Local News

July 12, 2013

‘What the Lord wants you to do’

Porter hopes to foster ‘callings’ at Christian Heritage

It was a letter given to him by an elderly friend on her deathbed that, in part, motivated Gerald Porter to become the new headmaster of Christian Heritage School, he said.

Porter has replaced Renny Scott as headmaster of the private Christian school at 1600 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Dalton. Scott said he retired after 18 years because he believed it was time “to pass the baton on to the next generation.”

More than a decade ago, Porter was asked to lead a Sunday school class at his church in Kansas City, Mo., to help his pastor free up some time. Initially Porter refused, he said, because the class was for churchgoers over the age of 50.

Porter, who began his tenure as the new headmaster on July 1, said finally agreeing to teach the class led him to a message he continues to share with students.

“I had gotten to know this woman and she became ill,” he said. “As I was leaving the hospital one day, where I was visiting her for the last time, she handed me this letter. She said, ‘Don’t read this till you leave.’ A few hours later she passed into eternity.

“I got into the car and read the letter. It was the story of her life. And the very last paragraph said, I will never forget it, ‘Gerald. I just hope, before the Lord takes me, I will be able to figure out what he wants me to do with my life.’”

Reading those words served as a “turning point” for Porter.

“That was the point where I committed to make sure I had a conversation with kids to help them find their calling,” he said. “Not just kids. Adults, too. Make sure you find out what the Lord wants you to do.”

Porter said he’s come a long way from being “terrified” of teaching a Sunday school class, even likening his first meetings at Christian Heritage to a Winston Churchill war room. Which is funny, he said, because being an education leader wasn’t his priority growing up. He said when he graduated high school he envisioned being a moneymaking business leader and retiring by age 35.

That wasn’t his “calling,” Porter said, adding that even his high school gym coach could see he was headed for education long before he saw it himself.

Text Only
Local News
  • Green spot closing 1 mlh.jpg A part of the family

    Larry Green can’t remember the exact date. But he says it was about 54 years ago when his father Marvin took him to see the new store he and his brother Herman had commissioned Red Jennings to build at 309 W. Emery St. in Dalton.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • New high school?

    The only means for “staying small” and preserving “The Dalton Way” in Dalton Public Schools may be through expansion, Superintendent Jim Hawkins said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Bond denied for man arrested in synthetic marijuana bust

    A Dalton business owner charged in a synthetic marijuana bust was denied bond Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Longtime Dalton business Green Spot to close

    Larry Green says he made the decision more than a year ago.

    July 29, 2014

  • Kiwanis Club3.jpg Kiwanians get a lesson in money and banking

    Money.
    It makes it easier for us to buy and sell goods and services. It is the measure by which we judge the relative value of those goods and services, and it allows us to “store value,” by placing it away and using it when we need it.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff: Inmates don’t ask to vote

    In his 21 years of service, Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said inmates have never asked for the opportunity to vote.

    July 28, 2014

  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local officials agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014