by Dennis Jaeger
One of my favorite moments this year was waking up on a Saturday morning and seeing a Facebook post from Paul Bailey at the Rockets Run with three Impact youth saying, “Proud of my guys for sacrificing their Saturday morning for a cause. It’s not easy waking up at 5:45am on a Saturday morning.” It is this commitment to serving others, this passion for speaking Jesus into the youth at Impact over the course of many years that has led to Paul joining the Impact staff as our High School Youth Minister.
Paul, the oldest sibling in a large family, grew up in Houston and has been attending Impact his entire life. His family was one of the first to begin coming to Impact. They moved around frequently while he was growing up, and most neighborhoods Paul lived in presented significant obstacles that many of his peers haven’t been able to overcome. It’s no surprise to see Paul waking up early on a Saturday morning to spend time with his mentees. He benefitted from similar experiences with Impact member Charlie Nelson (before we had an official “mentor” program) who made it a point to spend time with Paul often and introduce him to many different activities. He is also no stranger to waking up early. When Paul was in high school, he lived with his uncle, Lester, and woke up at 4:50 every morning in order to make it to school on time via Metro buses. In middle school he would wake up earlier than needed so he could help his siblings get ready for school. Talk about a driven young man!
It was the 2011 High School Mission Trip, working with children in Tulsa, OK who faced obstacles similar to his own, that cemented in Paul’s heart and mind he was meant to be a godly voice in the lives of youth growing up in difficult environments. He found that his story and experiences helped him speak into their lives because he understood firsthand their struggles.
After this trip, Paul and his brother began helping with Impact children on Thursday nights and Paul interned during the summers. After graduating in 2013, Paul spent a summer interning at Contact Mission Church of Christ in Tulsa and eventually stayed on full time working with their middle school youth for a time. After moving back to Houston, Paul began working as a behavior interventionalist at Cy-Fair schools and then in Sheldon ISD.
We’re excited to have Paul join our youth staff and continue, in a larger capacity, pouring Jesus into our teenagers. I’m honored and humbled to work alongside you, Paul, and look forward to many years of ministry together