Staff Spotlight: Cecil McCray
Cecil McCray, Manager of Mission Services
- How long have you worked at Bethesda Mission and in what role(s)?
I have worked at the Mission since 2009 on staff as an employee, but I was also a guest here. I got started doing overnight sign up [part-time], and I worked alongside of Anthony Royster who worked third shift and taught me the ins and outs of serving the men overnight. I also kept the full-time job I had since I left Trinity House [Bethesda’s transitional-living facility].
While working part time here at the Mission, an opportunity opened up and I was offered full-time employment. I took it. As often as I prayed to the Lord for my purpose to serve, His answer fell right into my path: serve men who were at the crossroad of life like I was. Imagine that!
Eventually, the head supervisor retired and they were looking for a replacement for the position, and I was approached by the Director and his boss and I took the position. Always asking the Lord for guidance, I was feeling a little inadequate not understanding that GOD had prepared me for this my whole life. Now I am the Manager of Mission Services and in a position to help those who want the help.
- What were you doing before Bethesda?
Before Bethesda I had nothing to live for and had burned every bridge that tried to help. I was empty and was looking for a quick fix for every problem that I had and, believe me, I had a bunch. I spent time incarcerated both mentally and physically and always worked off and on to feed the gorilla that was on my back, called addiction. It wasn’t that I was a bad guy, but I ran after a lifestyle that I believed I needed to fuel the behavior that I seemed to lust for. I loved it but found out that it didn’t love me. When you feel that what you do is all that you have, then it’s all you know and that’s the lie from the enemy.
- What inspires you/motivates you to come to work each morning?
When you get another chance to get things right in your life, understanding that it comes from GOD, the work that we do here isn’t work at all – it’s a labor of love, and the rewards that come from the men that we serve are priceless. Watching men’s lives change for the better is a gift that truly comes from GOD himself. The part that we play is just the obedience part that we honor the Lord with when we accept his help and participation in our individual lives. The motivation has a two-fold part: First, we get to guide someone who wants the help we provide; Second, we are allowed to witness the change that happens when they accept Jesus into their lives. Would that inspire you? It does us.
- Tell us a little about your family.
I come from a military family – both parents were in service through the Air Force. They were born down south and grew up in the fields of South Carolina. I had a strong spiritual background due to the fact that my grandparents led an A.M.E. church and raised 11 children. My folks raised me the best they knew how and I enjoyed my childhood, but both are deceased now. I have been married for over 10 years with four children and four grandchildren. My wife and myself are both in the field of helping people, as Stefanie is in healthcare. We are a GOD-fearing family who loves the Lord and understands where our help comes from.
5. A meaningful Bible verse to you?
Matthew 19:26: “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘with men this is impossible, but with GOD all things are possible.’” Jesus was talking with the disciples about who can be saved. It also states that it is “easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of GOD.” Our sole purpose in what we do here at Bethesda Mission is to offer the hope that is afforded to us all through Jesus the Christ. In Him, we have salvation and a new life is possible, and if you seek Him you will find Him for He is not far from each of us. And that’s the bottom line.
This article first appeared in the January 2019 edition of Bethesda Mission’s New Life Newsletter.
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