A Journey Of Love, Faith, Strength And Determination

is dedicated to Gerod, my oldest son; Noah, my grandson; Sydney, my granddaughter and the next generation and beyond. A special tribute to Gerod who will never understand our past, present or future. Yet, he is an integral part of this book, if not in words, in every thought. To Noah and Sydney who are too young to understand today, someday will influence and change their generation for the good of mankind.

Grover Jackson

Grover Jackson earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC, then volunteered and served two years as an U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya, East Africa. Upon the completion of his Peace Corps assignment, he returned to the U.S. and earned an MBA in finance from Atlanta University, now Clark Atlanta University.

He started his professional career on Wall Street as a corporate banker, then served in treasury functions at Gulf Oil, Ryder Systems and Southeast First National Bank of Miami as a commercial loans officer, at that time Florida’s largest bank. He also served as an adjunct college professor and taught finance classes at Florida International University (FIU) after it opened in 1972. The typical student entering FIU that year was 25 years of age, attending school full-time and working full-time. In 1977,Grover transitioned to the technology sector spent the next thirty- seven years employed with IBM in various positions and capacities.

After retiring from IBM, he ventured out into financial planning and accepted a position with New England Financial, A MetLife Company. Grover assisted small and midsized business owners and wealthy individuals with products and services tailored to family wealth creation and preservation. Additionally, he continued his involvement and volunteering in religious and not-for-profit services. He’s an ordained deacon and served as a deacon in Glendale Missionary Church in Miami, FL, a predominant Black congregation, and First Baptist Church Atlanta (FBCA), a predominant White congregation, was elected as the first Black deacon to serve, both churches are members of the Southern Baptist Convention. He served on FBCA’s missions committee, as a Sunday School director, and coordinated the church’s homeless ministry.

He is still serving in FBAC Sunday School ministry and serves as an usher weekly during workshop services. He’s a founder member of several mission ministries, Belgian Evangelical Mission (Belgium) and New Mercies Caring Ministries (Kenya) and a board member of World Thrust International (WTI) supporting the work of missionaries in the Caribbean, Africa, and China. He currently provides pray and financial support in addition to the three (3) above to four missionaries serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators (Africa), Greater Europe Mission (Germany), Fully Supply Ministry (USA), and Central Missions (Austria) . He serves as a Special Olympic volunteer softball coach. “To whom much is given, much is required.” Meaning we have been blessed with talents, knowledge, time, and the like we are responsible and expected to give back. (Luke 12:48)

Grover supports, his alma mater, Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) monthly and serves as ‘co-class agent’ for his class, the Class of ‘67. He was recently elected to a two-year term treasurer of Johnson C. Smith University National Alumni Association for fiscal years July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2023. He urges his classmates and others to do likewise. He also incorporated a not-for-profit business that he generates funds and gives the proceeds to JCSU on an annual basis. As sibling #8 in birth order, Grover understands the importance of an education as the first of ten (10) siblings to earn a college degree and masters level advance degree in his family. “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.” Your financial gifts matter!

Coworkers often asked him about writing a book upon hearing many of his childhood stories about farming in Georgia, his time in Kenya, many have asked him about why and how he was able to land seven professional jobs in five years? Others asked about the thirteen siblings, how they missed school due to farm work and still focused on beyond the moment, and many other challenges, such as ten siblings living in a two room ‘place’ plus Dad and Mom. Those and other questions are answered in the book, ‘A Journey of Love, Faith, Strength and Determination,’ buy it, read it and you will discover answers to most of your questions, if there are still lingering questions contact Grover and he will share his formula of success.

Mary F. Fullard

Mary F. Fullard, after getting married and started a family, enrolled at Camden Community College, earned an associated degree, then enrolled and graduated with honors (magna cum laude) from Glassboro State College, now Rowan University, with a degree in education.
She retired after 35 years of managing, training, and providing resources for childcare professionals, parents, early childhood, and public school teachers.
Mary has always been curious about their genealogy and drove her parents and anyone who would listen, answer, or respond to her many unending streams of questions.
But the familiarity with the community did not quell her thirst for more knowledge about their descendants. The evolution of the Internet and websites such as ancestry.com became the solution to her quest for answers that she found by doing online research.

E. Christine Jackson

E. Christine Jackson, earned her bachelor’s degree from Douglas College, part of Rutgers University (The State University of New Jersey), in economics and finance and earned her MBA from Widener University in finance and business management. E. Chris spent her entire 33 year career in what transitioned into the Verizon family of telecommunications companies. She was the first black woman to serve in the position as director for New Jersey Bell and Verizon her employer in the state of New Jersey.
Initially, E. Chris had zero interest in participating in writing a book, but after it was shared that the book wasn’t about her, rather it’s about future generations she showed interest. She edited the initial text, then it was suggested that she write her own life story. She wrote it as well as chapters 18 “We Commemorate” and 19 “The Siblings’ Legacies” and did the initial edit of the entire book. Together the three of them are first-time authors but have together written a book of ‘A Journey of Love, Faith, Strength and Determination’.

My Family

The Jacksons—front row left to right Grover (me), Leola, Dad, Mom, E. Chris & Rosie Back row Otis, Josephine, Mary Frances (mamie) George, Geneva, William (Billy) Mary Lou, Charles & Annie Missing: Robert (Bob) who passed 9-15-67
My family—Millette, my wife, Grover (me), Gerod, Graig and Gustin touring NYC during the Bryant’s (our) Family (2007) Reunion.