Pastor James Garland Smith

Pastor James Garland Smith

Participants in the Black-Tie-Guys Program flocked around former Judge James Garland Smith this week when the prominent attorney, pastor, and former judge attended their meeting and volunteered to become a Black Tie Guys mentor.

Dr. Smith, who is the pastor of the Lone Wa Worship Center, attended the weekly meeting of the BTGs at the Marbles Recreation Center on Monday. He said he is volunteering to mentor ten boys because boys need hands-on direction in a structured program from those who help them avoid mistakes and criminal activity.

Youth were impressed that a pastor, attorney, and former city judge enrolled as one of the 100 men pledging work with boys year-round.

This month, participants and their parents focused on reducing violence and friction in their homes by respecting their family members and showing them love.

Dr. Smith told participants that he had 11 siblings who lived and grew up close together. He said he and his siblings were poor, and the entire family lived in a two-bedroom home.

After the meeting, the BTGs took photos with Dr. Smith and collected his business cards to add to their collection. Participants collect business cards and photos with prominent leaders as they learn the value of networking at an early age.

The program, sponsored by Tab-N-Action, Inc., rewards youth for scholarship, community service, and personal discipline.

Roosevelt Wright, Jr., BTG director, said the program is seeking 100 men to recruit and mentor 10 boys in the BTG program as the first step in reversing the community's growing violent trend.

This month, youth learned that violence first begins in their homes between siblings and other family members.

After Monday's meeting, each participant went home with a large Pepperoni Pizza to share with their siblings and show them love.

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