September's Difference Maker Clarence Jackson: Take Me to Church

September's Difference Maker Clarence Jackson: Take Me to Church
September's Difference Maker Clarence Jackson: Take Me to Church
Posted at 7:22 AM, Sep 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-07 03:42:33-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -  You may recognize this old rhyme, here's the church, here's the steeple. Open the door and see all the people.

September's Difference Maker Pastor Clarence Jackson said it's because of those people, he's able to help others.

"You'll be dead or end up in jail," said Pastor Clarence Jackson.

Clarence Jackson has been a pastor for nearly 25 years.

He said many people in his life never envisioned him being the person standing here today.

"I'm a college drop out. I went to jail when I was 19-years-old for doing something stupid," said Pastor Jackson.

He never imagined going into politics either, but from 2011 to 2013, he served as Mayor of Gretna.

"The community prompted me to run for political office," Jackson said.

For the past 5 years, every Tuesday at 11 a.m. people line up for the Farm Share at Destiny Church.

"We call it shopping for free, here at Destiny Church," said Jackson.

"It does a lot of good deeds for so many people. We appreciate it so much," said Betty King, who comes to the Farm Share.

And while people bag fresh fruits and vegetables, Pastor Jackson said he wouldn't be a Difference Maker without the people surrounding *him.

"That guy in the hat, that's Ira Hamilton and every week for the last 4 or 5 years," said Jackson.

Ira Hamilton *voluntarily picks up 4,000 pounds of donated food every Tuesday from area businesses and delivers it to Destiny Church.

"I was raised to help others. It's in my blood. That's what we do," said Ira Hamilton

A man a little means, often putting others before himself. He's a single father on a fixed income. The place he called home, Hamilton said not fit for raising his son.

"The house I was in wasn't up to par. Summer we burnt up it was hot. Winter we froze," Hamilton said.

6 months ago, Ira Hamilton lived in a house that wasn't in the best condition.

Now, Ira and his son live in Pastor Jackson's former family home with central AC, no leaky roof and a solid foundation. The Jackson Family gave it to them.

After securing the loan to their new home, Pastor Jackson said he and his wife Dee woke up one morning and says God laid it on their hearts to give it away.

"Shocked. I'm still shocked, but I'm enjoying it," said Hamilton.

Making sure others needs are met, during a tough time in his own life. The youngest of Pastor Jackson's four kids, 4-year-old Jae was recently diagnosed with cancer.

"My wife and I. My children, we understand that this is just a process. She's going to beat it. She has the best doctors in the world. She has a treatable form of cancer," said Jackson.

He said the work doesn't stop because you have difficulties.

"It prompts you to do more, it prompts you to get out there and make more of a difference," said Jackson.

Following our visit, Pastor Jackson said all of her tumors except for one have miraculously disappeared. He believes there's no doubt she will cancer free by mid October.

He said it's a direct result of the Lord's good work.

"My first mission in life is not pastor, I don't want people to refer to me as my title. I want people to know I'm a community servant. I will go to any lengths to make sure the needs of the people are met," Jackson said.

That's why Pastor Clarence Jackson is September's Difference Maker.