Minister Marcus Simmons is the founder and CEO of My Brother’s Keeper Shelter. Min. Marcus was born to Rev. Robert and Shirley Simmons in Fontana, California on September 27, 1969. He is the eldest of eight children. Min. Simmons attended Sumter County schools and graduated from Sumter High School in 1987. He attended Francis Marion University the following fall on a track scholarship but was redirected to the US Marines (where he served four years) after a leg injury.
Minister. Simmons and his wife, the former Cassandra Hickson, have two children, Ashton and Aaron, into whom they instilled the desire to love and serve the Lord through faith and service to others.
Minister Simmons accepted the call to the ministry in 2007, under the instruction of the Rev. Norman Gamble, Pastor of New Ebenezer Baptist Church (NEBC). He has served in many capacities at NEBC, including as an associate minister, member of the music ministry, Boy Scout leader, and Evangelism Ministry. Out of the Evangelism Ministry, grew his desire to serve the community; hence, the birth of My Brother Keeper’s Shelter.
Min. Simmons loves Jesus Christ, his Lord, and Savior; and his favorite Bible scripture is Hebrews 11:1~ "Now faith is the substance of the things hoped for, evidence of things not seen.
Cassandra Simmons is the wife of Minister Marcus Simmons. They have been blessed with two children, Ashton and Aaron.
Cassandra was born and reared in the Florence community. She graduated from Francis Marion University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Cassandra also earned a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies (MABS) from Colorado Christian University.
Cassandra and her husband are passionate about reaching and serving those less fortunate in the Florence area.
Otis Benjamin, a native of Hartsville, SC who currently resides in Florence, serves as the financial advisor for My Brother's Keeper Shelter. He is a 1979 graduate of Morris College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Mr. Benjamin served as a Revenue Officer with the Internal Revenue Service for more than 35 years prior to retiring.
After retirement, Mr. Benjamin started and continues to operate his own business (Benjamin's Tax Service), where he serves as a consultant to individuals and local businesses.
Mr. Benjamin is married to Diann, and they have three adult children (Feleshia, Andre', and Dana). He and Diann are the proud grandparents of Zi'Kierra, Peyton, Mia, Cayden, and Devyn.
Janice B. Albert is a native of South Carolina, but most of her adult life was spent in Florida. She is a graduate of South Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Mathematics and Santa Fe College with an Associate of Science degree in Computer Programming and Applications.
Her formal job of over 30 years was with the United State Department of Transportation. She began her career with Air Traffic during college and held positions as Air Traffic Controller Specialist, Quality Assurance Specialist, Flight Watch Specialist, and Air Traffic Controller Supervisor.
After returning to South Carolina, Janice began serving those in need as a member of the Evangelism Ministry at New Ebenezer Baptist Church. With the desire to expand her service to those in need, Janice became involved in the conception of My Brother's Keeper Shelter.
Janice enjoys spending time with her son, Smiley, III, daughter-in-law, Careda, and grandson, Isaiah. Helping others is her passion.
Mr. Henry Badie, Jr. graduated from Chester High School in June 1971 and received also a certificate of completion from the Computer Educational Institute (CEI) in computer programing in October 1971. He entered the United States Air Force in June 1972 and is a graduate of both the Non-Commissioned Officers Leadership School and the NCO Academy. Sergeant Badie received numerous awards and medals during his career with the highest earned medal being the Meritorious Service Medal. He honorably retired from the U.S. Air Force in September 1993, with over 21 years of service.
Elder Badie moved to Florence, South Carolina in January 1994, and served under two pastors before serving as the Pastor of Pentecostal Temple COGIC Church from April 2005, until March 2019. He serves on several boards, committees and, councils for which he was presented the prestigious 2014 Marion Medallion from Frances Marion University and the Florence Morning News for his outstanding service to the Pee Dee Region.
To better serve the people of the local churches and his community, Elder Badie received his Associate's Degree in Human Services from Florence-Darlington Technical College in May of 2017. He is married to Valerie. And he has one daughter, Germaine.
Elder Badie believes the church's mission in the community is to be a reflection of Jesus Christ. He is thriving to be a living example of commitment, dedication, honor, integrity, and passion for the work of the Lord.
Mrs. Andrea Wilson Jackson is the wife of Larry L. Jackson and the daughter of Elizabeth Wilson and the late Alexander Wilson. She was born in Greenwood, South Carolina, and spent most of her elementary school years in McCormick, South Carolina. Her family later moved to Florence, South Carolina, where she has since resided.
Mrs. Jackson attended the public schools of Florence School District One and is a 1981 graduate of West Florence High School. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina, a Master of Education Degree in Secondary Science Education from Francis Marion University, and a Master of Education Degree in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina.
She is a member of Trinity Baptist Church in Florence, where she serves as a youth advisor, serves as a member of the Missionary Society, and serves in the Culinary Ministry. During her 28-year career as a professional educator, Mrs. Jackson served as a science teacher, an assistant principal, a principal, and a district-level administrator. Mrs. Jackson is now retired, and likes being able to move at her own pace!
She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, traveling, interacting with youth, and volunteering with My Brother’s Keeper Shelter. She and her husband are the proud parents of a son, Rashaad, and a daughter, LaToya (Jawan), both of whom currently serve in the US Armed Forces. They are the always-loving parents of a dearly departed daughter, Marquita, and the adoring grandparents of five granddaughters: Shiiann, Tamyra, Reayana, Kayleigh, and Kamiyah.
Beth Ann Owen is a retired pediatric registered nurse. Her civic and community service affiliations include Co-Lay Leader at Central United Methodist Church, Masterworks Board member, McLeod Regional Medical Center Butterfly Fund Chair, McLeod Regional Medical Center Hospice Board member, Women’s Bible study co-facilitator, JUMPSTART volunteer, and Parking Lot ministry volunteer.
Beth Ann Owen is the wife of J. Marvin Owen. She enjoys spending time with their children, Chris, Courtney, Kristen, and Claire, and eight grandchildren.
Dr. Calvin Robinson, Jr., is a teacher certified by the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. Dr. Robinson has conducted seminars on Fatherhood and Marriage on the national level for the Administration of Children and Families and Head Start on the state and local levels. Also, on the state level, Dr. Robinson teaches Doctrine, Theology, Homiletics, and Creative Ways of Teaching.
Rev. Robinson has a great love for his community; therefore, he is involved with various organizations to assist the homeless, the elderly, the abused, the incarcerated, and those seeking to further their education, and economic empowerment. Rev. Robinson is the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Florence, South Carolina.
Pastor Robinson and his loving and devoted wife of 37 years, Ann, are blessed to have three wonderful adult children: Avril, Angel, and Calvin III, and twin grandsons Kiros and Khari.
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