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Employee Spotlight-Pastor Greg Elder

Meet Pastor Greg Elder. Pastor Greg Elder was originally from Belzoni, Mississippi, the “Catfish Capital of the World.” Later moved to Greenwood, MS, where he worked in the Leflore County School System and married his beautiful wife Nancy Elder. Both Nancy and Pastor Greg have been married for 18 years. Pastor Greg received his master’s degree in Theology and later became a certified Faith-Based Clinical Therapist. After 20 years of living in Greenwood, Pastor Greg decided to take a leap of faith and apply for a position at Joe Rowland Group Home in Grenada, MS. At the time, Pastor Greg was working in a career full-time making great benefits but not working with children. In December of 2015, the current Director at Joe Rowland Group Home reached out to Pastor Greg with a part-time position working with young boys. Three months later, Pastor Greg was asked to be the Director of Residential Care for Joe Rowland Group Home. He states, “I felt I was led by God to do this job even though it was only part-time and with no benefits. The day I quit my full-time job, I was asked to go full-time as the Director with benefits. What a blessing.”

Growing up as a child, Pastor Greg had a hard time and got in a lot of trouble. Most of the people in Greg’s life said he would never amount to anything. This feeling had lingered inside of him, so when he became an adult Pastor Greg wanted to help young men just like himself.

Pastor Greg in his free time volunteers in the community serving as Chaplain for the Central Mississippi Pastor Fellowship and Vice Moderator of the Grenada Baptist District Association. He also started DA’GRIP (Drug, Alcohol, Gang Related Intervention Program) through a church in Greenwood, MS. Pastor Greg loves spending time with his wife Nancy and watching football with family and friends.

When we asked Pastor Greg, why he works for Southern Christian Services, he replied, “I work here because my calling is to help young men like myself become respectful adults. Southern Christian Services is trying to change lives and impact our youth. I feel that I am needed within the organization in order for Southern Christian Services to complete its mission. I feel that I am a part of its mission.”

Pastor Greg has about ten staff members who rotate throughout the week. Everyday Pastor Greg wakes up wanting to dedicate his day to the boys. He states, “I want to be the best group home in the state of Mississippi. That’s what I strive to be every day. I dedicate my life to that.” Every morning, Pastor Greg begins his day walking around making sure the boys have what they need and making sure all responsibilities and chores have been completed. He believes in structure and views this as life skills for the boys. Pastor Greg works with the boys to make sure they are on track with school and their personal life. Since the pandemic, it’s very important to Pastor Greg that everyone is communicating and talking to one another. He states, “My favorite part of working at Joe Rowland Group Home, is spending time with the boys. We like listening to music, laughing together, and eating chocolate while allowing the boys to open up.”

In the near future, Pastor Greg hopes to get the community more involved with the group home. He wants the community to understand the boys and have more male positive influencers that might want to help him. Pastor Greg states, “It’s a tough situation. They just need to know someone cares.” Pastor Greg believes you must stand for something or fall for anything.

“I can do all things through Christ, that strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

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