Black History Month: Bobby Deberry
Each week in February, WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News is celebrating Black History Month by telling the story of West Tennesseans, and it is sponsored by the Tennessee Education Lottery.
Our second spotlight is Bobby Deberry, the Pastor of Love & Compassion Church in Lexington.
But many people know him for much more.
“I’ve started a program called Bonding Brothers with the young guys, and I try to get the guys together every now and then to see what is on their mind because that’s my passion is, young guys. To help them get on the right track and help them make better choices,” Deberry said.
Along with his outreach program, Deberry is an adult-education teacher, counselor and mediator.
You can catch him most days at the Henderson and Haywood County Jails, mentoring to those behind bars.
“Some days they need a father, some days they need a brother, and some days they just need somebody just to talk to. And so I try to leave them with, I’m just whatever you need to be at that moment,” Deberry said.
Church member, Parrish Tuggles says Deberry is not only a leader in Lexington, but in surrounding areas as well.
He says he helps to give people a voice.
“I believe Pastor Deberry provides an outlet for the voiceless through his approach. His approach is relatable. You can come to him about anything, and it just seems like he’s known you for years, and he can give you the right answers without being pushy and without being too strict,” Tuggles said.
Tuggles says having someone who has experienced some of the things many youth are facing today is much needed.
It’s what makes him so relatable and stands as a perfect example for many.
“He’s walked through life, and he’s seen a lot of things and experienced a lot of things, and he can share those experiences of how he overcame any obstacles and challenges in his life,” Tuggles said.
Deberry says he has high hopes for the city of Lexington.
“Come together as a community, as a body of churches and quit focusing on what we have in difference,” Deberry said. “Focus on what we have in common, which is to better our community and come together as men and women to help our children grow and be all they can be.”
When it comes to Black History Month, he says for him the celebration represents history and he hopes it inspires others to know they are capable of achieving anything they put their mind to.
“Being a person of color, it just feels good to know that people just like me can do things, can invent things, can be somebody. You don’t just have to settle for what somebody says this is all you can do. You can be what you want to be within your ability,” Deberry said.
Deberry says next on his list is working with friends to create a program that would provide opportunities to those looking for work, and for those wanting to go back to school that feel they are incapable of doing it on their own.
He wants to provide tutors and mentors to let people know they too can be successful no matter where they come from or what they have.
Last week’s spotlight was Ronald Benton.
You can find more local news through the WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News app.