Troy Vaughn is one of the most incredible people you will ever meet, and his work and his words are inspirational at every turn. He is the CEO of Los Angeles Mission, one of the largest non-profits fighting homelessness in the nation and at the forefront of the housing crisis in Los Angeles. He is also the Senior Pastor of Restoration Family Worship Center in Inglewood, CA. After serving in the Marine Corps and encountering tragedy back home he found himself at a low point in life. He was homeless himself and after giving his life to Christ became a successful businessman and minister. Now he is sharing his gifts and his wisdom with the world. UrbanFaith editor Allen Reynolds sat down with Pastor Troy Vaughn to discuss his work, his mission, and how we can be impactful in our community as believers. The full interview is above. More about Troy and his Good Morning America interview are below.
After many years in the Marine Corps, I received the worst news of my life. My father passed away from a drug overdose — and my life shattered into pieces. I started using controlled substances and later cocaine to cope with the emotional trauma. My father’s addiction soon became mine as well. And my life continued to spin out of control until I hit rock bottom. I found myself living on Skid Row and had no hope…
That was until God spoke to me. He told me to leave my cardboard box home and get help. I went through an intense, year-long rehabilitation program to rebuild my life. It gave me the tools for long-term sobriety that truly saved my life.
This experience lit a fire inside of me. Since the day I left that program, I vowed to do everything I could to help others living on Skid Row experiencing the same ills I had overcome.
First, I founded Christ-Centered Ministries to help men and women transition from recovery programs to healthy, stable environments. Then, I became the Pastor at Inglewood Community Church to further help victims and survivors of addiction and homelessness. And for the last 20 years, I have held a range of roles for several non-profits across Los Angeles to fight for better solutions for those on the path of recovery.
Recently, a co-worker shared something that enlightened me. They always used a financial counselor to advise them on various decisions that they needed to make regarding their finances and investments. However, they didn’t seem to be satisfied with the outcome of their investments.
They shared with me that, after talking in detail with their spouse, they decided to learn more about investments and the stock market. They signed up for classes and realized they could actually manage their own financial portfolio. They took charge of their investments and began to see a positive turnaround within the first few months of releasing their financial counselor.
They seemed confident about what they had learned and we’re looking forward to managing their financial portfolio in the months and years to come.
The biggest fear that many people have, is the fear of not knowing what you don’t know. That sounds odd but it is true. What you do not know about your finances, or financial health, may seem scary to some to the point of denying its existence or choosing to deal with it when things get really tough.
God desires for us to have balance in everything we do. Having the confidence to handle your finances is a commitment you have to make to yourself. Hosea 4:6 states “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge” KJV.
If people are bold enough to admit they do not know, they take the time to educate themselves in the areas that matter to them. So, why not us, children of the faith?
There are so many resources on finances. The question you need to ask yourself is, “What is my area of struggle when dealing with money?”
Is it a saving problem? Most likely you have not established boundaries and self-control, and you may need to set up a budget to stick to it.
Do you have unrealistic goals and expectations that leave you disheartened each month when you review your finances?Set goals for yourself that will boost your confidence because you are able to achieve them. This will result in becoming a better steward of your money because you have established a level of faith in yourself that you are capable of meeting goals when you set them.
Are you drowning in debt? Find out the exact amount that you owe so that you can establish a precise plan of tackling it.
When it comes to money, you have to be bold and face the issues head on. If you are tremendously blessed financially and have no issues with money, find ways to educate others to live in that liberty that you have been blessed to experience.
I learned a great lesson from that co-worker. What you don’t know, you can learn, and what you learn can enlighten you to make better and sound decisions that can position you financially to be in a stable place.
Are you ready to face what you don’t know about your finances? Start today. Learn something. It could serve as the trigger of change to a great financial future for you in the years to come.
Dr. Paul Osteen always wanted to be a surgeon, but when he was only a child God planted a seed in his heart to be a missionary. Fast forward decades later he leads one of the largest Medical Missionary conferences in the world through his family church Lakewood where his brother Joel Osteen is the pastor. UrbanFaith contributor Maina Mwaura sat down to discuss the M3: Mobilizing Medical Missions Conference with the one and only Dr. Paul Osteen.
Embarking on the entrepreneurship journey can be a thrilling adventure reminiscent of a roller-coaster ride, with its exhilarating highs, daunting lows, and unexpected twists and turns. While the daily grind of being an actual CEO can be enjoyable, achieving success can sometimes feel like an obstacle course, leading us to question if entrepreneurship is indeed the right path for us.
Obstacles are inevitable in the world of entrepreneurship. However, you can overcome these challenges and achieve your goals with the right mindset and approach. Three essential tips can help you navigate obstacles as a faith-based CEO.
1. Prayer: Keeping God at the Center
As a faith-based CEO, prayer is a powerful tool to help you overcome obstacles. Keeping God first and at the center of your business decisions is essential. This means taking the time to pray and seek God’s guidance before making any significant decisions.
When you face obstacles, it is essential to trust God even when you cannot track Him. Remember that God’s ways are not ours. Sometimes, His plans for us may not be evident initially. However, with faith and patience, we can trust that God will work all things together for our good.
Prayer is also a great way to stay grounded and focused on what is truly important. When we spend time in prayer, we can be reminded of our purpose and mission, which can help us stay motivated and focused during challenging times.
2. Patience: Allowing Yourself Time to Grow
As a faith-based CEO, it is essential to understand that growth and success take time. It is easy to get discouraged when things take longer than we want them to. However, being patient and allowing yourself time to grow and develop is essential.
Remember that obstacles are not necessarily roadblocks; they can be opportunities for growth and learning. Instead of becoming frustrated when things do not go as planned, try to see obstacles as opportunities to learn and improve.
It is also essential to be patient with others. As a leader, you may be working with people who need to be on the same page or need more time to understand your vision. Take the time to communicate clearly and be patient with them as they learn and grow alongside you.
While being patient with others is essential, it’s also easy to fall into the trap of self-criticism and harsh judgment. However, as a faith-based CEO, it’s crucial to remember to give yourself grace in the process. Building a successful business takes time, effort, and patience, and it’s essential to acknowledge that there will be setbacks and mistakes along the way. Giving yourself grace allows you to learn and grow from these experiences without being weighed down by self-doubt and negativity.
Furthermore, as a mompreneur or anyone balancing multiple responsibilities, it’s essential to recognize that taking breaks and prioritizing self-care is okay. Burnout and exhaustion can easily lead to a lack of focus and productivity, making it vital to take the necessary steps to recharge and refocus. Giving yourself grace and prioritizing self-care creates a space to thrive as an entrepreneur and achieve your goals without sacrificing your well-being.
3. Pivoting: Learning to Start Over
As a CEO guided by faith, developing a mindset that is comfortable with starting over is crucial. Failure is an inevitable part of the entrepreneurial journey, and it is vital to have the ability to pivot and adapt your plans when God is leading you toward new paths. Ignoring signs of new direction can hinder your progress, making it essential to remain open to God’s guidance and ready to make necessary changes.
It is easy to become attached to a particular idea or plan, but sometimes, letting go and trying something new is necessary. Learning to pivot can help you overcome obstacles and find new opportunities for growth and success.
When you face obstacles, take the time to reflect on what went wrong and what you can do differently. Use this information to adjust your plans and try something new. Remember that success is not about avoiding failure but learning from it and using it to improve.
It’s crucial to remain innovative and adaptable in the face of challenges. Returning to the drawing board and reevaluating your strategies can be an excellent opportunity for growth and development. By reflecting on your business’s strengths and weaknesses, you can identify areas for improvement and implement new ideas and approaches. It’s essential to remain open-minded and willing to try new things, even if it means stepping outside your comfort zone.
Being innovative allows, you stay ahead of the competition and keep your business relevant and up to date. Additionally, remaining innovative and flexible shows a willingness to learn and grow, demonstrating a solid commitment to success as a faith-based CEO.
Overcoming obstacles as a faith-based CEO requires a combination of prayer, patience, and pivoting. You can navigate obstacles and achieve your goals by keeping God at the center of your business decisions, being patient with others, and learning to shift when things do not go as planned. Remember that obstacles are not roadblocks but opportunities for growth and learning. With faith and perseverance, you can overcome any obstacle that comes your way.
Marquitta DaShae’ Johnson is a transformational leader, speaker, and author who helps faith-driven moms launch high-ticket coaching businesses in 90 days minus burnout. With her Mom To Millionaire model framework and Mommies Making Millions brand, Marquitta empowers mompreneurs to achieve their goals while managing self-care, motherhood, and business. Her mission is to inspire and empower moms globally in the areas of motherhood, mindset, and millions.
In 2020 at the height of the pandemic there was a national push to support the movement for black lives in the United States of America. After years of challenges, rejection, confrontation and dismissal people from high powered CEOs to rural school teachers wanted to support Black Lives Matter. Combining with the #metoo movement there was a push to talk about the senseless killings of Black women. The country suddenly wanted to remember black women’s lives mattered after Breonna Taylor’s life was taken.
Faitth Brooks was doing antiracist and women’s flourishing work in the aftermath. And after years of reflecting she came to a truth, we need to remember black women now, not only when they have been killed. She tells her story and creates space for other black women to be uplifted in her new book Remember Me Now: A Journey Back to Myself and a Love Letter to Black Women. UrbanFaith sat down with Faitth to talk about her journey, her new book, and her thoughts on how we can join in remembering black women now. More about the book is below, the full interview is above.
When Breonna Taylor was killed, her police report was virtually blank. Feeling as if she was suffocating in the initial silence and lack of public outcry, anti-racism educator and activist Faitth Brooks wondered, “Would the world care about and remember me if I was killed?”In Remember Me Now, Faitth grapples with the answer, charting the story of her activist grandparents and ancestors, as well as chronicling her own journey as the first-generation suburbs kid who becomes an activist and organizer herself. Part manifesto, part love letter to Black women, Remember Me Now shows us how we learn to celebrate the fullness of ourselves—a holy, defiant, and necessary move in a world determined to silence us.Filled with transporting stories, poems, and letters to sisters of all walks of life, Remember Me Now is a transformational read that calls Black women to be their own activists. It’s a reminder to all that Black women matter, and our lives, voices, and stories are worth everything.
FaitthBrooks is a writer, speaker, social worker, activist, and co-host of theMelanated Faithpodcast. As an activist, she engages with nonprofits to find sustainable solutions to systemic issues, in addition to acting as a strategist and consultant for brands and influencers. Her nonprofit work has included serving as director of programs and innovation for Be the Bridge and as director of women’s empowerment for Legacy Collective. Faitth is passionate about leveraging her speaking and social media platforms to enliven collective liberation centered on the sisterhood of Black women.
Bruce Jackson wants his story not to be unique. Unfortunately for thousands of kids growing up in urban poverty the way out seems impossible to find. But Bruce gives hope and opens up possibilities by sharing his story of growing up in the projects in Brooklyn, NY to becoming the attorney for Hip Hop legends and landing as the Associate General Counsel at Microsoft. He gives the blueprint in his new book Never Far From Home: My Journey from Brooklyn to Hip Hop, Microsoft, and the Law. UrbanFaith contributor Maina Mwaura sits down with Bruce Jackson, Esq. to discuss his journey and the inspiration he has to help make his story more common through his work. More on the book is below.
Microsoft’s associate general counsel shares this story that is “as nuanced as it is hopeful” (Hakeem Jeffries, House Minority Leader) about his rise from childhood poverty in pre-gentrified New York City to a stellar career at the top of the technology and music industries in this stirring true story of grit and perseverance. For fans of Indra Nooyi’s My Life in Full and Viola Davis’s Finding Me.
As an accomplished Microsoft executive, Bruce Jackson handles billions of dollars of commerce as its associate general counsel while he plays a crucial role in the company’s corporate diversity efforts. But few of his colleagues can understand the weight he carries with him to the office each day. He kept his past hidden from sight as he ascended the corporate ladder but shares it in full for the first time here.
Born in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Jackson moved to Manhattan’s Amsterdam housing projects as a child, where he had already been falsely accused and arrested for robbery by the age of ten. At the age of fifteen, he witnessed the homicide of his close friend. Taken in by the criminal justice system, seduced by a burgeoning drug trade, and burdened by a fractured, impoverished home life, Jackson stood on the edge of failure. But he was saved by an offer. That offer set him on a better path, off the streets and eventually on the way to Georgetown Law, but not without hard knocks along the way.
But even as he racked up professional accomplishments, Jackson is still haunted by the unchanged world outside his office.
From public housing to working for Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, and its founder, Bill Gates, to advising some of the biggest stars in music, Bruce Jackson’s Never Far from Home reveals the ups and downs of an incredible journey, how he overcame many obstacles and the valuable lessons learned along the way.