By Gary Feazell
Being the youngest sibling in a family of nine children opens your eyes to a lot of human qualities. As I got older, I realized there were strong influences during my younger years that shaped my thinking and focus on life. My mom, Marie, and my Dad, who traveled a lot with his job, raised five boys and four girls. Mom’s influence was a Bible in one hand and a peach tree switch in the other. We all understood the value of discipline and hard work. Love and respect were always prevalent in every aspect of life in our home—even in discipline. When I was very young someone once asked me why my Mom spanked me. My reply was “Because she loves me.”
The training and focus of those young years left an impression on me that I could accomplish my goals in life. At the age of nineteen, I felt the urge to start a construction business. The thought of starting a business and the planning was a little intimidating, but the desire to achieve was greater. In October of 1976, my wife Delores and I began this journey of hard work, long hours, sleepless nights, and slim finances that go along with a start-up company. Ten years later, we opened our first out-of-home office. As the company grew, I quickly realized the importance of good people. My aim is to hire people with diverse skills and abilities that I don’t possess to enhance our effectiveness as a company. Through the years, I have relied on those great people to expand our customer base in the marketplace. This brings me to the question, “Why does Christian education matter?”
As I alluded to previously, I strongly believe the younger years shape our thinking. Each day as I listen to the news headlines, my awareness of the need for strong values in our education system grows. I am watching our politically correct society destroy the young people that will be my future employees. I will depend on these individuals to carry on a long tradition of who we are as a company. When we remove the principles of God, family, and country from our schools and homes, it reduces the pool of potential hires that I want to represent our company.
Respect, work ethic, character, and integrity are all things that matter. These characteristics allow our employees to be the marketing arm of our company. Without Christian worldview training at school and teaching at home, I see companies like mine fading into the sunset. We need to propagate this thinking to preserve our heritage and nation.
We all want our children to become productive adults. Delores and I have three daughters: Alicia, Jennifer, and Michelle along with three great son-in-laws, Jeremy, Kenis, and Mitch. Our family is blessed with ten grandchildren. All of our children and in-laws are serving in a lay capacity in ministry. I am blessed to have my oldest daughter, Alicia, serving as CFO for a company that I co-own, Premium Steel Building Systems. I asked her the question, “Why does Christian education matter?” The following is her reply.
“As I walk into my office each morning, I can’t help but notice my wall filled with pictures and notes from my daughters. As a mother, it’s easy to feel like you may very well have the most well-behaved, above-average children in the room (putting all bias aside of course). However, as I read through these notes they are filled with tributes to my Lord: scripture, graphics depicting the cross, notes referencing true character qualities such as surrender, forgiveness, and love.
My husband and I choose to send our children to a private Christian school. That decision does not come lightly as it sometimes requires sacrifices in other areas. To us, it is worth any sacrifice, and in the long run, will not be a sacrifice at all.
I see the world around me rapidly morphing into a place that is not familiar to me. I see the youth of today’s culture being faced with decisions and situations at a very young age that most adults were not aware of until later teenage years. It is beyond important that my children are able to function in that world from a basis of love and the ability to face the challenges of life with a worldview that is seen through the prism of Christ.
My girls are learning more than science, math, and English each day. They are challenged to think for themselves but always cross-reference what they think with what the Bible says. They are taught to put others first before themselves, encourage one another, and above all else, put Christ first. A positive attitude is encouraged at every turn.
As an employer, hiring new personnel and managing the same has its difficulties but the most challenging is the rapid depletion of kindness, character, and good old-fashioned work ethic. It is quickly becoming virtually non-existent. Just a few years ago, you could interview five applicants and have three qualified for the position with two of them having a sense of drive and a persevering attitude to get the job done. Today, there may be ten people interviewed for the same position with one of those being a possibility. Our culture has failed the last generation in giving them a sense of entitlement and too many free passes. The contagion of a negative, selfish perspective will spread and affect, not only the person exhibiting it but an entire office more quickly than wildfire. Many factors contribute to the end result of an adult’s character, but I truly believe that a core cause is the education process.
I have confidence that with a Christ-based education, my children are being trained to work hard, persevere when struggles arise and pursue any project with diligence and a positive attitude. As a mother, I pray they grow into productive adults who place Christ as Lord of their lives in every aspect. As an employer, I covet a generation that seeks to work with passion and positivity. I have been charged with two members of that future generation and providing Christian education is the least I can do to ensure they grow in wisdom and stature.”
As a business owner, I have chosen to get involved with Renewanation because of the excellent young men and women they are producing through their work in Christian education. These potential new employees have a Christian view of work and have the character to lead my company into the future. Imagine the influence on society and business when millions of these Christian educated young people become available to the workforce. So you see, from a business perspective, Christian education really does matter.
Gary Feazell is the owner of F&S Building Innovations, Inc. and co-owner of Premium Steel Buildings of Roanoke, Virginia. He was a founding member of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce and Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy. He has served on the board of the Roanoke Regional Home Builders Association, the board of Lakeside Baptist Church, and as a Ministry Team Leader for Palestine Baptist Church and is a current member of the Renewanation board. Gary and his wife, Delores, have three children and ten grandchildren. They live in Moneta, Virginia.
Volume 8 Issue 1 - The Renewanation Review