By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – More than 100 people showed up Thursday for the first meeting of the Fellowship of Christian Business Leaders.
They prayed, read Bible verses and heard from former Furniture Brands International CEO Mickey Holliman about how his faith played a role in his career.
The meeting is the first of many, according to organizers Mitch Waycaster and Mike Clayborne. Waycaster started gathering business leaders and ministers several months ago to form a group modeled after VIP International in Japan. The Japanese group meets monthly to eat lunch and hear from business leaders about their faith.
Waycaster hoped for about 130 people Thursday and he got that. The room at the Summit was filled with real estate agents, city personnel, school district workers, retailers, ministers and business owners.
Jim Homan, an employee with BancorpSouth’s insurance department, came because he was interested in the description.
“A multi-denomination, racial, gender group is something new and improved,” he said.
Amy McFerrin, a community volunteer and mom, was also in the crowd. She goes to church with Waycaster at First Baptist in Tupelo and was invited by several people. She found the event to be a good encouragement to show her faith.
Tillmon Calvert, a State Farm agent and a member at Johnson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, got the event started by singing “I Can’t Even Walk.”
And then Holliman discussed his career and how he relied on God to help give him strength when his first two children had medical issues. Holliman, a deacon at Harrisburg Baptist Church, said his faith and Christian values also helped him overcome challenges that come with having a career – time away from home, traveling for work, financial struggles, bad workplace environment, etc.
“Christian values play a very important role in our career success,” he said.
His advice to attendees: Stay in the scripture daily and surround yourself with people who share your faith and will encourage your walk.
The next meeting of The Fellowship is April 26 from noon to 1 p.m. Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson is the speaker. Lunch is $15. To RSVP or get on the group’s email list, contact Mary Alice at (662) 844-8989 or firstname.lastname@example.org.