor.
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Do you still have relatives or friends here? My mother, brother & sisters now live in Hattiesburg, MS. Whenever I am down I try to make a “run” to Jeff Davis County to visit folks in Prentiss, Bassfield and the Whitesand community. Bassfield Baptist Church was the first church that God allowed me to serve. I was Minister of Music & Youth there and still have great memories and many cherished friendships.
Who were your best friends in school? I didn’t have a “best friend” in high school, but I had many dear friends. Some of my closest friends were Brenda Carson Wood, Chlotia Posey Garrison, Janet Bridges Benton, Brenda Coulter Robinette, Kathy Sutton Oldmixon, Bernadette Fairman Chriss, Anthony Iovino, Sam Smith, Kenneth Johnson, Jimmy Ray Lee, Henry Watts, Jr. and Silas Richmond.
What were your favorite activities in JDC while growing up? Most of my favorite activities centered around school and church. I played football all 4 years in HS. I sang in the PHS ensemble and choir and participated in the Drama Club. I was active in the Jefferson Davis County 4-H under Fred Baker and represented our county at several state competitions. I served on the PHS Growl Staff for 4 years and was Co-Editor my Jr. and Sr. years. At church, I sang in the Youth and Adult choirs and served as pianist when needed. One special event I remember well was the presentation of the musical, “Celebrate Life” which was presented by the youth of Jeff Davis Baptist Association. Its backdrop was the Jeff Davis Lake and the attendees sat on the hillside descending to the lake. We had around 100 youth who sang. It made a huge impact on my life both musically and spiritually.
Who were the people in the county that influenced you or your career choice? There were so many wonderful adults who greatly influenced my life-Kathleen Parker, Alla Faye Fike, Angeline Posey, Phillip Bass and Lucille Reese poured greatly into me as educators.
My yearbook sponsor, Lois Livingston guided and gave me both creative & leadership opportunities.
Even though I was not a “star” athlete, Coaches Richard Hall, Alvin Gray and Bill Whittington played a major role in teaching teamwork, determination, respect and discipline.
As far as those who influenced my direction concerning my career, Brenda Jones, my choir director in High School, stretched me musically by allowing me to accompany and sing in the PHS Ensemble.
Our Youth and Music Director at Whitesand BC, Darryl Ferrington, also played a huge role by using me to lead, accompany and give me opportunities to sing.
The greatest influences however, were my parents, Billy and Bess Ann Greene. They loved people, served our community and demonstrated Christ to me in everything they did.
Any significant event you remember while growing up? Probably the most significant event that took place in my life while living in Prentiss was the desegregation of our public schools. It occurred in the middle of my 7th grade year.
In one way, it divided the white population in our town and caused relationships with certain friends to come to an abrupt end with people leaving and going to other schools. In another way, it made a life changing impact upon my life because it opened the door for me to have relationships with people I had never been around, people of a different skin color!
God has used that in my life to help me see that we are all wonderful creations of God! The world is my mission field and everybody needs Jesus and is precious in His sight. I serve in a predominantly “white” church, but it blesses my heart to know that our doors are open to all.
We have African-American members, as well as those from Guatemala, Mexico, Germany, China, Great Britain and the Philippines. It gives a small glimpse of what I think Heaven will be like one day. I recall the words of John, the apostle, in Revelation 6 when he speaks of seeing “every nation, every tribe, every people, every tongue” worshipping around the throne of God crying out, “Salvation to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” I look forward to that day and want my time here spent sharing the Good News that God has made a way of salvation for everyone through His Son, Jesus Christ!
What advice would you give to those who are growing up in the county now to insure their future success? 1) Seek to know God. He loves you, made you and wants to have a relationship with you. Until you get that relationship right, nothing else will ever really fall into place! 2) Choose a career path of something that you really enjoy doing; it makes for a happy life! 3) Take initiative in the things you do. Don’t wait for others to do it for you! 4) Work hard, really hard! 5) Be honest in all of your dealings. 6) Live by the “Golden Rule” that Jesus shared in Luke 6:31: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Wife and children’s names: I am happily married to Beth Milner Greene of the West Jackson/Clinton area, two sons, Philip and Michael, who are both worship pastors… We have two precious daughters-in-law, Marissa & Shanna and have been blessed with six beautiful grandchildren.