As the Executive Director for Montgomery S.T.E.P. Foundation, what does your position entail?
SF: My position entails setting a vision for the organization and helping ensure it fulfills its mission. I’m also in charge of establishing high-impact programs that change the trajectory of life for hundreds of at risk youth S.T.E.P. serves. Lastly, it allows me to build partnerships and alliances with our Board of Directors, community stakeholders, elected officials, churches, volunteers, school officials, etc.
How were you called to serve in your current position?
SF: During my college years at Alabama State, I began as a volunteer for S.T.E.P. – playing the keyboard at block party events in public housing communities. After college, I enjoyed serving youth as a public school teacher for MPS. while landing a part-time job with S.T.E.P. as its choral director. I was able to personally touch the lives of 700 youth and their families for a decade through the S.T.E.P. Choir program. I would eventually have the opportunity to join the staff full-time as a Violence Prevention Educator in 2001, and in 2010 I was called to serve as Executive Director after the retirement of S.T.E.P.’s first Executive Director, Lee Baugh, which has been an honor!
The South is considered the Bible Belt. You’re from Evergreen, AL. Was a strong sense of faith instilled in your childhood or adulthood? What did that process look like for you?
SF: I grew up in the church. I was baptized at age five and served as a junior deacon, youth Sunday School teacher, etc. My parents were God-fearing. They taught me according to biblical standards and instilled faith within me and my older brother.
You’ve been married to your wife for 24 years, a congratulatory milestone. How has your faith sustained your marriage?
SF: I know it is a marriage ordained by God and blessed by Him. My wife and I both are believers in Christ. We are best friends, and we’ve always relied on our faith to take us through stages of growth in our marriage over the past 24 years. I am looking forward to making memories later this year as we celebrate our 25th anniversary.
You embrace the concept of “relational evangelism.” Could you explain what that means?
SF: In the Bible, Jesus was a real relational God who relocated from Heaven to walk with us and talk with us even as sinful human beings. I saw Jesus build relationships with folks nobody else even wanted to be around, like Matthew- the tax collector, a sinner. It was all to introduce everyday people to “The Faith.” Many we serve, especially today’s youth, may not enter a physical church to hear the Good News. However, by building interpersonal “relationships” first and developing an established trust, there will inevitably be an opportunity to share Christ with them.
As a father of two daughters, how do you talk to them about God and faith?
SF: I often talk to my daughters about God and faith in the context of their everyday lives. If they are anxious, I tell them scripture instructs us to “be anxious for nothing,” and if they lack confidence or feel inadequate, I remind them of the scripture that says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” and that in their weaknesses, “His strength is perfected.” Whether it’s about school, friends, or life, I try to find time to talk about faith and live it out before them.
Many Christians feel secure in their faith until something challenging happens. Then the question becomes painfully relevant, why did God allow that to happen? What advice would you give to someone struggling with this?
SF: After being struck by lightning, thrown from a car, and nearly drowning, I would advise people to embrace the fact that they still have a purpose beyond their pain. We can’t see faith, but we can see faithfulness. If you think about the previous episodes of life’s challenges, God has ALWAYS restored light after darkness and sunny days after rainy days. My advice would be don’t give up at midnight before seeing the new daylight in your situation. Keep the faith. He promises never to leave or forsake us.
How have the profound life transformations from your organization impacted your life personally?
SF: They have helped me to endure the hardships associated with ministry. It rejuvenates me when I hear testimonials from those we serve on the impact the organization has made or is currently making in their lives.
Sederick Fluker is married to his wife, Sametta Fluker. They’ve been married for 24 years and have two daughters, Serenity (14) and Samiya (12).