JUANITA FLOYD: Surrounded in fellowship helps in all walks of life

By Juanita Floyd

I attended the launch of The Fellowship of Christian Business Leaders meeting last month. Their purpose is to encourage Christian business leaders to seek, understand and fulfill God’s plan and calling for their life.
Guest Speaker, Mickey Holliman, shared how his Christian values played a very important role in his career success. He said, “Having a career or purpose in life is extremely important – it is a priority.” He talked about his earlier years of growing up in Shuqualak, school life, salvation experience, graduating from Mississippi State, marriage and the miracles and answered prayers for two of his children who could have very easily died from their infirmities.
He shared about his earlier work years with Futorian in New Albany. He told us how he took a faith step in his decision to launch with his partner, Action Industries and the subsequent sale to Lane. He talked about the rewards, opportunities, challenges and risks of that committed decision.
In the growth years of Action at least 3,500 people were employed in four plants with a payroll of over $100 million annually. I thought, what if this businessman had not taken that “leap of faith”? Not only did he better himself and his family; but he bettered the lives of so many people. People were able to have health and life insurance, purchase homes and vehicles, take vacations and live a comfortable life – all because of that one decision made by Holliman. It had a definite economic impact in our area. He later became the head of Furniture Brands International (headquartered in St. Louis) and under his leadership that company grew to $2.5 billion in revenues.
His daughter, Brandi Long, said to me, “My dad has enjoyed a terrific career, but I have always been most proud of his commitment to his Christian walk. His faith through good times and bad has been an example to all of us, and I am so thankful to have had parents who loved the Lord first and foremost in their lives.”
Mr. Holliman said, “God calls for someone to ‘stand in the gap’ when it comes to following His will – standing for His principles even when the world takes an opposite view. Surround yourself with people who share your faith and who will encourage your walk.” He honored his wife, Barbara (Babs), by stating, “She ‘stood in the gap’ by raising our children and sacrificing family time, while I was traveling globally and going to meeting after meeting.”
While he was talking, I immediately thought about the approaching Easter season and a song I heard about a person who “stood in the gap” and sacrificed His life for mankind. The song simply says, “Jesus went to Calvary to save a wretch like you and me. They hung Him high, they stretched Him wide. He hung His head, and then He died. That’s love. That’s not how the story ends, three days later, He rose again. That’s love …”
Ellen Goodman said, “We spend Jan. 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives … not looking for flaws, but for potential.”
As I sat there, questions came to mind: Have you ever wondered what your purpose is in life? Have you tried to reach your full potential in life? Have you sought the Lord for ways you can improve yourself and thus benefit others?
Do you surround yourself with people who share your beliefs and will encourage you? Are there friends, associates, family who will ‘stand in the gap’ for you? Have you thought about taking a “leap of faith” regarding some critical decision? It may not be to the magnitude of success like Holliman; but have you tried? You be the judge.
Juanita Gambrell Floyd is vice president for Finance and Administration at CREATE Foundation. Contact her at juanita@createfoundation.com.