“GIVE ME MORE” is what Mike Frazier heard every day after school from Rajah Brown, Rod Hinton and the rest of the MAM Whitehaven staff. Whether it was his basketball game, grades in school or his personal relationship with Christ, Mike was pushed to persevere in order to go from GOOD to GREAT.
About Mike Frazier
MAM participant since he was 10 years old
Accepted Christ at 14 years old
2008 graduate of Whitehaven High School
2014 graduate of Tennessee State University with a major in exercise science
Currently employed as a recreation leader for Nashville Metro Parks and Recreation
Rajah Brown, former MAM Whitehaven director and current Chief Program Officer, talks about Mike:
Mike comes from a stable, two parent Christian home. He grew up a believer and avid church member before he attended MAM. At MAM he was extremely faithful and always respectful, but needed some motivation! Initially I was purposely hard on him, with the intentions of helping him reach his full potential. Whether it was his basketball game, grades in school or his personal relationship with Christ, I pressed him for more every day.
Eventually the message began to take effect and Mike became a leader of his peers. We hired him to work part time at our center; he was the captain of our basketball team and the most vocal member of my discipleship group.
Through his participation in our ministry, Mike was able to go from GOOD to GREAT. He would have attended church, graduated from high school and gone to college without us, but I’m not sure he would have persevered and maximized his potential. The catch phrase that we yelled to Mike every single day was “GIVE ME MORE!” He did that, and I am filled with righteous pride when I think of the positive direction he has chosen in life.
Mike tells how MAM impacted his life:
Why did you start going to MAM? I am one of the very first participants at MAM Whitehaven. I played with my church in its inaugural basketball season and got to know some of the MAM staff. It was the perfect place for me. I didn’t want to go straight home from school and I liked to play basketball and hang out with the other kids.
What was the most meaningful activity or moment you had at MAM? I honestly can’t pinpoint a favorite activity. I enjoyed every activity and program MAM had from the basketball team to the daily devotionals. However I can speak about a significant moment after I graduated from high school. The center was randomly broken into, seriously vandalized and the office was set on fire. There was the possibility of the gym being closed indefinitely. Rajah, Rod and the rest of the staff met with some of us older guys and spoke to us about the responsibilities of real manhood. They told us that we needed to step up and take ownership, not only of our lives, but of the good things that God gives us like the MAM center. So I helped the staff clean and repair the gym. I loved the MAM gym and it meant so much to me, so I didn’t want it to close especially because of a negative action. That was a significant moment for me – to be a part of helping keep MAM open in my neighborhood.
What was the most important thing Rajah Brown and the other coaches at MAM taught you?
When I first met Rajah, I was in the 11th grade and he had just become the new neighborhood director. For the first few months we argued in a friendly way all the time. It wasn’t personal – I just thought that Rajah was fun to disagree with. The biggest thing I learned about Rajah was that he would not sugar coat the truth; he would call you out on whatever the issue was, and he was just a guy who showed tough love. It was hard for me to accept that at first.
Rajah taught me how to be a man. He showed me that being manly is having high goals and aspirations and being courageous in obtaining them. I had determined personal goals for my life and he helped me pursue and accomplish them. He taught me how to find good people who could help me be successful in life. Now that I am older and in a different stage in life, I have the tools and knowledge necessary to help accomplish my goals.
Rajah also taught me that being a man is also having humility and integrity. Our daily saying was “Guard your heart” and even though we always joked and laughed at each other, I realized that I needed to be humble and show love to others instead of cutting them down. This especially applied during basketball free play. Some games got heated and very competitive, but Rajah would always show his integrity by being the bigger person in most situations.
How did participating at MAM affect your faith? Through MAM’s daily devotionals and faith-based programs, I learned to apply those lessons to my everyday life. I learned that the Bible is a blueprint on how life should be lived. At a young age I knew stories in the Bible, but I didn’t know how to apply the stories to my everyday life until I went to MAM.
What is your favorite Bible verse? Psalms 133 and Galatians 2:20. Life is no longer about me, but it is about Christ who has saved me. If Christ lives inside of me, everyone around me will see Him and eventually will accept His gifts. I am only a vessel being used by Christ. Even Christ was a servant and exemplified humility with dignity and humbleness. I don’t live this life for personal gratification but to uphold and magnify the kingdom of God. Eternal life after this temporary life on Earth is my goal.