Vision Born Out Of Personal Struggle
After 10 years of being a bi-vocational school teacher and youth pastor, Founder Benny Proffitt had seen a generation unfold before his eyes. America’s decisions in the 50′s and 60′s to remove God’s word and prayer from our culture had left a spiritual vacuum and a harvest of immorality, addiction, and abandonment in our schools..The vision of uniting the churches in a community around the cause of reclaiming a generation for Christ gave birth to the First Priority vision.
First City Launch in Irving, Texas
Irving was the first city to see a group of youth pastors to unite around the FP vision. FP Irving was formed by 12 churches and a board of Christian businessmen, focused on reaching the students in the 3 high schools and 6 middle schools in the Irving School District.
FP Birmingham, Alabama Launched
When Shades Mountain Baptist Church called FP founder, Benny Proffitt, to become their youth pastor, FP was introduced to the churches in the southern communities of Birmingham. A network of youth pastors united to strategically link their youth groups in the area’s secondary schools. These students accepted the challenge and began to organize on their campus to reach their schools for Christ.
(Now in their 20th year, FP Birmingham has expanded to most of the greater Birmingham area with hundreds of churches involved and student led ministries in 160 middle and high schools.)
Oak Mt. Outdoor Theatre Event
First Priority in Birmingham held its first See You at the Pole prayer event involving more than 10,000 students, parents, and ministers from Birmingham’s FP network. This event was covered by the national media and was followed with a barrage of calls from all over the country asking how they could see this vision happen in their cities.
After 27 years as a local church youth pastor, Benny Proffitt organized a team with a vision to see the First Priority Strategy reproduced in over 100 communities across the US and launched First Priority of America inc. in Nashville, TN. Since that time the FPOA staff have shared the Vision and Mission of First Priority thousands of times in churches, business meetings, community vision castings, and schools.
Re-Organizing the Strategy
After 10 years of training and helping local communities implement First Priority, a simple reproducible launching process was created called the Four Phases; Discovery, Decision, Direction, Development. This was put in place so that a measurable and structured First Priority local community implementation strategy could provide long term results wherever First Priority is launched.
Decisions For the Future
After serving local communities for 15 years, FPOA came to a crucial moment of decision; should they continue to push forward with the First Priority strategy under new leadership or was it time for each established local community to support itself. After much time of prayer and discussion with board leadership, mentors, and the local communities they served, First Priority of America staff felt the Lord’s leading and choose to move forward for its next season. Mark Robbins and Mark Roberts took on the roles of leadership for First Priority of America, bringing on crucial support staff to serve in the areas of Expansion and City Services.
With over 46 local communities uniting under the First Priority strategy, the leadership at FPOA has felt the Lord’s leading to take on a new approach to seeing local communities start across the US. In 2012, FPOA with the help of their strategic 1P Partners will be proactively looking at 4-10 communities to launch into the FP process. As part of this process, FPOA will be raising awareness and funds to help provide start up and matching donations to these new organizations. This 10 year plan called “10-Fold” has prayerfully predetermined 100 communities across the US, that they would like to see the gospel go forth through the FP Strategy, and we believe that like the rock in the pond, out of those communities the ripples will form many others.