Mid-South Pastor Ricky Floyd maintains one's environment can breed ignorance or success.
Pastor Floyd is hosting a family summit this weekend and the goal is to encourage more mentors to give the youth of the city the tools necessary to succeed.
Often times divine intervention connects the unluckiest of friendships in the middle of blight, gang-infested neighborhoods overflowing with broken homes.
Brennan Hill and Darrius Holloway met almost a decade ago when Holloway, who was deep into gang life, jumped Hill.
"Trying to figure out if I would be able to keep my eye because my eye was actually closed shut," Hill recalls.
"I found out this was a pastor's son, that was hurt," Holloway added. "They didn't want to press charges, they just want you to come to church."
Holloway was skeptical. Raised by the streets he assumed the offer of church was simply a set up.
"I didn't come from a culture of people loving you and you're not their own son," Holloway said. "He treated me like his own son, literally."
Pastor Floyd has spent years in Frayser realizing many families are in crisis. His church, along with the University of Tennessee and Memphis City Schools, is focusing on mentoring and building stronger, healthier families.
"I've seen guys who have totally embraced the concept of mentors and it totally turned their lives around," Pastor Floyd said. "They're living lives that are unexplainable in accordance to the circumstances they come from."
Hill reminded his father love is a better sentence than prison. Pastor Floyd says when you have never been exposed better how do you know better exists? He's working with the community to show them when people are exposed to different circumstances they react differently.
Pastor Floyd says some of the youth in Frayser are third and fourth generation of those who've grown up without a father. He says biology doesn't determine whether a man can make a difference, just reminds a child someone cares. One soul changed and forever connected to another, thanks to a mentor who's only belief is unconditional love.
"Same community, same race, same age, same gender, same gang, same drugs," the pastor said. "They robbed the same people. Everything was the same. The only difference was a mentor. I just happened to be the mentor that God divinely put together for us."
A men and boys summit will be held Friday, May 3, at 7 p.m. at The Pursuit of God Transformation Center, 3171 Signal St.
A family summit will be held on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., at Frayser High School. 1530 Dellwood. For more information call 901-448-5618.