Thursday, 27 September 2018 13:43

Michael Jernigan, Jr, Assistant Manager, Sam's Club

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RRJ:  As a manager at Sam’s Club, what does your job entail?



Michael:  I assist and develop in directing our management team in all facility operations. I assist in providing supervision and development opportunities for members of management and hourly associates. I assist in directing and guiding members of management and hourly associates on proper member service approaches and techniques. I contribute to membership and sales growth. I coordinate, complete and oversee job-related activities and assignments. I ensure compliance with company policies and procedures and support our company mission, values and standards of ethics and integrity.


I also increase the quality of our members’ experience. I monitor the financial performance of the facility. I participate in community outreach programs and encourage and support associates in serving as good members of the community. I provide supervision and development opportunities for associates.



RRJ:  In what ways are you able to shine for Christ at work?



Michael: I treat everyone the same way I want to be treated. I pray daily before I enter the doors of Sam’s Club and trust that God will lead me in His ways and not my own. When I hear gossip at work, I distance myself from it or change the subject. Monday through Friday I have a 9 o’clock morning meeting where I go over our sales numbers with my associates/management team, upcoming birthdays, work anniversaries and I give a motivational spiritual word or quote from the Bible to uplift, motivate or inspire my co-workers for the day.



RRJ:  How do you see Jeremiah 29:11 being played out in your life?



Michael: I grew up on 103rd and King Drive in Chicago IL, a pretty rough area on the southside of Chicago known as the WILD HUNDREDS. I remember hearing my mom praying as a kid that she wanted me and my brother to be successful. My mom always ensured me that I didn’t have anything to worry about because I was covered in the blood of Jesus. I was an usher at my childhood church (St. John De La Salle) and I remember my parents telling me that if I couldn’t make it to church that I couldn’t go roller skating or play my video games. So, I made sure I was serving every Sunday and getting the Word. Now the same rules apply for my two boys in my household because my wife and I are raising them to be successful, God-fearing, family men as well.



RRJ:  How have sports, especially golf, had a role in your journey?



Michael:  I used to play basketball in elementary school until one day I witnessed my best friend getting hurt at our neighborhood playground, tearing ligaments in both his knees. Once he recovered he got a job at the new golf course not too far from our neighborhood, and shortly after I started working there too. My boss took a liking to me and gave me my first set of golf clubs, and since I worked their they let me play all the golf I wanted for free. The sport of golf helped me get three scholarship offers to play golf for Tennessee State University, Alabama State University and Virginia Union University. I chose Alabama State University because my parents used to drive to Union Springs every summer to visit my grandparents, and I knew I would still be close to family.



RRJ:  You mentioned three tragic life events that all happened in one week in March 2013.  What helped you get through those trials?



Michael:  The last week of March 2013 was a very difficult week for me and my family. On that Monday, my in-law’s home burned to the ground, that Wednesday I got laid off from Coca-Cola after working there for 10 years, and that Friday my father passed at the age of 59. Needless to say, my faith was definitely tested, but I knew that God wouldn’t give me more than I could bear. So, I prayed and leaned on God more than ever and He helped me get through it all. At the time my parents had been married for 39 years, so I had to be strong for my mom and younger brother.



RRJ:  You come from a home where family is important. How have your parents molded and inspired you to live a solid life for the Lord? And can you see your parent’s influence in you as you are leading your family?



Michael:  My dad married a strong woman of God and I wanted to do the same. The first time I saw my wife, on the campus of Alabama State University in 1999, I felt like she was going to be my wife. When my college friend, Darain Goshton, invited me to visit his church I saw her again and that’s when I knew she was going to be my wife. The fact that she loved the Lord as much as I did left no doubt in my mind that she was the woman God made for me.


My parents inspired me to live a solid life for the Lord by being a great representation of Christ, by walking and living in love. And, yes, my parents influenced how I lead my family because I saw how my they loved and respected each other, which kept them happily married for 39 years.



RRJ: How do you stay focused on living your best life for God?



Michael: Well, every night my wife and I read scriptures from our Bible together before we go to sleep, and we’re both very active in our church. My wife is on our church finance team and I am a PPA (Pastor Personal Assistant) formy church. Every opportunity we have to serve for the Lord and do God’s work we take it. We both especially like serving the mobile food bank at our church.



RRJ:  You and Ruby have been instrumental in planning a couple’s trip for several years during Super Bowl weekend with friends from your church. What is something special that you practice while on this trip?



Michael:  We enjoy fellowship with our married Christian friends from our church, so for the past five years we have been planning couple’s trips in different states during Super Bowl weekend. Every year we set aside some time to discuss what’s been going on in our lives and our future goals. For the past two years we decided to put our goals on paper and create vision boards. God’s word tells us to write the vision and make it plain, and ever since we started setting aside time to create our vision boards during our trips, our friends’ goals, as well as ours, have been manifesting. Since it has been such a positive experience, creating vision boards is something that we will definitely continue to incorporate into our trips.



RRJ:  What advice do you have for our readers about living for Christ outside of the church walls?



Michael:  My advice would be to take the same teachings and principles learned in church and apply them to your everyday life outside of church. We should pray and seek God daily. We should also live as God has called us to live. God wants us to live a happy and successful life. I would also encourage others to adopt good habits of reading their Bible and spending time with God at least 5-10 minutes every day to understand the life and love of Jesus in our everyday lives. Share your faith and love for Jesus with everyone you meet. Seek the presence of God daily and always remember that living for Christ is far more meaningful than living for ourselves.Establish a relationship with God first, keep God first in all that you do, and have strong faith.



Michael Jernigan, Jr. is Assistant Manager at Sam’s Club. He is happily married to Ruby Jernigan for 13 years and they have two sons, Michael III (12) and Tyler (9). They are active members of True Divine Baptist Church in Montgomery.



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