Bobby Nix is the founder and Executive Director of Right Stuff Ministries. Bobby has been working with at-risk kids for more than 25 years. He and his wife, Roxanne, have one daughter, Sarah Beth. They live in Leeds and are members of Church of the Highlands. Bobby loves Auburn football, golf, and just about anything Sarah Beth does!
In 1992, the kindness of a young, African American girl serving me at a Church’s Chicken changed my life. Since then the Lord has given me many extraordinary friendships and opportunities that are too many to mention in this message. A few of which include founding the Right Stuff Basketball Camp, becoming the Director of Urban Missions at Briarwood Presbyterian Church, playing a role in seeing Cornerstone School and Restoration Academy grow, along with many extraordinary black friends and families that prior to 1992 probably would not have been part of my life. My wife and I also had the privilege of mentoring several fatherless boys along the way.
In 2007, I was led to form a charitable organization called Right Stuff Ministries. Borrowing from the basketball camp name, RSM was formed as a response to what I was seeing as I witnessed the ravaging impact fatherlessness was having in the lives of the kids we were growing to love. During the past several years we have helped renovate a gym, lunchroom and several classrooms in a local community center. We have hosted many retreats, swim parties, trips to the beach, along with countless meals and sleepovers in our home.
The Lord blessed our effort but there was something missing. I wasn’t seeing the kind of life-change that the Gospel should have. At this point I decided to reevaluate everything and take a sabbatical.
The time off from ministry was very encouraging and I was eager to get “back in the saddle” but the Lord wouldn’t let me. The Holy Spirit made it abundantly clear that if I was going to resume my passion and calling, two things would have to change: I was to change the way I was doing ministry and most importantly, I was to do it with an African-American partner.
As the Lord revealed what needed to change it became clear to me what was creating my frustration. Without realizing it, my old method of ministry was what I can best describe as a cylinder. In the open end, we invited as many kids as we could into our ministry by using things that appealed to them such as sports, fun, and food. But what frustrated me was to see how many came and went and often without gratitude or much life change. I began to feel used as I saw on many occasions a militant entitlement to the help we offered. Despite the highpoints, much of what we were doing seemed wasted. What I have now discovered is that the problem was of my own doing. The easy in and easy out of the cylinder needed to be a funnel with accountable benchmarks of faithfulness as it narrowed at the end. Also I realized that an inverted funnel of resources needed to be paired with it. In other words, invest the most time and effort at the narrow end with fewer but more faithful kids.
Now to the partnering piece. I am excited to announce that the Lord has been amazingly faithful to bring me the partner that I have needed for a long time, whether I realized it or not. His name is Johnny Mills and he is an amazing man. He lights up a room when he walks in with a smile that reflects a deep love for Jesus. He and his wife, Dokita, have been married for fourteen years and have been blessed with five children. Johnny grew up in Montgomery never knowing his dad but had a loving mother and stepdad. As he grew into a teenager, he started as a freshman on the varsity football team at Sidney Lanier High School. But as his prowess and popularity grew he got the attention of some local drug dealers who lured him into a life of crime and violence. But thankfully, instead of becoming a statistic as so many have in similar circumstances, the Lord miraculously reached out and rescued him. Johnny’s amazing transformation was not lost on the student body as they elected him President during his senior year! Since that time the Lord has used Johnny in a mighty way to serve him in several capacities. He has served on a church staff, been an officer in the Penal System, provided security in schools, and worked in several business ventures as well. But what makes our partnership so incredible is that we both share a burden and passion for the fatherless.
For Such a time as this:
Perhaps as never before, our nation is in need of a unified response to the issues that threaten our nation. Johnny and I are excited to share the following vision with you as a remedy to what plagues our culture.