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 Inspirational and thought-provoking messages informed by my faith, ministry in education and community development 

Dr. Flowers' Blog

Archive for the "WID-WID" Category

The Ultimate Credit Score

April 03, 2024
By Dr. Terry Flowers

In just two years, the ministry of St. Philip’s will celebrate 80 years of existence! The chronicle of our journey unfolds to two constant factors. From the time of its inception as a small Episcopal church, we have consistently remained responsive to the needs of the community surrounding us. Additionally, we’ve maintained the collaborative spirit of the small group of African-American Episcopalians, who forged relationships with other church members and organizations that sparked the “make away or find one” approach that continues to propel our success today.

We are blessed to be able to partner with entities who have spirits that agree. Those spirits nod affirmatively to the understanding that education is the elixir of the soul. They embrace the value of delivering services with dignity and possess the faithfulness to defy the odds by demonstrating the power of one.

The mighty title of St. Philip’s as a school, community center and neighborhood change agent, can only be explained by examining the legions of staff, volunteers, sacrificial parents, and partners, who all demonstrate the biblical encouragement of “to whom much is given”…….

Our ministry has long considered itself a king of collaboration. Our partnerships with over sixty organizations, who join forces with us to render services and promote change, is bringing about a transformation that is emerging as a national model. Our alumni are committed to serving the community and the world as their Creed compels them to. They are leading their own agencies and leveraging their professions to uplift communities across the country.

Our mighty impact is undeniable. However, collective resources, passions, and talents, do not adequately explain why St. Philip’s has been successful. All these factors have played a role, but the reality is, had we not given credit where credit is due, St. Philip’s would merely be a spec and not special. Join us in pronouncing the ultimate credit for our accomplishments thus far. To God be the glory, to God be the glory, to God be the glory! This is where credit must be placed.  As we continue impacting lives and uplifting community, let’s remain faithful that the same God, who got us to where we are today, has more than enough resources to get us where he wants us to go. Our best is yet to come!

Posted in WID-WID

You Belong In Every Story

February 28, 2024
By Dr. Terry Flowers

One lesson every school needs to learn revolves around not just the instructional expertise of their faculty but the quality of the content being taught. School curriculum is like the diet of nutrients we place into our bodies. Poor intake impacts how we perform physically, spiritually, and mentally. Likewise, students respond better to wholesome and relevant content in their learning.

Accordingly, we teach our students that they belong in every story. In essence, we are asking them to question how the materials and subject matter they are presented relates to themselves and their ancestors as they endeavor to dive into their learning. We have found that relevance becomes the nugget that nurtures a trail of curiosity to the mind.

Our 8th graders recently completed an academic excursion to Ghana, an experience that proved to be the highest manifestation of what the St. Philip’s Creed embodies. Students encountered a dramatic expression of the community and the world needing their contributions.

The experience was overwhelmingly a practice of living by put ups and not put downs for our sisters and brothers. Undeniably, they were able to witness the righteous need for success to be a right. Their being in service for school children of Ghana and engaging with the people of the country was a climactic opportunity for our students. It enabled them to wrestle with and combat bias, rumors, and stereotypes often portrayed and propagated about the continent. Their journey to the cradle of civilization was as rich as the fertile soils and wonderful souls of the continent of Alkebulan.

Ironically, the namesake of our School and Community Center is “Philip”, an evangelist of Christ who traveled the continent of Alkebulan. His teaching of the Gospel established the church in Ethiopia. Teaching, testifying, and serving, ties directly to the outcome we expect from our graduates as they move into their high school years. They are to use their education to explore new heights and take others with them, giving God the glory along the way.

YOU BELONG IN EVERY STORY is a lesson for every student and a common St. Philip's mantra.  Another mantra of ours is "A day without learning is a day wasted." We teach our students to not allow a word they don't know to get past them. Alkebulan is a word from our excursion to Ghana that I gift you with.


Posted in WID-WID

The Greatest Flaw of Urban Education Success

January 23, 2024
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Our society places a premium on the value of education and its capacity to uplift our children out of poverty into flourishing lives. This premium is appropriate. Next to God, an education is humanity's most critical pathway for a productive and sustainable future for humankind. In the words of St. Philip’s former trustee and dear friend, John Muse, “Education is the elixir of the soul.”

Without a doubt, high value should justifiably be placed on education. However, I believe a blaring caution is in order! A caution especially for urban educators and students. We must teach the value of education, yes, but our message needs to be, “Don’t allow your education to be a pathway of no return to the neighborhood you grew up in.”

We have had generations of urban youth who have navigated through urban school systems to go on to achieve exceptional accomplishments in every walk of business, science, the arts, and literary excellence. Unfortunately, urban schools and social constructs have created a quest to get out with a yearning to not return. The trend over multiple generations has not been one of turning success into significance within the community that produced people like me, a native of the southside of Chicago. 

Conversely, the pattern is one of forsaking the very communities which produced our success, the very shoulders that were stood upon to climb out of poverty. This climb to success has often been blurred by a vision of the American Dream. As one highly successful African American businessman put it, “Why should white guys have all the fun?” Our urban schools have produced legions of overcomers who have risen to prominent levels of power and influence. Despite the accomplishments of those who have defied the odds, our urban communities and now many suburban youth continue to struggle.

A clarion call is in order for a shift in the mission of academia. Ideally, that call would be for The Great Homecoming and a disruption of the mass exportation of the talents of our communities. The Great Homecoming would be evidenced by a return to live, serve, and invest back in the soils of origin. 

In the interim of this Great Homecoming, schools can take action. The Creed of St. Philip’s School and Community Center embodies the thrust of service, sacrifice and self-determination that results in community uplift. Here in Dallas, Jesuit College Preparatory School sends students across the metroplex to tutor and serve in our Aunt Bette’s Community Pantry. Jesuit tags its focus as “men for others”, a clear message for purpose and obligation to humanity.

As work continues to create “boutique” schools focused on career, entrepreneurship, leadership, and business, let’s address the flaw that has failed to compel our best talents to overwhelmingly return to uplift urban America. Our education should not become a pathway to no return.

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Here WE Go!

January 09, 2024
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Most who have followed the ministry of St. Philip’s will recognize one of our student mantras: simply put, our scholars will tell you we are a school where ‘It's okay to pray and make an A’. Similarly, Dallas Cowboys fans can identify with Dak Prescott, starting the offense signal call with his signature ‘Here WE go.’

There is a fair amount of discussion surrounding the use and the effectiveness of these three words as the guidepost to initiate the team's offensive attacks. Regardless of whether you have a favorite team, I offer these three words, ‘Here WE go’ as a gift to every believer as we move into 2024. 

I invite you to watch online as St. Philip's students give an automatic response when they hear ‘The Lord be with you.’ Their response in daily chapel and elsewhere is ‘and also with you!’ At the first chapel service back from winter break, the homily topic was ‘Here WE go!’ The homily had little to do with football or signal calling. The focus was on reminding the audience that for those who believe, God promises to never leave or forsake them. Our students were encouraged to take on the challenges of 2024 with confidence, knowing that they are not alone. In short, we encourage the students to say ‘Here WE go’ to God, meaning as difficult times unfold, we are saying ‘Here WE go, God, let's tackle this together.’ (Note that ‘WE’ is capitalized to acknowledge The Almighty being present.)

As 2024 begins, join me in constantly saying to GOD… ‘Here WE go’, whatever may come, knowing that with HIM our best is yet to come. And for those who are more seasoned in their faith and know how to press life's rewind, you are entitled to say… ‘Lord, Here WE go again.’

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It's a BOY thing!

August 23, 2023
By Dr. Terry Flowers

In education an often-unappreciated energy that surpasses the excitement of the super bowl emerges annually.... it is called B.O.Y.  Nothing rivals the amount of preparation, attention, money spent, enthusiasm, and even increased traffic surrounding B.O.Y. The Beginning Of Year exhilaration gives me fuel annually. New outfits, fresh supplies, hairstyles, backpacks, and lunch kits are contributors but not my B.O.Y. highlights.  Anticipations of reuniting with classmates and meeting new friends and teachers add to the excitement as well. The passion of faculty who are driven by the St. Philip's principle that "educating a child is not a rehearsal" brings me a rush. B.O.Y. at St. Philip's also allows me to see the intense hopefulness of parents who distinguish themselves. Most parents are willing to give on behalf of their children. Our parents, however, are not only willing to give on behalf of their children they are willing to GIVE UP something. They forego vacations, vehicles, and vanities in order to pay tuition. This commitment is not a dog whistle of their seriousness about the importance of education, it sends a foghorn of emphasis to our students about the value of academic achievement. This message doesn't trickle into the spirits of our scholars, it flows like mighty rivers. It's a B.O.Y. thing and I am excited about it.  Let's thrive together this B.O.Y. 2023-24 as we work to Build Our Youth.

Posted in WID-WID

Life Gets to Vote

August 02, 2023

As we move closer to kicking off a new school year, I am humbled to reflect on the blessing St. Philip’s extends to our students. We get to celebrate the Privilege to Pray, Praise and Proclaim God’s Powerful Prevalence.

With our world becoming increasingly divided and determined to depart from core values that promote human flourishing, we strive to teach a lesson that escapes many adults. That lesson is “LIFE GETS TO VOTE!” The architect of our current strategic plan, John Kiser, used this quote in reminding a committee that circumstances and unforeseen factors have a way of disrupting the best of plans. 

It’s been said that we make plans and God laughs at us. Just as Life gets to vote, it is also important for our children to know that satan always has a campaign. Since God was uninvited to our schools in 1963, we now have generations lacking a compass to navigate the constant campaign to contaminate, corrupt and condemn our youth.  

Dealing with the occasions when Life casts votes that upend the best of your dreams, intentions and efforts is fruitless without faith. As St. Philip’s adds a long-awaited 8th grade class, we are humbled to assure our students with the understanding that they can take comfort the vote is rigged in every campaign favoring HIS believers. I claim dignity and prosperity. My God promises both.”

Thanks be to GOD for HIS goodness and the worth of his word, as well as HIS will and HIS way.

Posted in WID-WID

Custody Battles

July 06, 2023
By Dr. Terry Flowers

As we move deeper into this summer my encouragement for all parents is to be on guard for Unplanned Parenthood which besieges our children. This battle employs stealth and self weaponry that adversely impact our children. Just as the advisory is for us to make sure that our weapons are locked away from our children in our households, cautionary measures surrounding technology are in order. Children’s screen time during the summer increases by forty three percent! The screen requires your teen in order for it to survive.

The recommendation for children under two years of age is to have a less than 30 minutes a day of productive, positive screen time, if any. For those over to two years old the healthy recommendation is no more than one hour per day. Research reveals that during the school year, children’s screen time in America averages 7.5 hours a day. The greatest casualty of this undercover custody battle is the reality that excessive screen time is associated with lower math scores, increased obesity and social-emotional declines.

This custody battle never receives its day in court.  There is no jury of peers, but the casualties result in parental tears. Our children’s opportunities to enjoy the blue sky are being robbed by the blue screen. Their mental wellness is being victimized by social media’s “hellness".  With this battle there is no court of appeal, but impact can result in slow to no heal. Tragically, justice falls upon the parents' personal will which often struggles to model what's proven to be unfit.

When Scripture and fables lose the battle to Instagram and Snap Chat at the dinner table, we take on more casualty in the battle to maintain custody. The loss of custody is never intentional. It is unplanned parenting with potential casualty. Let’s face it. The screen’s potential impact is formidable therefore we must be intentional as custodial stewards of our children’s battles to flourish and thrive. This intention INCLUDES attention to our own screen time modeling. Custody battles start with the custodians.

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Blame Throwers

June 06, 2023
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Forrest Hoglund and I have held a long-term debate over what are the most powerful words for humankind. Anyone familiar with St. Philip’s is aware of one of our key mantras, “If it is to be, it is up to me (ten words).” Prominent businessman and philanthropist, Forrest Hoglund, uses 9 words, If it is to be, it’s up to me. As our friend Forrest approaches his 90th birthday, July 1st 2023, I have a compromise. Whether you use eight, nine, or ten words to get the message across, Forrest would agree that St. Philip’s is simply working to avoid producing “blame throwers.”

Accountability, responsibility, and overcoming obstacles are the order of instruction and experiences in the embattled neighborhood surrounding us. Defiance of the odds and building upon legacies of sacrifices that have paved the way for our current existence. Every Summer for the past 21 years, researchers have published studies about the devastating impact of Summer learning loss. These studies document academic drop-offs are attributable to children being away from school during the Summer. While absence from school is a key factor, parents must dodge becoming Blame Throwers.

“A day without learning is a day wasted.” This is another mantra of St. Philip’s. Thus, every parent is responsible for leveraging time and resources during the Summer to build upon what their children accomplished during the school year. Camps like the one St. Philip’s operates each Summer, along with museums, libraries, churches, and community resources are there to support your “if it is to be, it’s up to me.”

“Parenting can vary but should never vacation.” Don’t become a blame-thrower. Blame never extinguished a fire, paid a bill, or solved a problem. Blame fuels dysfunction everywhere, including in politics and pulpits. Action ignites change. Therefore, in honor of his nine decades of life, I will agree with our dear Kansas University bleeding friend, Forrest Hogland, on the nine most powerful words for humanity under one condition… The condition that “if it is to be, it’s up to me” is only applicable to the power of God within us.

Posted in WID-WID

Anchors From Bankers

April 27, 2023
By Dr. Terry Flowers

I was recently blessed to be in the presence of four of our nation’s most civically rooted bankers, Elaine Afather, Pete Chillian, Michelle Thomas, and now retired Todd Maclin. These four heavyweights of banking now hold generational depths of experience in working toward community uplift.

Anyone close to St. Philip’s would recognize our belief that “a day without learning is a day wasted.” I received a “knowledge nugget” authored by Todd Maclin when he gave his mentee, Pete Chillian, the greatest professional advice he has ever received. Todd told Pete to remember, “your ego is not your amigo.”

Todd’s Texas flair will resonate in our upcoming chapel service. Our students have already been taught that E.G.O. stands for Edging. God. Out. Thus, “your ego is not your amigo” can not only serve as professional advice, but it can also provide instructional guidance to help children make sense (or cents) of the nonsense of the challenges our country is afflicted with. We can all benefit from Proverbs chapter, 3 verses 5 and 6. We must make sure our e.g.o. does not become our amigo who edges God out. This speaks to our nation’s divide and ethical descent.

An analysis of the amigo ego friendship analogy causes me to reflect to 20 years ago. One of our three-year-old students confided in me that she needed anger management classes. She knew that was the reason she took her classmates’ snacks! Just as this 36-month-old had internalized the adult verbiage and constructs of her surrounding, so it is today with the swarm of overdue and much-needed concentration on social-emotional learning.

Caution is appropriate to make sure our focal confluence does not lead to unwarranted influence wrought with ego-amigo vulnerabilities. Philippians chapter 2, verses 5 – 11. Let’s keep our children lifted in prayer as we help them navigate the entanglements of our society by Encouraging God Often.

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The Three T's

March 20, 2023
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Non-Profit Trap

I have had many summers of service with the ministry of St. Philip’s. In this span, the frequency of the appeals for Time, Talent, and Treasure to yield sustainable support for organization impact and growth have worn thin with me. The 3 t’s have cascaded to cliché. St. Philip’s school and Community Center can give absolute testimony to the importance of supporters’ Time, Talent, and Treasure. Undeniable, these three t’s through God’s grace have fueled our journey which has turned the corner, moving towards 80 years of ministry. The 3 t’s are important, however, there is a great T that fuels the three t’s commonly espoused to be predictors of non-profit success.

St. Philip’s gives testimony that the foundational T in which each of the 3 t’s rest on is TRUST.

Blessings in abundance to the legion of volunteers, supporters, staff, and parents who have allowed their TRUST to inform their little t’s. The unparalleled experience of the St. Philip’s student, their academic performance, and the mighty impact we’ve had on the community are a product of TRUST and God’s anointing. As Isaiah 55 references, God’s word will always produce fruit and accomplish what He wants it to and prosper everywhere it goes.

WE WILL continue to TRUST in Him as you continue Trusting our stewardship and celebrating our outcomes.
I’ll take the Big “T” every time.
Trust Triggers the 3 t’s.

Tags: blog
Posted in WID-WID

A Life Worth Living

February 27, 2023
By Dr. Terry Flowers

In the words of our children...I am not throwing “shade” on Socrates nor Civil Rights Icon Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Dr. King used a quote from Socrates in several of his speeches. Socrates is undeniably considered to be the founder of Western Philosophy. It stands to reason that Dr. King would find a few nuggets in the sage scripts of Socrates.

I humbly offer a crumb to cogitate on surrounding the philosopher’s quote Dr. King references. “An unexamined life is not worth living.” My humble assertion is Socrates and King missed the mark. It is critical to analyze your life and your contributions, which in returns uplifts society and ignites and flourishes the human life. This idea is embraced by our St. Philip’s scholars in the Lord’s Prayer and in the St. Philip’s Creed.

I maintain that every life is worth living and every life is ultimately examined. Just as every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess (Romans 14:11) we will all have an accounting. I also promote some simple mental gymnastics around the reality that being alive is different than living. In both cases, we must follow God’s lead and speak life. “Speak life. Seek life. Giving it treasure and measure.”

WIDWID stands for Why I Do What I Do. A question we desire our students to query routinely. What is your WIDWID?

No offense or shade to Socrates or Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but I think the mark is missed in the statement, “An unexamined life is not worth living.”

To evaluate my ponderings, I call up two intellectual heavy weights: Dr. Cornell West and Professor Roby George, who are good friends to St. Philip’s and leaders in Modern Day Philosophy. I pose the question to them. Did Socrates and Dr. King miss the mark?

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Wages and Benefits

December 19, 2022
By Dr. Terry Flowers

In our recent chapel service, a parallel was drawn between a reindeer guiding the way for gifts to be given, and a bright star guiding the wise men to the greatest gift! While this bright-nosed deer is not mentioned in the Bible, our students quickly connected to this concept. Jesus came to show the way and to model acceptable behavior and living.

He came to help us take “rude off.” When we take “rude off” our sleigh, we’ll be guided to peace. When we take “rude off”, we are loved by others. When we take "rude off", we can allow God’s word, His will, and His way to enter our lives.

St. Philip’s is privileged and proud to proclaim we are a school where it is okay to pray and make an "A". With both, we are able to acknowledge God’s teaching about wages and benefits. As we dive into our Christmas and holiday festivities, let’s all be reminded of the greatest gift and ultimate benefit. The greatest gift we can ever receive is referred to in Romans chapter 6, verse 3, “The gift of God is eternal life.”

As our students promptly noted…failure to keep our "rude off" will lead our sleigh to wages far worse than the Texas minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Romans 6 tells us about the ultimate rudeness of sin and its wage of death. In the words of one of our third graders, “Dr. Flowers, I can take my rude off but keeping it off is a full-time job”. As our chapel services end each day, let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Posted in WID-WID

Frozen Fuel

May 27, 2022
By Dr. Terry Flowers

I must admit that I resisted as long as I could…I recently filled my tank with gasoline priced over four dollars! With gasoline price projections signaling a five-dollar threshold, I find comfort in the most reliable fuel dependence that exists, FAITH.  I have been known to encourage others to allow their faith to be their fuel. By the grace of GOD, faith has sustained me. It was by faith that a small group of African Americans started St. Philip’s and formed alliances within the Episcopal church. I realize there are many who are in the developmental stages of their faith and have not arrived at the point where they can allow it to become their fuel. Many are relying on alternative sources to fuel their lives. Many are still in the stage of life where facts are their only fuel. For those who are growing in their faith to the point where they can allow their faith to become their fuel, my caution is to make sure credit is given to The Master source of all fuel. GOD.

A common quote of our students is “it’s okay to pray and make an A”. For five of the past six years, a St Philip’s graduate has served as valedictorian or salutatorian in their local high school. Ninety-three percent of our graduates attend college, we have seventy-one basketball teams, five football teams and serve over five million pounds of food annually. Our faith is our anchor.

As we move into our inaugural addition of seventh and eighth grades, we continue to walk by faith. This walk is not a lonely journey. Parents, committed staff, passionate volunteers and believing supporters accompany us.  Collectively, we have not been deterred from our pursuit of excellence. As a community center and community advocate, we have not allowed the realities of injustice to become excuses for not working to overcome it. 

Fuel prices are discouraging, but the ultimate fuel is priceless. With our faith as our fuel, St. Philip’s encourages you to not allow your happenings to destroy your happiness. Summer and warmer weather approach at a time when we need to inspire others who have a frozen faith.

Posted in WID-WID

Unimaginable Danger in Schools 

February 07, 2022
By Dr. Terry Flowers

As we march towards the end of the school year and the anxiety of parents flirting with school for their children’s attendance next year, I am reminded of a conviction I have held strong since 1979. That is, schools are potentially one of the most dangerous environments a parent can place their children in. 

Beyond the ball on the playground, the finger smashed in the door, even the gravel or a self-inserted object inside innocent nostrils and ears, there are even greater dangers. 

Undoubtedly, the past two decades have been saturated with research, experimentation and politics surrounding school choice.  We have experienced an explosion of gimmicks with campuses taunting educational excellence. A common mantra on the campus of St Philip’s School and Community Center is educating a child is not a rehearsal. Next to the introduction of your child to Christ, providing your child with the best possible education is the highest level of parental responsibility outside of fulfilling basic needs.  

We encourage parents to dive deeply into the seriousness of school selection for their children. A school’s reputation, curriculum analysis, graduation rates, faculty retention and test performance are not a deep enough dive into determining the place that will shape or potentially reshape your child’s life. We encourage parents to submerge themselves beyond the superficial examination of the schools they are considering enrolling their children. There can be unimaginable danger in schools.   

In the history of America, the dangers for our children in schools have never been greater. Assaults, shootings and stabbings are awful; however, they pale in comparison to the greatest occurrences of childhood devastation inflicted in schools and often by schools.  Self-esteem, self-identity, self-belonging and personal worth top the crushing dangers that lurk in our private and public schools. The unpopular, unspoken truth about how our schools, second to households, are the leading genesis for current and delayed death by suicide. This issue is in the forefront of victims who are African American children. Many of whose parents sought the best schools and selected those schools with minimal diversity. 

Prayerfully in this season (hopefully not temporary) of heightened emphasis on mental illness, there will be concentrated attention directed to the impact schools have on lives far beyond their ABC's and 123’s. Our schools must acknowledge that teaching tolerance and character traits lack the ammunition needed to combat the societal, technological, immoral forces that nest themselves within our schools. 

As we move into another enrollment and re-enrollment season, I urge parents to dig deeper into “tasting the CULTURE of the school.” Choose schools S M A R T L Y BY MAKING SURE TO SELECT SCHOOLS THAT ARE: 

Strategic in initiatives to advance innovative, inclusive, compassionate, yet aggressive instruction 

Morally based in mission and core values  

Accepting of the mantra and modeling of “you belong“ for every student 

Relevant and robust in instruction towards truths of history’s past, present and future possibilities  

Trustworthy and talent-packed faculty and school leadership 

Loving...........1 John 4v8 

Yoked with your spirit and family values leading you to believe and feel YOU Belong 

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Instant Gratification Is the Enemy of Determination 

December 14, 2021
By Dr. Terry Flowers

As St Philip’s School and Community center celebrates its 75th year of existence and the wonderful wondrous works of God Almighty on these anointed soils at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, I am led to share with you what The Lord’s Prayer does NOT say. God’s word does not teach us to pray “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven Right Now” 

Without a doubt, we live in a time in which the signature song of the British rock band Queen resonates with what we are seeing throughout our nation. The words from their 1989 hit “I want it all, I want it all and I want it now” run polar opposite of the sacrifices, perseverance, and persistence that has been called upon to allow St Philip’s to bless the lives of hundreds of thousands over three-quarters of a century. A reliance on instant gratification would have diminished dedication and determination to pursue excellence in education and service here on the anointed soil of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Dallas, Texas. I applaud our ancestors, the mighty legion of volunteers, supporters, and servants whose spirits remain with us as we press on to a century of service: Cambridge, Gonzalo, Barjon, Munson, Penson, Pride, Coke, Kimbrough, Beck, Sessions, Forsythe, Worsham, Stansbury, Cooper, Brown, Taylor, Snyder, Hughes, Swan, Perot, Hodges, Jenkins, Jackson, Miller -- we feel your presence! You believed in St. Philip’s and its grand and noble vision to transform the lives of the children, families, and neighbors we serve through FAITH, EDUCATION, and SERVICE. This belief has carried us through seven decades - 75 years, to be exact. St. Philip’s genesis is a church, the first Black Episcopalian Church in Dallas. Now, here we are 75 years later, a full ministry serving thousands each year; instilling a love of God, a love of self and community that is transforming our organization, our neighborhood, and I believe, our world.  It has not been instant gratification, but it has been daily verification of God’s mighty power to bless others through us.

At St. Philip’s, WE BELIEVE in…

Demonstrating God’s love and sacrifice to all people

Embracing everyone’s potential to be extraordinary

Serving others with dignity

Teaching values, building character, and demanding integrity

Investing in positive community transformation 

Nurturing self-confidence, individual sacrifice and embracing cultural awareness

These beliefs translate into opportunities to serve, collaborate, and partner with those of a like mind in doing what I know to be God’s work in South Dallas.  

St. Philip’s thrives today because so many have heeded a call to serve, to give, to join us in this important work. We are humbled by the faithfulness of God through the struggles and the successes of HIS ministry. We vowed to continue his work not by instantaneous successes nor by minutes, seconds, or hours, but by God’s speed, which is perfection. Instant gratification is the enemy of determination.


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Man Down

October 04, 2021
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Without a doubt, we have a blaring shortage of men in the field of education. With only 25% of male teachers in America and only 11% of those being in elementary schools and only 2% of those being African American. There is a critical need for men as faculty and volunteers to be present in the lives of young children.

A required part of the course of study for every future man enrolled at SPSCC is to watch a short video called “The Delinquents Documentary”.

This episode from the television show “60 Minutes” gives a glimpse of why our schools and communities are having substantial struggles. It is a reminder of God’s order for children to be reared by both parents. It is a reminder of the significance of a man in his children’s lives and in the functioning of society.

When men are not DOWN (Doing Our Warranted Necessity) there are consequences. Our children suffer and our women face a different DOWN (Driving Our Women Nuts). This places a parental burden on women that was not God-ordered nor designed and it adversely impacts our future generations.

My Brothers, men, gentlemen, lets Man D.O.W.N. to build up our youth and society.

Posted in WID-WID

Money, No Mission - The Ultimate Money Meaning

October 04, 2021
By Dr. Terry Flowers

In a recent visit with a President of a prominent school in Dallas, I was given a pause by his quote. In discussing the sustainability of his institution, he said, “No Money, No Mission”. I dwelled in my pause because my mind raced, to all of the factors that sustain St. Philip’s mission absent physical dollars. Granted, our army of volunteers, gifts, in-kind services ,and even the petitions of our prayer warriors can be traced with a tie to money as mightily impactful. However, undoubtedly St. Philips relies on generous funds, but we are not fueled by funds. Faith has gotten us here and faith will take us forward. We are fortunate to have a body of believers in education, services, and God, who are not affiliated by the disease money infects members of humanity with. The Bible teaches us that money is not the root of ALL EVIL. There is nothing wrong with money. The influence of money is where the troubles arise. 2nd Timothy reads “The love of money is the root of all evil.” My question is, if the love of money is the root of all evil, then what is the root of the love of money? Most would agree with me that if the root of all evil is the love of money, the root of that love has to be sin. In teaching our students about money, one lesson to them is “It’s okay to have money but do not allow money to have you.” The Bible urges us in Matthew 11:28 to be yoked to God rather than going into bondage over materialism and money.

There is indeed a degree of merit to No Money No Mission, but St. Philip’s is humbled and grateful to know people who practice M.O.N.E.Y. (Making Our Nest Egg Yokeless). To God be the glory!

Posted in WID-WID

Critical Race

August 03, 2021
By Dr. Terry Flowers

 As we move deeper into toying with our galaxy with space travel, it is vitally important that we address our ability to harmoniously live and drive as humans here on earth. As the divide of our country moves progressively from having racial gaps to becoming a canyon of separation, it is more important than ever to remind our children of the critical race! Humanity. The human race as ordained and arranged by God is the ultimate curriculum and course of study we must all strive to excel in.
For a quarter of a century, St Philip’s has hosted the Destiny luncheon. Our students, families and the North Texas community are invited to participate in this event which celebrates the oneness of humankind. This concept is curriculum content worthy of universal school pedagogy and instructional priority. Our nation’s greatest platform to teach our children about the most critical race crumbled when God was uninvited from American schools.

Those of us who know 1 John 4: 8 is true have an obligation. God is love. This scripture is the path to celebrating the oneness of humankind, which can uplift and sustain humanity. Those who believe must remain hostages of hope in our works to prevent our children and the world from becoming hostages of hate. On a daily occurrence, we are witnessing the efforts of hatred to divide, destroy, and bring to death the spirit of creativity and hope. We are first observers of hate as a national threat.

As 2022 approaches and 246 years of existence of America arrives, let us make no mistake. The grounds of fertile hatred continue seeking to maximize growth with an appetite yearning to ignite humanity's end.
God’s design and desire for his creation to rally around love for all people is our true critical race obligation. Those who are believers have a calling to not allow an unreleased attack on the savior’s high regard for humanity. HIS light shines in the darkness and it will not be overtaken. HIS light must shine through us. It must illuminate our community, households, and the schools our children attend. The value of life and all humanity is a critical race we must focus on. We must not turn a blind eye to systematic denials of rights and privileges which can overtime prove fatal for all humanity. We must help our children identify that hatred based on differences is a symptom of internal and emotional insecurity.

Let us acknowledge that hatred desires to become its own superpower at the expense of humanity. School curriculums which attempt to elude the reality of God‘s love through the camouflage of programs targeting them using character traits and mindfulness fall short of what is critical to the human race. Without love, there will always be an energy to render parts of humanity into a classification of being subhuman. Remember the definition of love is found in 1 John 4: 8. Let us celebrate and support the oneness of humankind through our love as all being human beings as our world marches closer to the possibility of encounters with other galactic beings.

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Manifesting Burdens into Blessings

February 24, 2021
By Dr. Terry Flowers

St Philip's has a wealth of talent. Our students and staff are blessed with many gifts and anointed people. Most importantly, we are a body of BELIEVERS. This belief - fueled by our faith - has sustained us through the onset of challenges that include a pandemic, devastating deaths, social unrest, AND NOW A FLOOD that has caused major damages to over one third of our campus. With over a million dollars and counting of repairs confronting us, we are convinced the same faith that got us to where we are will not only sustain us but provide God's abundance.  

I am honored to serve with an inspiring army of FAITH soldiers fighting to deliver unparalleled academic experiences, social services, community advancement, and spirituality into the lives of those we serve. We have rallied to not only respond to the latest crisis confronting St. Philip's campus, but we have also increased our support to our neighbors adversely affected by the unprecedented winter storm. Many thanks to Texas Land Care, Inc, for sending dozens of plumbers to South Dallas to support our neighbors who also experienced flooding and other issues from pipe bursts, St. Michaels and All Angels Church, Highland Park United Methodist Church, Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Beto O'Rourke’s Powered x People and Ease Plumbing.

As believers, I thank our faculty, staff, volunteers, and loyal supporters for having the courage to do what most military forces are trained to resist -- surrendering! Your courage and compassion in these times leaves me in awe! Thank you for becoming willing practitioners of prayer. Thank you for your sacrifices and serving as beacons of hope. 

An African proverb says, "If you want to go fast ... Go alone. If you want to go far .... Take others with you." St Philip's has certainly gone far, and thousands have come along for the ride. Faculty, parents, volunteers, alumni, and staff have served for decades to ensure God's mighty work - through our efforts - advances the lives of others. We are all soldiers and this latest battle of restoration from the flood damage, is simply a conquest in the making. 

I am thankful for every parent who chooses St. Philip's for their child and every faculty, staff, volunteer and supporter who joins us in this important work of liberating children and a community through the St Philip's School and Community Center ministry. Let's march onward in total surrender to prayer, hope, and faith to bless many more. Let us be reminded that for believers, burdens become blessings and the best is yet to come! 

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Clouds are in the Sky

February 03, 2021
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Even after the vaccine is deployed “America, we have a problem,” we will continue to ring out. COVID-19 will leave remnants on both the health and educational well-being of our great nation. Scientific research is tracking the long-term effects of the virus on the human body. Educators are beginning to report on the setbacks our students are experiencing. Early estimates indicate an 18 month to two-year setback in educational performance between March and December 2020. Click the link below for a glimpse of St. Philip’s assessment of academic gains since last year. 

one third of all 8th grade students scored "Proficient" on the National Assessment of Progress 

The clouds are telling us there is a storm on the way and our children will get wet. More than ever before, there is a necessity for parents to buckle down and take action in the exploration of excellence in their school selections for their children. We are now in a climate where schools and districts are lowering standards for grades and graduation requirements to respond to COVID 19 and the drive for equity in schools.

honest reckoning as a school district

With clouds in the sky, the clarion call is now for parents to spread their umbrellas of wisdom in navigating their children’s educational pathways. If those pathways include college, it will be critical for parents to become more intentional - and even sacrificial - in taking measures to achieve their goals. Astute parents must also recognize that college readiness is not an automatic, nor is it an explicit goal of most of American school districts (productive citizenry is the target).

Parents of St. Philip’s students have identified that college readiness requires the exceptional. The general public might ask how to define “exceptional” for schools. Sacrificial parents make great schools, great teachers make great student outcomes - when combined with great leadership… the exceptional is born.

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When Elephants Tussle, the Grass Suffers

January 13, 2021
By Dr. Terry Flowers

What shall we say to our children during this era of civil and social unrest?    

Just as it was for us during the assassination of the Kennedys, Malcolm, Martin, 9/11, Katrina, Sandy Hook, Trevon, George the waves of turbulence continue to place parents into positions of having to try help their children make sense out of nonsense. The African proverb referring to grass suffering is a reminder that often the actions or inaction of adults yield devastating consequences for our children. The role we must take as educators and parents involve a consistent formula for helping our children. That formula is the same one that proved to be critical in our being able to endure decades of unexplainable circumstances in our nation and throughout the world.

To help our children it is important to constantly remind them that God is on the throne and HIS GLORY shall prevail. We are to raise them to understand that the world has a darkness that cannot be seen. We must let them know that darkness loves surprise because it is more impactful when it catches you off guard. Just like the sudden ambush of a power outage, we have to raise them to understand trouble, tragedy, and evil lurk, but the light of Christ is a light that shall prevail and not be overcome.

For us as adults, we must be reminded that in the darkest of times the light shines brightest and take deliberate action to make sure we keep our hearts laser-focused on the light of Christ.

 As we continue on into 2021 and beyond there are likely to be more incidents that reveal the fragility of America but do not abandon faith or forsake hope. Faith and hope sustained our nation through tragedies like the 16th street Baptist church bombing, the Mother Emmanuel shooting, and the Charlottesville massacre. ONE nation under God calls for UNITY and strength is never ultimate where division dwells

 Let us keep praying for our children as the fragility of our nation fostered by our fore-parents and fanned by forces of today continue to become exposed. Elephants will continue to tussle, even in their play they are oblivious to the damages to the very sustenance they rely on.

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Gap vs. Canyon

January 06, 2021
By Dr. Terry Flowers

The title of this WID-WID has nothing to do with the popular band from the 1980s nor is it long related to the St. Philip’s annual 6th grade academic excursion when they visit the Grand Canyon. This WID-WID is intended to insert imagery in the mind of the reader when reflecting on educational disparity.

For decades, I have maintained that America does not have a gap in learning between brown children and white children. Technology and research have been undeniably clear on the disparity. We are not dealing with a gap in academic performance across America. We are confronted with trying to close a canyon.

As we trudge into 2021, the canyon confronting our schools is Expectedly Expanding Exponentially (EEE). There are two major factors that I believe will cause us to come up with a word even more grandiose than canyon. The first is COVID related. We are hearing about it from states across the nation. Screen time is not effective. Kids are not showing up for class. Teachers are burning out. The list of to-dos is lengthy, and the impact is adversely affecting kids of every ethnic background.

The other factor that places us at risk of never being able to close the gap, gorge, or canyon of academic disparity has been brewing for 20 years. The civil unrest and racial tensions that confront us have moved the issue of mediocrity from a state of percolating to brewing. The calls to eliminate testing, academic competitions, grading systems, and graduation requirements are not new. However, there is now a surge which is gaining the listening ears of school boards, legislatures, and even unions in the name of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are on the brink of experiencing a massive buckling in a quest for excellence in our schools. We must not allow further corrosion of our nation’s racial achievement gap to be interpreted, viewed, and analyzed under the veil of attempting to achieve equity for our students. The bar does not need to be lowered. Excellence is hard. Completing engineering, medical, or law school is hard. We must acknowledge that keeping the bar high yields results for even those who abandon the path before reaching the goal.

At St. Philip’s the message to our students is that when they try; even if they don’t hit the target, they will be somewhere close to the top. I call this the “associated rewards of high expectations.” School should be hard; success is often accompanied by discomfort and even pain. School being “hard” is acceptable and should be natural for any educator who is serious about the profession and the best interests of children. As a friend of mine, Jay Wagley, conversed with his child, “life is hard….get a helmet.”

African American success stories are filled with the vestures handed down from generation to generation. Stories with lessons about working twice as hard or going above and beyond leveraging the struggles of ancestors. The St. Philip’s Creed captures the acknowledgement of historical and current day disparity and devastations. Instead of lowering the academic bar, our students are taught as Calvin Hill’s father taught him: “many reasons but no excuses.” We will not allow historical strife and present-day injustice to deter us of our God given rights to succeed. Lowering academic standards is a handout. The hand, however, is on top of your head pushing you down to the depths of destruction.

To Parents: Don’t get drawn in.

To America: We must strive for excellence for all!

For those who are at the forefront of the movement to drop the standards, I have two encouragements. First, I acknowledge the testing system is significantly flawed with bias unfavorable to children of color. Our targets need to be aimed at the content not the complexity to ensure relevance is representative and equitable for all. Second, there is a universe of knowledge surrounding how to teach children who learn differently. Only 1 percent of children of color are enrolled in schools that are specifically set up to meet the needs of students with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia. Energy used towards school reform that meets the needs of students who are nearly absent in these types of schools is desperately needed. More of these services and schools would begin to bring the canyon down to the size of perhaps a creek.

We all need to be on guard. The current movement is not in the best interest of students of color. American education is guilty of much. We have a legacy of riding trends from NEW Math to STEM, STEAM and now STREAM. As we look to do what is best for all of our children there is a truth that still abides, “Reading is still fundamental. We must not diminish our quest for excellence.”

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THE PEACEful Transition of Power

December 21, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Please do not get wrapped up in the masked or unmasked ball of confusion. In 2020, and soon 2021, it is easy to become entangled and lose focus on THE TRUTH. Although denied by many who do not realize that every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess, THE PEACEful transition of power has taken place.
Through birth, life, death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have received an opportunity to have the power of everlasting life and have it more abundantly. This power comes with a supernatural peace which surpasses ALL understanding migrated from God with the gift of our option to accept Christ. 
As our students are taught “it’s okay to pray and make an A.” Believers should block out the noise of unrest knowing God is with us. This realization should bring us comfort in a time when the ultimate PEACEful transition of power is being lost in the translations of politics, posturing, and pompous portrayal.
The ultimate PEACEful transition of power initiated on the silent night, the holy night, which should allow us to sleep in heavenly peace even amidst these turbulent times. 

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The Joy in Waiting

December 15, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

In 1823, the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas was published. This familiar story, written by Clement Clarke Moore, has stood the test of time. It is known for its vivid depiction of the anticipation of Christmas Day, St. Nicholas, and the reindeer. Its opening sentence, “’Twas the night before Christmas” reminds us of the excitement, joy, and expectation of Christmas.

Advent (the coming) in the Church calendar also allows for reflecting on, preparing for, and awaiting the celebration of the coming birth of Jesus Christ. The truth is, 2020 has confronted many with a different type of hopefulness. This year has ravaged spirits, emotions, and even hope. There is a common yearning for the end of 2020 and longing for the arrival of a new year.

As we move closer to Christmas, St. Philip’s invites you to embrace a lesson we work to instill in our students year-round. As with “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” and Advent there is an invaluable life lesson to embrace. With regard to the wise men, we can all learn to take joy in waiting. This joy in waiting, especially surrounding God’s promises to humanity, is an elusive lesson for many adults. Finding joy in our waiting brings about fuel to our faith, which allows us to keep optimism even in the toughest times. As difficult as it may be, the many benefits of waiting let us all dwell on major outcomes that have emerged as a result of the current state of our world. Just as it was with the coming of Jesus and now His return; let our joy be in the waiting.

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UNMUTE Day - November 3, 2020

October 29, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Without doubt this season of the pandemic has given new meaning to our ways and words. Air hugs, elbow bumps and face coverings are all common place in our day to day interactions. A new meaning has been given to a very familiar word; the word mute or muted is uttered thousands of times a day. Had this word been practiced more throughout the history of humankind the world would have more civility, fewer arguments and even a lower divorce rate. In conference calls and conversations when a person is muted accidentally, it is appropriate for them to apologize saying “I was muted.” 

As we move towards our nations UNMUTE day, apologies are not acceptable. “I was muted” or “I was on mute” will not fly! You will be either in the _ _ ted or _ _ ted category. VOTED or MUTED. For far too long many have been complacent and complicit and through their silence or mute status. Every eligible American citizen needs to be intentional in avoiding the benign, blunder of not participating in the National Unmute Day by November 3rd. As the St. Philip’s creed states, I have the voice. The consequences I will accept for I made the choice

Muted vs Voted? If it is to be it’s up to me.

 “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmond Burke.

Allow your Faith to be your Fuel
+erry Flowers

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The Revival of MySpace 

September 29, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

You don’t have to be a social media guru to have some recollection of the very popular platform for electronic networking and communication, MySpace. I can now safely admit to my three daughters that I found myself in circumstances where I was compelled to dive into MySpace to spy on them to keep myself informed of their activities, communications, and ways of thinking. The things we do under the classification of parental duty!?!? 

MySpace of old may be irrelevant as such a tool today. I have no idea as to whether it even still exists. Yet, for this WID-WID I want to touch on a MySpace that is very present in our lives today. This year has me - and most of us - re-examining spatial distancing along with washing of hands and being conscience and considerate of surroundings. Like most, I am not only protective of my space but also selective about who enters my zone and what environments I place myself in. With COVID-19, it has been said that some of the practices we are using such as handwashing, protecting sneezes and coughs should have been practiced prior to the pandemic and should continue forever. 

The concerning times we are in are not just pandemic related. In America, we have another “My Space” opportunity as it relates to race. We have frustrated African Americans, concerned, confused, and in some cases enlightened Caucasians attempting to live in the same space. On both sides the tension leads to a familiar question of “What can I do?” This sincere question is one that should not be asked of others. In fact, many African Americans become frustrated when someone white asks a black person what they can do. (For the record, feel free to ask me, just be prepared for the discussion). The question of “What can I do?” whether you are black or white is a question you should ask yourself. 

Like Michael Jackson’s song ”Man in the Mirror” (click here to hear the song and see the official video), each of us have to individually take steps to make a change, just as we do in assessing and evaluating our environment.

It’s time for us to place a new lens on “My Space.” In looking in the mirror, am I allowing contaminants and contaminators to dwell in my presence? In my company? Do I connect with those who I know are approaching me with un-sanitized intentions? Do I remove the practices and conditions? Do I model in “My Space” before my children, friends, and even relatives, deep authentic relationships with a diverse group of people who have symptomatic manifestations of God’s love? 

If you like what you see in your “My Space” mirror, perhaps your “2020 My Space” is as relevant as the social media platform was when it was launched in 2003. If you are not pleased that the image looking back at you is on target in embracing and promoting the oneness of humankind, take some steps. Your next steps: make decisions, approve policies, extend invitations, invest dollars, worship, and live differently.

Allow your Faith to be your Fuel
+erry Flowers

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Some Never Equals ALL

July 27, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

You may be familiar with the quote “some is not a number and soon is not a time.” It speaks to the uncertainty of two words that start with “s.” If we are honest with ourselves, there are times in life like today when the ambiguities of “some” brings us discomfort. Clearly economic crisis, political corruption and turmoil, climate change, poverty, inequality, racial strife, and the devaluing of human life can all be unsettling. 

Despite ALL of these circumstances and more, there is The Good News for some of us. In fact, it is more than news, it is a promise that keeps me and others from becoming overwhelmed amidst crisis, injustice, pandemics, and even death. Because of it, in the time of sorrow we do not weep as though we have no hope. We can manifest what many perceive to be a peculiar optimism in troubling times. Our faith is affirmed by certainty of promise that replaces the doubt of “some” with the assurance of ALL. 
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (KJV). ALL things, ALL things, ALL things!!! Every sickness, road block, every set back, and yes even the 17 deaths of loved ones for my family in the last twelve months (three to COVID-19), is included in the ALL that’s working together for my good.

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18 (KJV) 

A point of clarification in order! Scripture says, to them that love God. It suggests the possibility of exceptionalism. Do you love God? If the answer is yes, you are halfway there. “He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” John 21:16 (KJV) 
Simon is asked a third time about his love for God as a reminder of the calling and purpose God had issued to His followers. Feed My Sheep.

Loving God AND doing His will provides you a bridge over troubled waters where poverty, prosecution, policies, preachers nor politics, even pandemics, and ALL things work together for your good.

As we solidify our protocols, adapt our facilities, staffing, and instructional delivery for the reopening of school, I want to encourage the faithful lovers of God who are doing His will; our faculty and staff, our parents, and especially our children. 

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

As Simon was being reminded THREE times: If we love God, let’s act like it.  ALL does not equal some. ALL is not a number because God’s power is without limit. Had His word said “some,” He would’ve also given us a spirit of fear.

Be Encouraged
+erry Flowers
Allow Your Faith to be Your Fuel

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Love Matters

June 17, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Previously published July 18, 2019, still relevant during this time of pandemic and protests.

Good morning God,

Lord we come to you amidst troubling times. Lord help us to apologize to our children.  Help us to request their forgiveness for our failure to figure out how to live as fellow humans on earth as it is in Heaven. Lord forgive us for missing the mark sixty years ago when we inadequately pivoted as a nation towards tolerance for one another when we should have embraced LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER.

Give us this day God as an opportunity to understand LOVE MATTERS. We know this truth to be comprehensive of the value of every life. Help us God to deliver YOUR message to our children during these troubling and seemingly uncertain times. “Love will prevail”one way or another. As it is proclaimed in 1John 4 v 8: You are Love.

God, as we navigate through week after week of turmoil and hardening of hearts please cause us to edit our individual souls to the extent that causes us to live our lives in a way that results in our going to funerals or weddings and not know the ethnicity of the deceased or the couple by the faces nor skin colors of those in the audience because LOVE MATTERS. Let us make sure that no longer can a Caucasian, Latina or African American child be born and make it to adulthood and authentically be able to say they know of no person(s) from other races that truly love them.

God, move us away from using Google as “gospel”and allowing social media to be the dominant source that informs our perceptions of humanity. Let us lean not unto our own faulty understanding but by understanding that LOVE MATTERS.

God help us to embrace and engage each other on Earth as it is in Heaven. 

S+ay Blessed,

+erry Flowers

Allow your Faith to be Your Fuel 

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The Light Remains

June 01, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

 As our nation continues its experimental journey of ethnicities from across the world for humanity to Love Mercy while perfecting God’s desire for us to Do Justice let us turn to scripture.

John 1:5 The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

It is likely that you are like me...In all the times I have encountered this scripture I failed to notice the words The Light are capitalized. God is The Light and worthy of being capitalized, not just in print but in and through our living. 

In our current struggle against injustice, inequality, poverty, and in our quest for equity let us not be deceived. Our nation and the world is encountering undeniable darkness however, The Light remains. The truth is, The Light is within those who have accepted Him. Accordingly, we must not be guilty of allowing the perception that darkness (lowercase d) is overcoming The Light. We are responsible for not allowing the negatives to overwhelm the goodness that abounds us.

Let us demonstrate a ‘Hallelujah Anyhow’ lifestyle amidst the folly, frustrations, and faults that are constantly celebrated and elevated through media. We must continue to proclaim the goodness that overwhelmingly dominates the evil that perpetuates a faulty victory.

I am reminded of a homily from one of our daily chapel services. Dirt was placed in a clear cylinder. A little water was poured in with the dirt and kids were invited drink. Everyone declined. As more and more water was poured in, the presence of the dirt was no longer apparent and the willingness to partake increased. Finally, the presenter drank the water! The message was that dirt represented evil and water was like God’s goodness which cleanses that which is perceived to cause hurt harm and danger.

Let us do our part as we are a part of The Light and darkness has no chance of overtaking us.

S+ay Blessed,

+erry Flowers

Allow your Faith to be Your Fuel 

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A Mother's Love, Lessons and Labor

May 09, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

As we approach Mother’s Day, I am reminded of the saying that goes like this....

To have a child is to forever have a piece of your heart walking around outside of your body.

I am also reminded that next to a mother's love the most valuable gift we receive from them are lessons. For many of us, these are lessons that endure the tests of time. They stay with us generations later and trickle down to our children and fan out to those that we come in contact with. This weekend some will be fortunate to have their mothers physically with them and others will be blanketed by the spiritual presence of their mothers.

Whether your mom is still here or has gone on ahead of you to glory you are still a piece of her heart walking around outside of her. Her lessons of the past are looking upon you and they are hoping that you are rooted in the righteous virtues she tried to instill in you. 

As we move into a Mother’s Day unlike any we have ever experienced with a pandemic commanding the attention of the world let us all go back to the old landmarks of the love, lessons, and labor they sacrificed on our behalf. Let us dive into the deep well of precious memories that helped to form that which is good in us. Let us use the gifts of goodness that were grafted from loving mothers to help guide us through these uncertain and uncomfortable times.

Just as we found peace like none other when we were cradled in the bosom of our mother’s arms let us now seek solace in THE COMFORTER in this time of confusion, distrust, struggle, suffering, selfishness, and strife.

I am reminded of a line from a song my mother sang in the choir and later remixed by late greats Al Green and Aretha Franklin...

“The Lord will make a way somehow “

None of us know exactly what lies ahead of this turbulent time but just as my mother would assure her five children during troubling times, I say to all who are Believers......... The Lord will make a way out of no way.


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GOD Winks, Whispers and Whips

April 01, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Some of you are probably like me. 
There may have been times in your life in which you undoubtedly knew that God was sending you a signal.
You may have had total certainty that HE was giving you a message and sometimes even a warning.
I have grown in my relationship with GOD to the extent that I now label those occasions as being God winks.
In fact, as time has gone on my interpretation has been enhanced. 
For me God not only provides me winks, but HE also whispers in my ear giving me discernment, caution, patience, guidance and courage. 
I will also admit that God not only winks, whispers, he also whips me when the wink and whisper don’t get my attention! 
Given all that’s going on in our country and across the world with the pandemic I am convinced that our Lord and Savior is still in control and what we are experiencing are winks whispers and whips. 
Just as the students of St Philip's, many kids are in the midst of distance-learning. I am reminded that God is the ultimate teacher he is teaching remotely, internally and constantly. Could his message be one to nudge us towards being kinder to each other respectful of our differences less of a divided humanity? Is HIS individualized instruction to you distant or is it up close and personal?
It was once said that America responds to an apparent threat. My prayer is that we will respond to the winks, and the whispers to avoid the whipping.

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God has not brought us this far to leave us.

March 17, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Some of you know my mom was a traveling gospel singer for many years.Implanted within my DNA are the lyrics from church and some of the recordings of the gospel group she sang with.

That DNA is repeatedly activated amidst times of joy and times of turbulence. Given what our environment and the world is confronted with in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic one of those songs from the past seems to be an appropriate reminder.

“I don’t feel no ways tired. I’ve come too far from where He’s brought me from. Nobody told me that the road would be easy. I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me.”

God has not brought us this far to leave us. There is much for us to learn and grow from in this time of tragedy and uncertainty. Let us allow our faith to be our fuel! He has not left us nor forsaken us.

For those who have faith …………………….. since you have it, then ACT LIKE it.

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God and Rock, Paper, Scissors

March 06, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

St. Philip’s students will tell you we are a school where it is okay to pray and……make an “A”
We are privileged to be able to welcome God into our learning environment. We begin every day with a worship service that simply places focus on God’s love for all people. Chapel informs our motivations, inspiration, discipline and love for humanity.

Current and former students can fondly recall a special feature of Chapel called the God’s gift box. Every Monday the homily for Chapel is connected to some items of thing that is placed inside this mysterious box. Student volunteers (sometime voluntold) open the box which has held things that crawl, things no longer living or even things to eat!

The challenge for the students is being subjected (expected by their on looking peers to take on the directed task associated with the contents of the God’s gift box!

For the benefit of those of you who have never attended Chapel at St. Philips this WID-WID is about our March 9th 8:30am Chapel Service.

The God’s Gift Box will be there. Don’t tell our students….but inside the God’s gift box will be a sheet of paper, a pair of scissors and a rock. Students will be called upon to open the box and answer questions about its contents. The students will be led to the game, most will be familiar with it, but our youngest pre-K students will be introduced for the first time. They will learn the game and then confront the question, “What does rock, paper, scissor have to do with God?”
Most of the readers of WID-WID can formulate the answers. Others can attend the service on March 9th or watch it live-streamed at

We will unpack the parallel and tie it with God’s word. Our Chapel services are available on our website made possible by The morning star Family Foundation in honor of Darvin and Mary Jane Shields.

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Google Ain’t God

March 05, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

GAG----The Internet and God
It is possible that you have heard me use improper English. On the occasion of this WID-WID my misuse is intentional. Google Ain’t Gospel. This is a phrase I find myself using more and more frequently when people are basing their truth solely on something the lifted from a flash across the screen of their device. When I tell people Google Ain’t Gospel I am suggesting that some things about technology are not reliable.

Ironically this WID-WID does not focus on the lack of reliability but rather the certainty of technology. I am not an information technology expert. I, however, am comfortable in saying that Google is not Gospel; yet the internet does have a similarity of God. Once you are born into this world God is always with you; although you might not always be with Him. You may not see Him or believe in His omnipresence, but He is there. Similarly, your interactions with technology and information never totally vanish. Let the words of your mouth, the meditation of your heart and clicks on your device be acceptable in His sight.

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A New Score Do Not Miss It!

January 01, 2020
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Greetings in the matchless, mighty and magnificent name of our Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST! As we move deeper into 2020, we have an opportunity to reflect on God’s decision to not have last night be our last night. He left us here at this appointed time.

This is a time to reflect not just on a new year but a new DECADE. In fact, for most of us, it is a NEW SCORE! You recall Lincoln’s famous delivery “four scores and seven years ago,” four scores represented 80 meaning four units of twenty years.
Today and this year join me as I thank God for the NEW SCORE.  I ask His forgiveness for all the times when I have not looked deep enough into His Blessings to fully embrace how awesome He has been. This is not just a celebration of another year. 
Join me in welcoming more of God’s awesomeness over our lives and families. Let’s invite him to shock us in outrageous ways with His Grace, Mercy, and Favor.
Let’s thank him for this SCORE and more to come! 
Seeking Christ’s Outrageous Revelations Evidenced 
I pray unto you many heavenly scores of all forms to come.

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Please take no offense!

December 20, 2019
By Dr. Terry Flowers

In no way am I being critical of God’s dispatchers of his will for humanity. The teachings of Ghandi, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others encouraged us to see the goodness inside of others. Experience has taught us that quite often goodness in humans is hard to see.

We must go beyond trying to see goodness, we must seek Godness in our fellow humans. We must undertake this charge knowing God creates every human with the DNA of goodness inside of them. We must recognize that societal market forces have a way of hardening the soul and it generates a centering around self. Do not focus on doing Good works………….do God works. Doing HIS works requires you to take off your halo.

Doing Good vs God work!

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The Math of Christmas

December 11, 2019
By Dr. Terry Flowers

As we move into the celebration of Christmas, I would like to issue a challenging math problem that most people fail to consider regarding the birth of Jesus Christ. Most of the responses to the question; “What is Christmas about?” are related to gifts, the birth of Jesus and God sending His son. All of these responses are substantially relevant; however here is the Christmas math problem our students wrestled with in Chapel.

0 forgiveness = 0 Peace

Simply put, you cannot go in peace without forgiveness; especially forgiveness of yourself. As you move into celebration of the Prince of Peace, let us remember God sent His Son so that we have a path of forgiveness for our sins. Without His forgiveness, we cannot receive peace. Just as our gift from God is forgiveness let us forgive others and ourselves in order to experience God’s peace.

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Spelling Bee

December 01, 2019
By Dr. Terry Flowers

This year a 4th-grade male and 5th-grade female battled a record 20 round run-off to determine this year’s winner of St. Philip’s Spelling Bee. Watching this year’s final rounds of the Spelling Bee gave me a flashback. 

One of my most vivid elementary school experiences involves a heated competition in 2nd-grade. My teacher had divided the class into groups to square off in a math competition. In this battle, teams had to be the first to respond to math questions. After several rounds, the competition came down to two teams of four out of the dozens who were in the class. To say the atmosphere was one of excitement was an understatement. Even the teams that had been eliminated had selected sides to cheer on. My team was in the finals! This is when I was publicly called out by one of my classmates who were on the opposing finals team.

One might assume the Spelling Bee competition caused my flashback; that is partially true. The full truth is connected to one of St. Philip’s mantras, “it’s okay to pray and make an A”. During the Spelling Bee that was held in our Morning Star Chapel, kids were praying. Praying for success, praying for their classmates and for kids who had just been eliminated. When I pressed rewind, my memory flooded me with the 2nd-grade experience as if it were today. I landed smack dab in the middle of a math competition where I was called out when my team was up to respond. The teacher was preparing to give us the question when everything screeched to a stop! A classmate pointing at me, yelled out, “NOT FAIR! HE IS PRAYING! All eyes focused on me, including the teacher’s eyes.

Indeed, I was praying. Praying for my team’s success. The look from the teacher made me think I was in violation as did the look of my accuser. My anticipation of victory was transformed into uncertainty as to whether I had committed a major violation. Little did I know that when I entered kindergarten two years earlier, the Supreme court had ruled that prayer in public schools would no longer be permissible. Like the students here at St. Philip’s, I was saying a prayer and the thought of that being unacceptable never occurred to me. The privilege to pray is both encouraged and celebrated at St. Philip’s. The notion that as a country we would uninvite God to any place, specifically a school would puzzle our students as it did me back in second grade. Our daily worship on occasion initiates with all saying, “Holy Spirit you are welcome in this place.” Then the caller says, “The Lord be with you” and the responders say “Also with you.” St. Philip’s is a place where “You Belong” and God is with us.

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Take No Credit

April 01, 2019
By Dr. Terry Flowers

I will admit it! I did not get to watch much of the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  From a couple of games I partially watched, one play resonates with me.  Actually, it was not the play but what happened after that inspires this WID WID.  

The play involved Zion Williamson, one of the star players for Duke University.  After making an amazing pass, the cameras zoomed in on Williamson who was staring at his hand with an expression of disbelief on his face.  His reaction was one of astonishment that his hand made this incredible pass.  He acted as though he was giving the credit to his hand and not himself.  Although, his reaction was likely for the theatrics, that visual spoke to me.  

In a world where we can find self-aggrandizement from the highest to the lowest ranks of human existence, we need more people to assume the practice of taking no credit.  This was the point stressed to our students in one of our chapel services (  In that chapel, credit cards were cut up with scissors after discussion about how credit works. The message was to give credit where credit is due.  Resist taking credit; especially for things you are not ultimately responsible.  

To God be the Glory for the things He has done!  While it is admirable for a superstar athlete to model disbelief in their talent and deflect credit away from their self, at St. Philip’s, we also encourage our students to look at their hands to place credit. Unlike Zion Williamson looking at his one hand, we urge our students to look at both hands.  Both hands in the position of prayer… Giving credit to God for successes and accomplishments rather than taking any credit.

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Why God?

April 01, 2018
By Dr. Terry Flowers

In a recent meeting on the campus of St. Philip's School and Community Center, I found myself speechless. I was hit with a simple question - "After all these years with St. Philip's, what are you most proud of?" Although a seemingly basic question, I could not answer it then and honestly cannot answer it now. 

When the question was raised, my mind swept through countless educational achievements made through the School. I flashed through the immeasurable impact on lives we have made through our Community Center by addressing youth development, hunger, safety, senior services, and urban revitalization. I reflected on the mighty sacrifices of our parents, volunteers, and supporters who labor to make the ministry of St. Philip's a possibility for the children and adults we serve.

After this meeting, I found myself asking God a question. "God, I have been here all these years, why couldn't I point to the one thing I am most proud of? Why God? Why?"

I love God and His simplicity. While driving home after an extremely long day, His answer came. "Terry, you were not able to answer that question because the thing for you to be most proud of has not happened yet!  In my plan for St. Philip's, the best is yet to come."

This answered prayer reminds me of a chant from several of our daily chapel services, "Good, better, best...don't stop until your GOOD gets BETTER and your better gets BEST."

Truly, in God's ultimate plan for us, the greatest things we have encountered are not the greatest things we will encounter. 

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Turn your mirror into a window!

February 01, 2018
By Dr. Terry Flowers

The students of St. Philip’s School and Community Center immediately identify with the concept of converting the images of what they see in the mirror into opportunities for them to empower themselves to take action towards change and advancements. Their St. Philip’s Creed echoes this responsibility with ten simple words “If it is to be, it is up to me.” They are also taught to encourage others to acknowledge the God given powers within them to tackle the political, social, ethical, and environmental ills that confront our world. 

Unlike our students today, many of us may recall lyrics from one of Michael Jackson’s songs, “I’m Starting with the Man in the Mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways.” No message could have been any clearer. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change. 

The challenges before our world and especially our country are greater than ever before. Looking at what confronts us and the uncertainty of it all can be daunting. This is especially true for those who lack the faith. 

The ministry of St. Philip’s School & Community Center provides an unparalleled response to student academic achievement and comparable social services leading to our position as a neighborhood change agent here in South Dallas. We have not been overcome by the blight of poverty, apathy nor adverse political climates. We have been able to press on through the tireless faith in THE TRUTH. 

Turn your mirror into a window. In doing so, you will find that when you change the way you look at things, you’ll change the way things look. This is the true value of our schools emphasis on innovation and our quest to produce though leaders and thought challengers. Students who think and are not thought for. 

Posted in WID-WID

Why God?

January 01, 2018
By Dr. Terry Flowers

In a recent meeting on the campus of St. Philip’s School and Community Center, I found myself speechless. I was hit with a simple question – “After all these years with St. Philip’s, what are you most proud of?” Although a seemingly basic question, I could not answer it then and honestly cannot answer it now. 

When the question was raised, my mind swept through countless educational achievements made through the School. I flashed through the immeasurable impact on lives we have made through our Community Center by addressing youth development, hunger, safety, senior services, and urban revitalization. I reflected on the mighty sacrifices of our parents, volunteers, and supporters who labor to make the ministry of St. Philip’s a possibility for the children and adults we serve. 
After this meeting, I found myself asking God a question. “God, I have been here all these years, why couldn’t I point to the one thing I am most proud of? Why God? Why?”

I love God and His simplicity. While driving home after an extremely long day, His answer came. “Terry, you were not able to answer that question because the thing for you to be most proud of has not happened yet!  In my plan for St. Philip’s, the best is yet to come.” 

This answered prayer reminds me of a chant from several of our daily chapel services, “Good, better, best…don’t stop until your GOOD gets BETTER and your better gets BEST.”
Truly, in God’s ultimate plan for us, the greatest things we have encountered are not the greatest things we will encounter. 

Posted in WID-WID

On Earth As It Is…

July 18, 2016
By Dr. Terry Flowers

Good morning God,
Lord we come to you amidst troubling times. Lord help us to apologize to our children.  Help us to request their forgiveness for our failure to figure out how to live as fellow humans on earth as it is in Heaven. Lord forgive us for missing the mark sixty years ago when we inadequately pivoted as a nation towards tolerance for one another when we should have embraced LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER.
Give us this day God as an opportunity to understand LOVE MATTERS. We know this truth to be comprehensive of the value of every life. Help us God to deliver YOUR message to our children during these troubling and seemingly uncertain times. “Love will prevail” one way or another. As it is proclaimed in 1 John 4 v 8: You are Love.
God, as we navigate through week after week of turmoil and hardening of hearts please cause us to edit our individual souls to the extent that causes us to live our lives in a way that results in our going to funerals or weddings and not know the ethnicity of the deceased or the couple by the faces nor skin colors of those in the audience because LOVE MATTERS. Let us make sure that no longer can a Caucasian, Latina or African American child be born and make it to adulthood and authentically be able to say they know of no person(s) from other races that truly love them.
God, move us away from using Google as “gospel” and allowing social media to be the dominant source that informs our perceptions of humanity. Let us lean not unto our own faulty understanding but by understanding that LOVE MATTERS.
God help us to embrace and engage each other on Earth as it is in Heaven. 

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If Success is Earned, Is Failure Free? 

April 01, 2016
By Dr. Terry Flowers

The most disturbing response about school I receive from children around the country comes when I ask a simple question: “How are you doing in school and how are your grades?” The common response I receive is: “I am passing or I passed.”  And it’s almost always given in a matter of fact tone.  (Mind you, I’ve never received such a response from a St. Philip’s student or graduate.)
It troubles me to see such a consistent lack of academic aggressiveness and intellectual pursuit in so many children and youth. They still haven’t connected their grades with future success. 

As we wrap up another academic year for schools across the country, I can’t help reflecting on how costly academic failure is to our country. More disturbing is the mediocrity that seems to be shredding the fabric of our society. 

Additionally, as we approach the summer, thousands of children will experience devastating summer learning loss due to a lack of academic enrichment opportunities. At St. Philip’s, we work to combat this issue through our summer programming. More institutions in our community and country should focus on the same. It’s a critical investment that we can’t afford to ignore or overlook. 

“Passing” should never be the single target or goal for students as the “just passing” standard only promises to let life pass you by.  That’s a price too big for our children and society to pay. 

Failure is not free. 

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